VICE-President Emmerson Mnangagwa has all but confirmed that gloves are off in Zanu PF internal wars when he said on Friday that it was now time to “look straight in each other’s eyes”.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Addressing guests at the Zanu PF annual national people’s conference fundraising dinner in Harare on Friday night, Mnangagwa warned “painful decisions” would have to be made in the party.
“In pursuing this vision, we will not shy away from making correct decisions. Like a big tree, dry leaves always fall off the big tree to grow. We take pride in that we have reached a stage in what Amilcar Cabral once said: ‘our struggle has reached a stage we must look into each other’s eyes’,” he said.
“Indeed, we must be frank and honest with each other within the party and as Zimbabweans, lest we forget the great sacrifices made by the thousands who shed their blood for you and me to enjoy doing business in a peaceful and independent Zimbabwe.”
Mnangagwa said the party should shun factionalism, regionalism and disloyalty and expose all ills.
He said the party leadership should be firm in upholding the values and founding principles of the party and warned that a purge against corrupt officials would be bitter. The VP said thorough investigations would be carried out and corrupt official would face prosecution.
Mnangagwa has for the past few months been attacked by a group of “young turks” in Zanu PF going by the moniker G40, which is reportedly working to block him from succeeding 91-year-old President Robert Mugabe.
The embattled VP, however, sought to tapper down the internal wars, saying there were no fissures in Zanu PF, save for what he said were a creation of the party’s detractors.
“Since the watershed 6th National People’s Congress held in December 2014, and indeed as the curtain comes down on 2015, it is disheartening that the media has been awash with discourse which seeks to portray Zanu PF as a weak and divided party, thereby implying that the country could be facing a crisis of immense proportions,” he said.
“There is no doubt that this warped analysis is not only wrong, misplaced and misinformed, but that it is equally mischievous. It is based on attitudes and views that are informed by a litany of denials of reality.”
Mnangagwa said Zanu PF was a reality and “a fact of life that could not be wished away”.
He said government would create a conducive business environment, including implementing the ease of doing business reforms.
Speaking at the same event, Zanu PF secretary for finance, Obert Mpofu said the response to the fundraising dinner was overwhelming as they had to add five more tables to the 50 availed.
Several Zanu PF officials attended the dinner, but notable absentees were the secretary for women affairs Grace Mugabe, Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko and other senior party officials.
Officials present included secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo, Senate president Edna Madzongwe, Political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere and Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao, among others.
A book about Mugabe and his family was being sold for $50 per copy while one portrait of the 91-year-old leader fetched $1 200.
Another portrait of Mugabe and his first Cabinet in 1980 was sold for $3 100, while a portrait of Mugabe soon after arrival from Ghana with a briefcase in hand was sold for $1 100.
A portrait of the “big four” — Mugabe, George Silundika, the late VP Joshua Nkomo and Jason Moyo — was sold while that of Mnangagwa, Josiah Tongogara and Mugabe was also sold for $2 000.
A portrait of Grace was sold for $2 000