The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: 'We Do Not Know Chipangano'

interview

Zanu-PF has begun preparing for the 13th Annual National People's Conference amid reports of factionalism, backbiting and differences in opinion as well as the succession of President Mugabe. Our reporter Felex Share (FS) spoke to the revolutionary party's national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo (SKM.)

It's three months to go before Zanu-PF holds another annual conference. How far have you gone in implementing resolutions from the last conference?

In measuring this, it is important to bear in mind the theme of that conference which was "Defend National Sovereignty, Consolidate Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment". We are not stopping at defending our national sovereignty.

It is a duty of every patriotic Zimbabwean to ensure that sovereignty is never compromised.

Considering we got it after a long and protracted struggle, we are not going to relax in defending the nation. You will also see that Zanu-PF is the only party with clear policies and programmes that are people-centred.

In that context, we took a position to accelerate indigenisation and empowerment as well as consolidate the gains we have made. Since the conference, a number of projects based on the Community Share Ownership Schemes have been launched in a number of provinces.

We are not just restricting ourselves to the mining sector but the entirety of our national resources.

The economy cannot remain in the hands of our oppressors and we should reverse that. Since we were our own political liberators, we should also be our own economic liberators. It is not an overnight event but a process that needs patience. So we are quite clear of where we are going.

One of your resolutions at the last conference was elections would be held this year and now the year is about to end. Do you still stand by that?

The year has not ended. This resolution was predicated on the fact that we were prepared to go for elections having concluded not a constitution but created a free and fair environment.

But we have problems with our colleagues in Government. They have developed cold feet and most of them have found new luxury and comfort in this Government which they had never enjoyed. They are not prepared to abandon this comfort.

The Sadc Summit of Luanda has said we should hold elections within 12 months and it can be before the end of the year.

This Parliament cannot exceed its life span of five years. It is not like we have a Constitution for elections. The new Constitution can be produced by whoever is in Government. Some countries have taken 15 years to produce a constitution

All the noise you hear about the Constitution is deliberately done to ensure elections do not take place. They forgot that.

How prepared is your party for the elections?

We are a revolutionary party and as long as people are there we are ready. It is not as if we woke up this morning, we have been in the system for long. We are more than ready for that.

And the issue of succession in the party. We hear the sun is stetting for Zanu-PF and there are sub-plots to take over from President Mugabe?

Let the sun set for those saying so. All I can say is we are a disciplined party with a constitution.

Leaders are elected at every congress and we have never failed to elect a leader after every five years.

Whoever wants to try his or her lucky can wait for the next congress.

You are having difficulties with the draft Constitution. What is happening in the party?As a party we came up with our amendments which we feel should be accommodated because they are in line with the views of the people.

It's a matter in the principals' court and they will soon be meeting to map the way forward. So I cannot talk about something being handled by the national leaders.

You audited the draft Constitution using the national report and people are saying why can't Zanu-PF just produce the national report for people to see what was said in the outreach programmes.

It is not a private document, and it is there for everyone to see. There are glaring omissions.

Who knows about running mates in this country? No one spoke about that but it is just an addition by Copac. There is no deadlock yet because the principals have not said anything.

There is the alleged battle between yourself and Cde Obert Mpofu over the control of Matabeleland?

I am a member of the Presidium and national chairman of the party, I don't sink so low. My functions are clearly stated and whoever thinks that he is fighting with me is leaving in dreamland.

On the Issue of empowerment, people are saying you have "Zanunised" everything and the recent issue people are referring to is the Save Valley Conservancy saga?

Surely if one is against indigenisation how can we accommodate him? If he is against the land reform how can we incorporate him?

All they stand for is for regime change, change and change. How can we help such people?

The party has been implicated in the Mudzi violence that claimed the life of an MDC-T activist. Then there is Chipangano, which claims to be Zanu-PF.

The President has been clear at every forum that we do not cherish violence. He has been giving dynamic speeches dwelling much on violence. Let us listen to our leadership and stop the violence.

On the issue of Chipangano, I just read about it in the papers. I have never met anybody saying I am Chipangano. It is important to tell us its leaders and the law enforcement agents can deal with them. As the national chairman I do not know them.

But they are tarnishing the image of the party?

Are they party members? Why are they claiming this? Remember, anybody can claim, as you are saying, and that is not our problem.

What are you doing about vacancies in the Politburo, especially following the death of the likes of Cde Ephraim Masawi, Cde David Karimanzira and Cde Solomon Mujuru?

We do not operate wily-nilly because we have a constitution. The vacancies will be filled in a manner enshrined in the constitution. Proper procedures will be followed.

When you fared badly in the 2008 harmonised elections, your party said there was an uneven ground because of sanctions. Now you want elections with sanctions in place, are you not going to blame them again if you come unstuck?

It is not about sanctions but imposition of candidates on the people. It is not a secret that we performed badly because of imposition of candidates. We cannot wait for sanctions let those who put them remove them.

Sanctions do not take our sovereignty but we are happy because there has been a loud voice from NAM, Sadc, Comesa and AU that they should go.

Your general view of the inclusive Government

In short it has overstayed the hospitality of the people of Zimbabwe. It is totally dysfunctional.

Can you explain the dissolution of the DCCs?

This was in line with the resolution of the conference. Those who do not act according to the requirements of the party will not see the end of the day. The Central Committee found it necessary to disband them as they were causing divisions in the party.

They were largely not in the interest of the party. Nobody should own the people but some people were claiming to own the DCCs and this is unacceptable

You said people from the DCCs would be integrated into party structures. Which structures and how?

The party has structures. Districts have not been abolished but what has been disbanded are those who were co-ordinating them. All they are doing now is reporting directly to the province.

They can be absorbed in provincial structures depending on how a given province wants to utilise its manpower. Certainly they are no longer a special group and cannot stand on their own.

Reports said that decision was met with resistance in the Midlands province?

I was not party to the team but I would not expect resistance from anybody over a decision taken by the central committee, a body that acts in the absence of congress.

 What are your achievements since you came in as national chairman?

It is for the people to judge. I am just pursuing my duties.

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