ZANU-PF Midlands provincial chairperson Cde Jason Machaya has said the 13th Annual National People's Conference should decisively deal with issues of factionalism and other divisive practices ahead of the watershed general elections slated for March next year.
Cde Machaya, who is also Governor and Resident Minister of the province said this in welcome remarks to the conference delegates yesterday.
"This conference must declare dead and buried all issues of factionalism, the bhora mudondo discord, imposition of candidates and all divisive actions and deeds," he said.
He said just like the inaugural Zanu-PF congress held in Gweru in 1964 resolved unanimously to take up arms to free Zimbabwe, the on-going conference should also conjure the same unity of purpose.
"It is a fact that this conference is the last before the holding of what I will describe as the mother of all elections held after independence.
"This is no coincidence that the conference is being held in the Midlands province but I believe that it is by God's design. It was in Gweru, in 1964, that Congress passed a resolution to take up arms and fight the white settler regime that had colonised and enslaved us since 1890.
"It was that oneness and unity of purpose that guided the party throughout the bitter and protracted armed struggle that culminated in the birth of Zimbabwe. It is that oneness and unity of purpose that has seen the party through many turbulent and trying times. It is that oneness, unity of purpose, dedication and total commitment that this conference must demand from each and every member of our revolutionary party," he said.
He said in the previous elections Midlands had shown unity that resulted in Zanu-PF winning 21 out of 28 House of Assembly seats and four out of six Senatorial seats.
Meanwhile, the patron of the Midlands Development Association Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa said the construction of the Gweru Conference and Exhibition Centre was done through dedication and support from
well wishers in the province and across the country. Cde Mnangagwa said this in a brief to delegates on how the idea to construct the massive US$6,5 million venue came about.
"When we were told in May that as Midlands we would host the 13th Annual People's Conference we immediately began setting up the relevant committees to mobilise resources. At the end of July the national political commissar challenged all provinces to desist from holding conferences in tents and makeshift structures and to construct permanent venues," he said.
Cde Mnangagwa said they then resolved to construct the centre after identifying a suitable site. They engaged architects and engineers led by Cde Joel Biggie Matiza and Cde Daniel Mackenzie Ncube who then selected the contractors of the venue. The contract was awarded to Nantong from China.
"We as the MDA started mobilising money from Midlands and nationally and I want to assure you President, your party has a lot of support in the province. Some people were actually asking us why we came late with our requests," he said.
Cde Mnangagwa said the first phase of the project, which is nearing completion has the auditorium with a sitting capacity of 5 000 when complete, a Presidential Suite, Liberation Centre, secretarial suites for Politburo members.
The second phase would see the construction of accommodation for the conference users on site.