Mugabe blasts ambitious party officials

Addressing members of the party’s Central Committee ahead of the 9th People’s Annual Conference that started on Friday in Goromonzi, Mugabe said the jostling was making the leadership uncertain whether the party would last into the future.

He described those involved in the jostling as over ambitious, and urged them to be patient until vacancies arose.

“I said to Vice President Joseph Msika this issue of succession is bringing avenging spirits on us,” he said, adding some of the individuals concerned were even wishing that Msika would die so that they would take his position.

“Are there any vacancies? Where are they? Let us not be over ambitious. The time will come when vacancies will exist. For now there are no vacancies. None at all,” he said to applause from the floor.

Mugabe also lashed out at top officials that drag each other to the courts to resolve their differences instead of using established party machinery.

Such actions, he said, threatened the party’s unity and were against its ideology, which teaches that grievances should be resolved internally.

“It is a departure from what we learnt as we fought the revolutionary struggle,” he said.

He urged the leadership to put the party ahead of personal interests, reminding them that they derived their mandate from the people.

They had a responsibility to respect the mandate of the people to take care of the party and ensure it remained united, he said, adding a united party was one that knew how grievances were resolved.

“But when we go to challenge each other in courts, then something has gone wrong, totally wrong,” he said.

“So stop that nonsense,” Mugabe said to further applause from the floor.

Without mentioning names, he said some of the individuals that were doing this were in the Politburo while others occupied top provincial leadership positions.

The Financial Gazette recently reported that Rural Housing and Social Amenities Minister, Emerson Mnangagwa was considering suing Speaker of the House of Assembly, John Nkomo, for remarks he made while testifying in the case in which former Information and Publicity Minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo, is suing him over the Tsholotsho debacle.

Nkomo allegedly accused Mnangangwa of paying certain people to organise the meeting at Dinyane Primary School, where a “smart coup” was going to be arranged to jettison him to the position of vice president, replacing late vice president , Simon Muzenda, and scuttle the chances for Joyce Mujuru taking the position.

Mugabe said instead of dragging each other to the courts, people should discuss their differences and resolve these amicably and when this failed, they should refer them to the party machinery.

He queried whether it was the love of money that was driving people to sink so low as to drag each other for damages and forgetting the difficulties they endured during the liberation struggle, which moulded them into what they are today.

Turning to the economic challenges facing the country, Mugabe said his government would next year intensify efforts to turn around the economy through introducing measures to control the country’s mineral resources.

“The gold that we mine, the platinum in our land and the diamonds that colour our landscape should all contribute to an improvement of the living standards of our people,” he said.

Mugabe however emphasised the need for orderliness in the process, expressing concern at the chaos characterising mining of diamonds in the Marange area.

He said while the country surged ahead with programmes to turn around the economy, there was need for everyone to shun corruption in all its forms as well as other vices such as black market activities, bribery and nepotism.

Turning to the issue of land, Mugabe said the government wanted the country to retain its position as Africa’s breadbasket, which could only happen when farmers learnt to plan for farming seasons through timeous purchase of all required inputs.

It was high time farmers stopped relying on the government for inputs and learnt that farming was a serious business that needed the same principles like any other enterprise.

Mugabe said the government wanted the year 2007 to be the real turning point in the transformation of the economy and for that reason, it wanted to assume control of the mining sector, which he said had potential to boost lifestyles of the people. ‘ New Ziana

December 2006
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