Tendai Mugabe — President Mugabe yesterday blasted factionalism in Zanu-PF and called on those propping the G40 and Team Lacoste factions in the party to "shut up". Zanu-PF, he said, would take action against those bringing the name of the party into disrepute.
The President, who was in a no-nonsense mood, said this while flanked by his deputies, Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko.
He took umbrage on those fanning tribalism, saying Zimbabwe was a unitary State and that unity shall never be broken on tribal lines. President Mugabe said party members should unite and guard against external interference.
The President spoke in the wake of factional feuds that have seen some Zanu-PF members abusing social media to attack fellow party members and Thursday's clash between the police and war veterans.
"Let me make reference to the disturbing phenomenon of what you might say or regard as man, devouring man, devouring comrade, kind of dog fights that are taking place," he said.
"During the liberation struggle, we had contradictions, sometimes differences of an antagonistic nature, very ugly, but we dealt with them in a manner which recognises that the party had ideological direction, the party had national objectives to pursue and those offended and those who offended against them were punished and this is so even unto today. We are a people's party, but people's party means people with various ideas.
"However, the basic principles of the party continue to be adhered to and pursued. The political direction of the party must also continue to guide us. The comradeship and need for unity and togetherness of the party -- that is the fundamental basis on which we build ourselves and must continue to exist.
"Now, if contradictions develop, they should be never of the nature that is that antagonistic to negative where people start fighting each other, fighting each other, abusing each other, and we are seeing this happening now. Even our young people, the party aside- there is also the culture. Our culture never, never allows a young person even an elder to abuse another but now you get we are all being abused. The President, his wife in a manner that is very disgraceful. It is a shame. If a man or woman belongs to the opposition party, yes we may criticise them but we do not abuse them. We don't abuse them. Culturally it's wrong. Hazviitwe. So we will definitely take action where we feel action should be taken within the party.
"We don't want to hear any divisive voice from you. The G40s or what you call Lacoste or whatever, shut up! You belong to Zimbabwe first and foremost whatever you must say. Shut up! Let us not hear any divisive voice from you -the G40s or what you call Lacoste, whatever!"
President Mugabe said there was need to instil discipline in the party. "There is need for a whip of discipline now to be shown and to be used." The squabbles in Zanu-PF, he said, should be stopped, urging party members to be wary of external interference He said people should strive to leave a positive legacy for future generations.
"Think of what our ancestors have bequeathed as a legacy for us and what we ourselves in turn shall bequeath as a legacy for our own children," said the President. "We don't intend to leave a legacy of differences, insults, indiscipline and quarrels and misunderstanding. No! We want harmony and peace, togetherness and one right defence, fight for that legacy. Fight against any interference from outside.
"That legacy, it must not be interfered with, to be that togetherness, that peacefulness is what we want to see in Zimbabwe. This season has not been that good and as we wrestle to provide our people with means whereby they can make do and manage, you know, cross over to next year. As we do that, we must not have disturbances.
"The fights and quarrels that appeared to be taking place now -- this is time that we should put all our shoulders to the wheel and say let's work for our people to survive for our children to continue to go to school. Let's work, so we can survive together all of us without exception regardless of our parties, regardless of our regions, regardless of our cultures.
"All of us must survive this year. Zimbabweans must survive together. I say once again, lets remain united."
On tribalism and external interference, President Mugabe said: "We will not be diverted by whatever else happened and know the enemy is working very hard amongst us to deviate us from the direction we have taken as Zimbabweans. With the right of self determination on programmes that are meant to end our people with the necessary wealth, wealth intellectually as we educate them and wealth material as we exploit their natural resources which belongs to them-beginning with the land. It doesn't matter which tribe we belong to. We are all national. Sons of the soil. Vana vevhu. That is what we have called ourselves in the past and still call ourselves today. This because we belong to one another regardless of which region we come from, which province come from, which tribe we belong to. And the war was fought on the basis of that recognition, that we belong to one another. We belong to each other, we are one as Zimbabweans and as Zimbabweans the suffering of our people in one region are our suffering and the Government being the party that they belong to, must recognise and pay attention to their suffering and try to provide necessary remedies.
"Quarrels maybe, there are always quarrels in families, in villages but our togetherness as Zimbabweans shall never be broken and that is why we say we are just one Zimbabwe. Pamberi neZimbabwe, Pamberi nekubatana. Those programmes, as is now regulated and motivated by our engine ZimAsset, are peoples' programmes and they should not be allowed to fail. But, let us take care. I want to repeat this. Take immense care to guard against the machinations of our external enemies. They want Zimbabwe not to succeed. They want Zimbabwe to fall. We won't allow it."
President Mugabe said the youths were preparing for the 21st February Movement celebrations in Masvingo and it was important to clear the path by bringing the discord in the party to rest. President Mugabe said the venue of the celebrations had a historical importance to Zimbabwe and thanked the youths for choosing it.
"Our young people are arranging that get-together on their day which is in praise of the President as it is meant to be a recognition of the President's birthday. But we regard it as the day of our youths - the 21st of February although the recognition is put on 27 February and they have prepared for, will take place at Zimbabwe Ruins," said President Mugabe.
"We want the road to be clear. We want to go there without divisions, without the insults from any quota, with the unity of purpose, with the oneness I talked about of being Zimbabweans and going to the Great Zimbabwe is going to our birth place for we are now the Republic of Zimbabwe and the children of that Republic are Zimbabweans and that is why we are going there and I am glad our youths have chosen that venue.
"We want to go and pay our tribute to our birth place. Let us think of that. Tive munhu mumwe chete takabana. Zvondo tirikande pasi, tirikande pasi tive nekunzwanana."