The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: President's Victory Call

Photo: Zimbabwe Independent
Supporters of President Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

ZANU-PF'S 13th Annual National People's Conference should commission preparations for next year's harmonised elections which the revolutionary party must win convincingly, President Mugabe has said.

The Midlands capital of Gweru is hosting this year's conference running under the theme "Indigenise, Empower, Develop and Create Employment".

Addressing the 91st Ordinary Session of the Central Committee in Harare yesterday, the Zanu-PF First Secretary and President said the party's victory in the elections should leave no room for doubt in contestants.

"While our session today will consider reports related to our Annual National People's Conference, we should also remember that the conference will virtually officially commission some of the preparations we need for next year's elections.

"It is important, comrades that our victory in the harmonised elections should leave no room for doubt in our contestants. Our performance in the elections should certainly disentangle us from the inclusive Government monster which, like a behemoth, has pulled back our coherent, forward-looking, pro-people programmes."

President Mugabe said the conference would give Zanu-PF time to reconnect with a broad base of its grassroots leadership in a structured and focused way.

He said the Constitution-making process needed undivided attention and as a result, some party meetings were overlooked.

"We had to, nay, needed to, ensure that the ever present mischief-makers did not give us a Charter which was totally at odds with the Zimbabwean vision. As a revolutionary party, the people look upon us to provide solid leadership and solutions in situations where some of our colleagues are easily blown away by every wind and doctrine.

"So it became our calling, our duty, a national service, to monitor the Constitution exercise," the President said.

He slammed Copac for the manner in which it conducted itself during Constitution-making process.

"For it became very clear that those we entrusted as drafters of the new Constitution had regrettably been overcome by ill-winds and become drifters in the process."

There was delay in Constitution-making with the Copac All-Stakeholders Conference taking place last month, almost three years behind schedule.

"Who can forget the trickery and chicanery we had to look out for, eventually fight, as dirty hands tried to cheat their way into the Constitution-making process.

"While our people's views were simple and straightforward, sincere and reflective of the history of their existence, the Western crooks, apparently here to 'help us', soon proved to be conduits through which to smuggle foreign, clearly anathema views into our Constitution," he said.

President Mugabe applauded "those comrades who worked faithfully and diligently" on the Constitution-making exercise ensuring that the "enemy's dirty tricks were always exposed".

"In a game of chess they would say, checkmated! I have deliberately taken time on the Constitution because conference will hear reports on the exercise and, more importantly, get to spell out the road to the harmonised elections which are scheduled for next year."

President Mugabe said Zanu-PF was aware and concerned by the underhand vigorous campaigns by some sections of the white community aided by "their ever-present stooges" to reverse the land reform programme.

"Sadly, some of our people, having been promised some pickings from the master's table are giving away the same land for which the Zanu-PF Government was placed under illegal sanctions.

"It is time it dawned on all of us, yes, it became as clear as day is from night that the white man will employ every dirty trick to set back programmes which are promotive of black progress," he said.

President Mugabe briefed the Central Committee on alleged efforts by the British American Tobacco to sabotage Savannah, an indigenous cigarette-making firm.

"It may just as well be that the investigation will not only reveal the saboteurs in the BAT case but possibly expose other confidence-tricks which are used to derail black progress," he said.

President Mugabe took a swipe at opponents of the US$20 million Presidential Well-Wishers Agro Inputs Programme that has benefited thousands of farmers.

"A black man cannot be seen to be succeeding; hence when the Head of State of the Republic of Zimbabwe launches a Presidential Well-Wishers Agro Inputs Programme, those opposed to black progress become apoplectic, not because of the anxiety we should be sharing over the delayed rains. No! The question that the detractors agonise over is where the US$20 million for the inputs came from. Why do they not ask too what the term "well-wishers" means," he said.

President Mugabe said the Zanu-PF conference was taking place at a time when the nation was rejoicing in the positive outcome scored by the diamond industry at last month's intercessory meeting of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme held in the US.

"We rejoice that our country can and must benefit from its God-given resources. Yes, we still have challenges to address, namely removing or expunging remaining pieces of legislation which still obstruct our people from realising and employing their potential and skills. This is the process that has engaged forward movement and your party, Zanu-PF, will ensure that this is done," he said.

President Mugabe explained to the Central Committee that the indigenisation programme was designed to economically empower Zimbabweans freeing them from being mere labourers.

He also briefed the Central Committee on the failed efforts by the inclusive Government to re-engage the European Union and Americans.

"Some of you may recall that we sent a delegation from the inclusive Government to hold talks with the so-called American re-engagement group and also sent representatives to revive dialogue with the European Union. To date, none of these measures has yielded the goodwill or equanimity we hoped for. When the United Nations has asked to send its different specialised bodies to assess our situation, we have happily welcomed the representative envoys, only to discover that they too speak with forked tongues," President Mugabe said.

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