Kamangeni Phiri Midlands Bureau Chief
THE intra-party fighting and factionalism bedevilling the ruling Zanu-PF ahead of the party’s elective Congress is retrogressive and anti-developmental, former Midlands Governor Cephas Msipa has said. Cde Msipa, who is also a Zanu-PF politburo member, said individuals were advancing their personal interests at the expense of the party through factionalism.
He said factionalism is an antithesis of everything that the revolutionary Zanu-PF stands for and should be shunned.
“I think what is happening or being reported in the media to be happening in Zanu-PF is worrying. One of the many things that Zanu-PF stands for is unity, development and peace. We can’t talk of unity when there is factionalism which is an antithesis of everything that the party stands for,” he said.
Cde Msipa said party members were applying their energy on issues that don’t matter at the expense of delivering promises made to the electorate in last year’s harmonised July 31 elections.
He said Zanu-PF, as the face of government, should pull itself together because only a peaceful country can attract investors.
Said Cde Msipa: “We’re backtracking on what the electorate voted us for on 31 July last year. They did not vote us to fight each other. Zanu-PF is the face of government; it’s not just a party. People from outside will be looking, they are asking, ‘what’s happening and what next?’ Under such circumstances, it becomes difficult to attract direct foreign investors and aid. It creates the wrong perception about our country”.
The veteran nationalist and philanthropist said the ruling party should take a tough stance against perceived faction leaders and expel any member who subscribes to factional “wars”.
Cde Msipa said factionalism was affecting development even at district level where projects were implemented on the basis of which faction the leader of the area belonged to. He said the quality of leaders was being compromised.
The former Midlands Governor said today’s leaders were self-nominated unlike leaders like President Mugabe and the late vice president, Joshua Nkomo, who were nominated by the people.
“Factionalism divides. Whoever is behind it should stop. They are an embarrassment to our leader, President Mugabe. President Mugabe is for peace. The President and the late VP Joshua Nkomo were nominated by the people because of their records as leaders. They represented people’s interest. Why not take the two leaders’ example?
“We have a party constitution which allows for elections to take place from time to time. The party is pro-democracy. However, people now want to impose themselves as leaders. People are getting into positions based on factions not leadership qualities. As a result, the party suffers. The quality of leadership is deteriorating by day. There is a lot of character assassinating and vote buying going on.”
Cde Msipa said, interestingly, no-one wanted to publicly acknowledge that they belonged to a certain faction as they preferred telling people they belonged to President Mugabe.
The veteran nationalist noted that the forthcoming elective Congress to be held in December was fuelling in-fighting as individuals fought for positions.
He urged those eying for positions to first identify what people need before campaigning for them to be people-centred leaders.
“People who are divided along factional lines are not serving the majority’s interests. Zimbabweans want employment creation, improved standard of living and economic empowerment. We need to deliver on the July 31 election manifesto for us to develop. We can only achieve that if we are united,” said Cde Msipa.