IN 1964, a group of men determined to free the country from the shackles of colonialism and ensure majority rule through one man one vote converged in the city of Gweru at the inaugural ZANU Congress.
Many have since passed on but one man remains and carries that torch of freedom — not only political but also on the economic front.
That man is President Mnangagwa, who yesterday told the revolutionary party’s prospective legislators who are attending a five-day Zanu PF National Ideology and Mobilisation Workshop here in Gweru, the correct ideals that one has to possess to be a servant leader and to win elections.
The aim of the workshop is for the aspiring legislators, to come up with a shared vision and strategies to annihilate the opposition in the forthcoming harmonised elections — slated for August 23.
And yesterday the Zanu PF candidates received wisdom nuggets from President Mnangagwa, who was accompanied by the First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa.
Addressing journalists after the closed door workshop, Zanu PF Political Commissar Cde Mike Bimha said the historical significance of Zanu PF defines both its present and future, with the onus on the aspiring legislators to loyally, and steadfastly work towards ensuring the triumph of the people’s party come August 23.
“The President’s opening remarks were very strategic in the sense that he made reference to this place, Gweru, in the Midlands Province, where the first ZANU Congress took place, and the fact that he is the only one of the five who were cadres that time, who came to attend that congress, and that he is the only one left, that in itself being historical makes people look back and say Zanu PF is not a party that came yesterday, it’s a historical party, it’s a party that started way back.
“We have a number of new faces who are coming into Parliament, but they must always go back to the people they represent, the party comes first, we are discussing issues to do with loyalty, issues to do with dedication. These are the issues that were coming out from the President,” he said.
Cde Bimha added that the message from the President to the National Assembly members is to remain loyal to the party, its leadership, and also to be knowledgeable about what Zanu PF stands for.
Apart from the historical path traversed thus far by Zanu PF, the President also outlined the numerous achievements that have been made by the Second Republic in less than five years — accomplishments that the aspiring legislators can proudly brandish in their campaigns.
“There is so much to sell to the people, the Second Republic has done so much. He also spoke on the need for us to be ever united saying there are no winners or losers in Zanu PF, we will win together as Team Zanu PF. This is the inclusivity that also comes in leaving no one and no place behind,’’ he said.
Under President Mnangagwa’s rule, said Cde Bimha, the focus is now on economic development, opening up of the country, and involving every Zimbabwean in the march towards Vision 2030 to be an upper middle class economy.
Cde Bimha also said while the party was more of a closed unit in the past, President Mnangagwa has opened it up hence the presence of many young women, youths and even some former opposition members, as long as those people share the same aspirations of Zanu PF and are loyal to the cause.
During the four-day training course, the aspiring legislators will learn more about the party’s vision, ideals and history.
Principal of the Chitepo Ideological School Cde Munyaradzi Machacha said the workshop demonstrates to the world the organising ingenuity of President Mnangangwa.
“We are the only party that puts into its development plans, the generational issue, as our older generation retires it is replaced by young, youthful crop of leaders but those leaders need to be given the ideology of the party, they need to be taught the party’s politics, its culture, policies and programme and that is the programme that will be taking place here in the next five days, so that when we hand over to these youngsters, they are well prepared to run this country responsibly and to take the country forward,” said Cde Machacha.
In an interview Cde Admire Tonderai Masikati, House of Assembly aspiring candidate for Mpopoma-Mzilikazi said he was inspired by President Mnangagwa’s speech.
“In today’s interactions with the President, he spoke about Zanu PF as a mass party, a people’s party. He gave us a message that unity is key to the growth and development of the party, even when we are going to elections, if we are united we are going to win these elections. He said peace and unity are the recipe that has taken Zanu PF this far. This is a strong message as we go towards elections,” said Cde Masikati.
Chikomba West aspiring candidate Cde Tatenda Mavetera said as young women, they will go all out to vote for President Mnangagwa.
“We were very happy with the President saying we need to exercise servant leadership, we are also saying it is important for us to learn from people who were there before us. As women, we are going to make sure that we support His Excellency for everything he has done for Zimbabwe, we will work hard for a Zanu PF victory.”
Cde Tendai Charuka, aspiring MP for Bulawayo Central said he learnt a lot on how the party will win the elections.
“We are saying no to violence, no to drugs. The President is saying let us build our country as Zimbabweans, and that we can do in unity and under the rule of Zanu PF,” said Cde Charuka.
Cde Norbet Jijika, St Mary’s aspiring candidate, said the President’s message was on peace.
“We are expecting a resounding victory for Zanu PF. The machinery is already in motion to ensure the elections are won resoundingly by Zanu PF. This workshop is about mobilisation techniques from the highest level to the cell, after this workshop we will be mobilising effectively for the 5 million votes for the President and for Zanu PF,” he said.
Cde Barbara Rwodzi, MP for Chirumanzu, said the President outlined his expectations for each candidate and called for a violence-free election.
“It’s a great pleasure to learn about the party’s history from the President himself, who was there since its formation. This workshop is bringing us together. I wish councillors were also here so that all of us learn about the ideology of the party and its history. This has really opened a lot of people’s minds. We are taking the message to the people that Zanu PF is against violence, our work speaks for itself, it speaks through roads, through clean water, through food security, that is our way of fighting,” said Cde Rwodzi.
Politburo members were also in attendance at the lively workshop that sets the ball rolling for the ruling party campaign in an election that pollsters predict President Mnangagwa’s landslide victory. – Herald