Zimbabwe: Nine Lives Mugabe Pledges to Gag Grace, G40

President Robert Mugabe, left, has been displaced by his long-time comrade-in-arms, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
20 November 2017

President Robert Mugabe emerged from near political extinction Sunday to pledge a gag on his garrulous wife, Grace and his infamous Generation 40 allies in veiled comments focusing on the goings-on within his beleaguered Zanu PF party.

He was speaking in an address televised live on ZBC-TV on Sunday.

While many locals and outsiders expected a leader who had been held captive by the military to announce his resignation from 37 years of iron fisted rule, President Mugabe instead vowed to stay on as he also pledged to pacify bickering war veterans loyal to his party.

He revealed having gone through some intense haggling with his military captors over his apparent abandonment of the national economy, a crisis he also pledged to remedy.

"Of greater concern to our commanders are the well-founded fears that the lack of unity and commonness of purpose in both party and government was translating into perceptions of inattentiveness to the economy," President Mugabe said during his second public appearance since he was placed under house arrest Wednesday.

"Open public spats between high ranking officials in the party and government exacerbated by multiple conflicting messages from both the party and government made criticism levelled against us inescapable."

Mugabe, ironically expelled from his party on Sunday, pledged to usher in a new way of handling disagreements within Zanu PF as he also promised to pacify disgruntled war veterans.

"We still have in our various communities of veterans of that founding struggle who might have found the prevailing management of national and party issues quite alienating.

"This must be corrected without delay including ensuring that these veterans continue to pay central roles in the life of our nation... "

The veteran leader said issues raised by the military commanders and by the "general membership of Zanu PF stand acknowledged and have to be attended to by a great sense of urgency."

And in comments apparently referring to how he has treated his controversial G40 allies at the expense of those loyal to his axed Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, President Mugabe promised to deal with the complaints.

"Indeed, the current criticism raised against it (Zanu PF) by the command element and some of its members have arisen from a well-founded perception that the party was stretching or even failing in its own rules and procedures.

"The way forward thus cannot be solved on swapping, buying cliques that ride roughshod over procedures.

"There has to be a net return to the guiding principles of our party and enshrined in its constitution which must apply fairly and equitably in all situations and before all members.

"The era of victimisation and arbitrary decisions must be put behind so as we all embrace new ethos predicated on the supreme law of our party... " he said.

The increasingly unpopular Zanu PF leader, expelled by his party on Sunday, also pledged to deal with what he termed inter-generational conflict that has often seen clashes between war veterans and his party's youth wing when the party convenes its congress next month.

"Indeed, all these matters will be discussed and settled at the forthcoming congress within the framework of a clear roadmap that seeks to resolve once and for all any omissions or contradictions that have affected our party negatively.

"The congress is due in the next few weeks from now. I will preside over its processes which must not be prepossessed by any acts calculated to undermine it or to compromise the outcomes in the eyes of the public."

Mugabe urged restraint among vengeful Zanu PF loyalists.

"I am aware that many developments have occurred in the party or have been championed and done by individuals in the name of the party.

"Given the failings of the past and the anger these might have triggered in the quarters such developments are quite understandable.

"However, we cannot be guided by bitterness or vengefulness both of which will not make us any better party members or any better Zimbabweans," he said.

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