The Herald (Harare)

12 December 2013

Zimbabwe: Zanu-PF Conference Roars Into Life

Zanu-PF's 14th Annual National People's Conference started yesterday with the Politburo meeting in Harare.

Politburo members join the rest of the party today in Chinhoyi today for the conference that ends at the weekend.

The Central Committee will meet there today.

Some of the 7 000 delegates expected at the 2913 conference started arriving in the Mashonaland West's provincial capital for accreditation on Wednesday.

This year's conference runs under the theme "Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim-Asset), growing the economy for empowerment and employment".

Zim-Asset is an economic blueprint crafted by the revolutionary party and is expected to drive the country's economic agenda for the next five years.

Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo yesterday said, "We are going to Chinhoyi for the Central Committee meeting and also (National) Tree Planting (Day).

"The conference (officially) opens on Friday and closes on Saturday after the resolutions."

President Mugabe leads the planting of the tree of the year every year at the venue of the party's Annual National People's Conference.

"We are saying that when our people go to the conference in Chinhoyi on the opening day they must wear their party regalia, not their usual dressing. We are not sure when the Central Committee meeting will start in Chinhoyi tomorrow (today), that is what we discussing right now," he said.

President Mugabe will officially open the conference tomorrow and closes it on Saturday evening before delegates leave on Sunday.

Cde Gumbo said the conference would discuss the state of the party and what could be done to consolidate its position of dominance on Zimbabwe's political landscape.

"On the state of the party, we want to find out how strong the party is, the problems being faced by the party and what can be done about (them)," he said.

Political analysts and ordinary Zimbabweans urged the revolutionary party to come up with practical resolutions that would see it fulfil its election promises.

The party and its President and First Secretary, Cde Mugabe, resoundingly won the July 31, 2013 harmonised elections.

Cde Mugabe has said Zanu-PF must ensure it delivers on its election promises, and the party has pinned its desire to do this on Zim-Asset.

Chief among concerns among ordinary Zimbabweans and analysts is that zanu-PF deals with fissures reportedly emerging among some party leaders within the context of who will eventually succeed President Mugabe.

People believe that the succession issue is diverting attention away from bread and butter issues as enunciated in the election campaign.

With the inclusive government ended by the decisive July 31 victory, the expectation is that Zanu-PF will implement its policies - particularly in agriculture and industrialisation - that were frustrated by its coalition partners over the past five years.

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