Chinhoyi — Ordinary members of Zanu-PF will have the last say on who their leaders will be, President Mugabe has said.
Firing a broadside on party leaders who have in recent weeks reportedly fanned factionalism in the ruling party, Zanu-PF's First Secretary said there was no room for the kind of fighting seen recently.
President Mugabe said this to the Zanu-PF Central Committee ahead of the party's Annual National People's Conference which officially starts in Chinhoyi today.
Party leaders are said to have tried to impose their own personal imprimatur on provincial elections, reportedly to pack structures with their supporters to position themselves to take over from President Mugabe.
The President said senior Zanu-PF leaders who are dividing party members along factions should know that there is no room for such a mentality and such actions, and the people would have the final say on their choice of leaders.
"The Simba Makoni principle, (to say) I can do with or without the party, we are not like that . . .," said President Mugabe.
"That principle is an alien one, strange and completely unacceptable.
"So, let us hear our people. They, after all, will in the end decide on who will be needed and who will not. Please members of the Central Committee, members of the Politburo, do not choose us and every one of them matters.
"You cannot, therefore say ava ndevangu, ava handivadi. That thinking, which is a cause of factionalism, must go.
"We cannot build a united party when we divide people into camps of those who belong to so and so and those who belong to so and so. They belong to the party.
"They do not belong to me. They are not my people. They are members, yes of my party who support me. They are part of the organic entity to which I belong as a leader and all of them to me matter.
"I am saying this because mune chikonye muleadership kuti aa . . . uyu ndewanhingi, aiwa hatingamuvhoteri, uyu haandide, ko kana asingakude haakude. They are members of Zanu-PF," he said to applause.
He urged party leaders to be faithful to the people who entrusted them to lead the country in the July 31 elections.
President Mugabe said the will of the people should have primacy in whatever the leadership did.
"Our people, our people, our people come first," he said. "May I also warn please, please let us not try to undermine each other. Let us try to assist each other.
"Zvino izvi zvekuti vanhu vanenge vomhanya kumapepa vononyora zvimapepa zvichikandwa, tinoziva zviri kuitika. Kuti vana ngana vari kuedza kuita zvakati vachinyeyana vachida kuti even President vazosema ngana vachida ngana handinzarwo ini.
"Tichishandiswa neInternet - filthy, filthy things being sent. Shame on us. Ngatinyarei and we know we have ways of establishing now how some of the things on Internet have originated. We know what is happening and please do not get us into that filth."
President Mugabe said Zanu-PF and Africa at large had one common enemy, and that was neo-colonialism.
He said Africa should not allow outsiders to interfere in its affairs through pseudo-democracy institutions such as the International Criminal Court (ICC).
"When we are Cdes, we are Cdes at arms, we are fighting together," said President Mugabe. "We have one common enemy. The enemy of imperialism, neo-colonialism. That is the main enemy that Africa still has.
"They want to destroy us, we can see all the machinations that are going on. They get into our system into the African Union and want to influence things there. They have established very diabolic international institutions purporting to be people oriented like the ICC and the people who are tried there are only Africans.
"Let us not allow them to get us into the attack. We have refused to support that thing, the ICC ... We should not be used. Never get used."
President Mugabe said several Western embassies in Harare wanted to divide the party and the country.
He said it was worrisome that some Cabinet Ministers were being seduced by the embassies and were having unsanctioned meetings with them.
President Mugabe said official communication with embassies should be done through the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
"I do not talk to them until Foreign Affairs says so-and-so wants to talk to the President, he has a message or some visitor came through his own embassy having been sent, but zvekuenda muchiti aa maBritish huyayi, vanouya kupi?" he asked.
"Kuti uzoitei navo. Leave them alone. After all what do you get from Britain, kanyika kakanguri kafa kare migodhi yakabvuruwara kudhara-dhara havasisina, vari kungovimba nenyika dzavakanga vakacoloniser?
"Macompanies ava nawo kunana South Africa, Australia and so on, we still have some of their companies here and we are saying if they continue with the sanctions, we will naturally ask those companies to fold up, what are they doing here. But we have not wanted to hit them like that."
President Mugabe congratulated party members for the resounding electoral victory of July 31, 2013.
Earlier President Mugabe met the newly-elected provincial chairpersons before he toured the Chinhoyi conference venue.