Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
President Mugabe has commended the Zanu-PF Women’s League for adhering to the party’s constitution by timeously conducting meetings, saying such gatherings should not only be held towards elections.
Addressing the first meeting of the Zanu-PF Women’s League since last December’s National People’s Congress, President Mugabe said the tendency of holding meetings and organising party structures during elections had seen the party faulting on several occasions, especially in Harare Province.
The President said former Zanu-PF Politburo member Cde Tendai Savanhu and former Harare provincial chairman the late Amos Midzi lied to the party several times that structures were intact in the province, only for the party to fair dismally during elections.
“The party constitution has to be followed,” he said.
“People should attend party meetings when they are due and those who do not come should be known and warned that they risk being expelled.
“We had a big problem here in Harare. The problem was that meetings were not being held in accordance with the party’s constitution. The then leadership lied to us that branches were properly structured when there was nothing.
“Every time we go for elections in Harare we lose, but they continued to retain the same leadership in the province — (Amos) Midzi, (Tendai) Savanhu, Midzi, Savanhu. They were giving us false confidence that this time we are winning and come election time, we lose.”
President Mugabe said Cdes Midzi and Savanhu later won in the 2013 harmonised after several attempts of dismal failure in Harare.
He said the discipline being displayed by the Women’s League was important and had seen the party gaining respect on the continent.
Said the President: “It is because of you that we now have a good name amongst our friends in Africa. Go to any country if they hear you are a Zimbabwean you are given more respect than before, so we are respected, respect because we have been orderly and systematic in handling issues of our country.
“We have also demonstrated real discipline in the face of sanctions, against those who imposed sanctions on us who thought that sanctions will destroy us, kill our Government.”
President Mugabe said that spirit should continue and display to the outside world that Zimbabweans were united in defending their country.
He said the party was aware of the challenges faced by the Women’s League and pledged to assist in some of the projects being implemented.
President Mugabe said efforts were being made to mobilise funds and a robust financial system was being worked out to improve revenue streams, including from companies owned by the party.
Over and above that, President Mugabe said party members should pay their subscription fees to sustain party operations.
“The challenge that we are facing is that of funds, funds to support the party,” he said. “There are a number of companies that the party has and we are reorganising them, in other words we are looking at bringing money to the party.”
President Mugabe also spoke strongly against illegal selling of State land in cities.
He said the country still had enough land for resettlement if people followed proper procedures.
In any case, President Mugabe said, there were forests that could be cleared for resettlement if there were land shortages.
He chronicled how some Zanu-PF members worked with the opposition in 2008 in a bid to remove the party from power.
President Mugabe said a plot was hatched by the likes of the late General Solomon Mujuru, Simba Makoni and Ibbo Mandaza so that legislators win the elections, while he lost dismally.
The idea was to later combine the MPs with those from MDC.
“Vese ivava (Gen Mujuru, Makoni and Mandaza) vaiti musangano wedu weZanu-PF hausi kubudirira uri kutadziswa nanaMugabe vari kuramba vachiita zvesocialism kuti hupfumi hwenyika ndewevanhu vese. Ndizvo zviri kutadzisa kuti tiwane mainvestors. Mujuru akabva aenda oti hatingatadziswe nemunhu umwechete. Vanhu havangatambudzike pamusana pemunhu umwechete. Ko vatambudzwa nei, independence takaiwana, minda takaiwana?
“In some cases they were saying the President has already won the elections and there is no need for you to vote for him. As a result, I lost the first round to (Morgan) Tsvangirai who got 47 percent and I got 43 percent.”
President Mugabe said he later won the second round of the election after a run off from which Mr Tsvangirai chickened out at the eleventh hour.
The inaugural meeting of the Zanu-PF Women’s League National Assembly was also attended by Vice Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, Cdes Ignatius Chombo (secretary for Administration), Saviour Kasukuwere (secretary for the Commissariat) and several other senior members of the party.