NEW SPIRIT SWEEPS ACROSS ZANU PF
The over 7 000 delegates who attended the Zanu-PF Extraordinary Congress at Robert Mugabe Square in Harare yesterday demonstrated a new spirit that is sweeping across the revolutionary party following the elevation of President Emmerson Mnangagwa to the Presidency.
It was clear at the congress that the party has been rejuvenated and is now ready to confront future challenges as a single unit.
In fact, the unity demonstrated by the delegates as they participated in the proceedings had become rare at gatherings held by the ruling party in recent months.
The party members had become known for bad-mouthing each other and publicly chastising perceived enemies within the party. But the situation was different yesterday. The delegates clearly showed that they had emerged from the painful past and were ready to let bygones be bygones to move the party forward, especially in light of harmonised elections next year.
The Extraordinary Congress demonstrated that a new culture has swept across the party, in which the business of the party is treated with seriousness.
Not that there was no pomp and fanfare at the extraordinary gathering. When it was time for serious business, the delegates gave all their concentration, but when time came for dance and singing, they participated with equal vigour. The smiles, the congratulations and the dances were just superb.
The congress was held under the theme
“Consolidating the gains of Zim-Asset through Unity and Peace and Development”.
It was attended by members of the Politburo, Central Committee, National Consultative Assembly, War Veterans, ex-detainees, ex-restrictees and war collaborators.
Also in attendance were traditional leaders, ministers and deputy ministers, former ministers, service chiefs led by Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Constantino Chiwenga, senior Government officials, representatives of liberation movements from the region, members of the diplomatic corps and students representatives.
Former Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and ex-Zanu-PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Temba Mliswa also attended the colourful event. First Lady Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa was seated with Politburo members and not at the high table, in a move that was applauded by many delegates, especially Chief Fortune Charumbira.
The function started with President Mnangagwa officially opening a park established at the Robert Mugabe Square, in which fruit trees will be planted. President Mnangagwa later launched the National Tree Planting Day by planting the Red milkwood tree, popularly known as the Muchechete in Shona and Umbumbhulu in Ndebele.
The tree was dedicated to peace, unity and development. President Mnangagwa and the First Lady later joined other delegates for the Extraordinary Congress.
Delegates danced to music from the Police Band, who from time to time churned Jah Prayzah’s popular songs “Kutonga Kwaro” and “Mudhara Achauya”.
The delegates applauded President Mnangagwa, the service chiefs and war veterans for their role in restoring order in the party. Some foreign delegates congratulated Zimbabwe for having a peaceful transition from former President Robert Mugabe to President Mnangagwa.
They wished the country and its citizens peace and unity. Zanu-PF secretary for Administration Cde Obert Mpofu said Zanu-PF had gone through regrettable and unpleasant things.
He said it was disturbing that Zanu-PF was on a path to self destruction before the ZDF intervened.
“Zanu-PF meetings and gatherings were no longer of peace and unity, but disunity, expressing hate, evil speaking and this was directed to the true cadres of the party,” he said.
Cde Mpofu likened President Mnangagwa to the Biblical Nehemiah, who went to the top to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He also equated President Mnangagwa to Joshua, who took over from Moses and delivered the children of Israel into the land of milk and honey, Canaan.
In her vote of thanks, Zanu-PF national chairperson Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe would never be the same again, as hope had been restored to the nation by the new leadership.
“We thank you and we are grateful for giving us the hope,” she said.
“We emerge as the united front because of your visionary leadership. Some negative developments within the party were threatening to destroy the party from within. Members were being expelled and some and others suspended by the G40 cabal.
The ZDF operation gave Zimbabwe back to the Zimbabweans and people were given the right to express themselves and this restored unity.”
President Mnangagwa was endorsed as the Zanu-PF Presidential candidate for 2018 harmonised elections, before announcing the party’s new Politburo. After the congress, delegates were treated to a musical gala.