The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: President Gets the Nod

Three more Zanu-PF provinces have endorsed President Mugabe's candidature for next year's presidential elections ahead of the party's 12th Annual National People's Conference to be held in Gweru early next month. Harare, Manicaland and Midlands were the latest provinces to endorse

President Mugabe's candidature yesterday bringing to nine the number of provinces that have thrown their weight behind President Mugabe and the Presidium.

The three joined Bulawayo, Matabeleland South, Mashonaland Central, West and East and Masvingo in endorsing President Mugabe.

Only Matabeleland North was still to pronounce itself.

Harare Provincial chairman Ambassador Amos Midzi announced his province's position while introducing Vice President Joice Mujuru who was guest of honour at a Zanu-PF provincial meeting held in Harare yesterday.

Ambassador Midzi challenged all Zanu-PF supporters to work diligently towards re-establishing the popularity the party used to enjoy before the coming of the MDC in 1999.

VP Mujuru challenged those in leadership positions to be pro-active and descend to district levels and talk to the people, hear their grievances and find ways of addressing them to regain their support in the forthcoming elections.

VP Mujuru castigated leaders who called for meetings without clearly defined agendas.

"Leaders must choose agendas that seek to improve people's livelihoods both at provincial and district levels."

She said Zanu-PF had a lot of work to do throughout Zimbabwe and in Harare specifically, which is the entry point for everyone getting to know Zimbabwean politics.

VP Mujuru said leaders should have something constructive to tell the people, especially in matters to do with housing, water delivery and indigenisation.

Manicaland provincial inter-district conference held at Marymount Teachers' College yesterday unanimously endorsed President Mugabe as the party's Presidential candidate.

Zanu-PF national secretary for the commissariat, Cde Webster Shamu also said the most organised province would be rewarded accordingly at this year's people's conference.

"We are moving to make a difference in the party where we will be rewarding excellent performances on the part of provinces.

"We will be looking at the most organised province starting from the cells to see whether reports were being done, whether it is united and whether it is sticking to the tenets of the party's constitution.

"If the province excelled in the given areas, it will win a trophy that will be handed over by President Mugabe.

"That province also stands to pocket US$6 000. The first runner-up will receive US$3 000, second runner-up US$2 000, third runner-up US$1 000.

"We will also be launching the new electronic membership card in Gweru because we realised that some members were withholding availed membership cards to use them during primary elections.

"I want to tell all those withholding the cards that they are doing so at their own peril because they will be useless. Tough luck to all of you who were withholding the cards because we are moving into a new era where everything will be electronically done.

On candidates to represent the party, Cde Shamu, said they should come from the grassroots and not imposed by leaders.

The conference also adopted the provincial report presented by chairman, Cde Mike Madiro, which highlighted the state of affairs in Manicaland.

The major issue highlighted was the call for the province to benefit from mining activities at Chiadzwa, as very little is being done to transform the fortunes of Manicaland especially Mutare where there is one single robot working.

"The mining companies at Chiadzwa should be told in no uncertain terms that the people of Manicaland should benefit from the proceeds of diamond sales," said Cde Madiro.

"They should revisit their human recruitment policies as very few people from Manicaland were employed even to do menial jobs."

Cde Madiro called for genuine empowerment programmes so that they will help in mobilising more members.

In the Midlands Province Zanu-PF secretary for administration Cde Didymus Mutasa yesterday urged party leaders to be united.

Cde Mutasa was speaking at the Midlands inter-district conference at Mkoba Teacher's College in Gweru.

Midlands province affirmed the candidature of President Mugabe.

He said President Mugabe was the only one with the mandate to give guidance on what was supposed to be done.

Cde Mutasa said unity was important as the country gears for the harmonised elections scheduled for early next year.

He reiterated that Zanu-PF did not want political violence and imposition of candidates in all the provinces.

Leaders, he said, were supposed to continue preaching peace and co-existence among political foes.

"If you look closely there was no talk of political violence prior to the formation of the MDC," Cde Mutasa.

"They are the ones who brought political violence in the country. We have been trying to protect the ideals of the liberation struggle. We don't want the MDC to harvest where they did not sow. Tsvangirai is my uncle, he wants to lead this country but my question is was he in the liberation struggle? Does he want to lead the country because he was secretary general of trade unions? Does it mean that all the former secretaries general should also claim to want to lead the country?

"My uncle is wrong, he is carrying a burden that will get us in trouble. He invited sanctions to be imposed on the country so that people would suffer," he said.

Cde Mutasa urged the party leadership to ensure that no influential people in the province hijack the community share ownership schemes to continue enriching themselves.

Zanu-PF secretary for Legal Affairs and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa said Midlands province would continue to be united.

"We have teamwork here. We work together, we co-operate together, we plan together and we succeed together. We are united in all seasons," he said.

Cde Mnangagwa said the province was ready for general elections promising that the revolutionary party would retain all its seats and reclaim the seven it lost to the MDC-T.

He said the Midlands provincial leadership would continue to preach peace and peaceful co-existence.

He said all the party structures had been told to avoid politically-motivated violence at all costs so that Western countries would not discredit the electoral process when Zanu-PF win the next elections.

Zanu-PF chief whip Cde Joram Gumbo who read the provincial resolutions ahead of the 13th Annual National People's Conference said the province wanted President Mugabe to stand as the party's candidate for the Presidential elections.

"From Mberengwa to Gokwe North, we agree that President Mugabe is going to be our candidate for the Presidential elections.

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