Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter—
Zanu-PF Second Secretary and Vice President Cde Phelekezela Mphoko yesterday launched the Marondera Central by-election campaign in which Cde Lawrence Katsiru will be representing the revolutionary party in polls slated for September 19. The seat fell vacant following the expulsion of Mr Ray Kaukonde who was part of sacked Vice President Joice Mujuru’s putschist cabal that was angling to oust President Mugabe last year.
Addressing thousands of party supporters at Rudhaka Stadium, Vice President Mphoko castigated party cadres who self-styled themselves as war lords, saying such people had no place in the revolutionary party.
He said every party cadre should submit himself or herself to the party under the leadership of President Mugabe. “Mashonaland East province should not have warlords. We have our President, who should be followed and we do not want war lords,” said VP Mphoko.
He urged party supporters to go in their thousands to vote for Cde Katsiru whom he said deserved everyone’s support. “I have been sent to you by President Mugabe to ask you to vote for his son, Cde Katsiru,” said VP Mphoko.
Speaking at the same occasion, Zanu-PF national political commissar, Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, scoffed at the People First political outfit led by former VP Mujuru. He said Zanu-PF was a tried and tested party that would not be overwhelmed by either existing or emerging political parties.
“We have come a long way. There are those little parties and some are emerging. Some are called People Lost. We will not be shaken,” said Cde Kasukuwere in an apparent reference to People First, a political outfit fronted by sacked VP Mujuru.
The former Vice President and her cabal were sacked both from Zanu-PF and Government after they were implicated in fanning factionalism and plotting to assassinate President Mugabe among a litany of other allegations. Cde Kasukuwere, who is also Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister, said the time for land barons was over.
He said Government had taken over land that some land barons were holding on to and handed it over to Marondera Municipality for distribution to every person in the town. He said the piece of land would see about 5 000 people in the town benefiting.
“People have been abusing land, we then said let’s hand over that land to council and give it to people at reasonable amounts. The land will be serviced starting from next week. Whenever there are land barons, give them to us. Zanu-PF is not a party of criminals and extortionists,” he said.
Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister, Cde Nyasha Chikwinya, said her ministry had lined up several empowerment projects for women. Zanu-PF Mashonaland East provincial chairperson Cde Joel Biggie Matiza expressed confidence that the revolutionary party would register a landslide election victory.
The rally was attended by Zanu-PF Politburo member, Cde Sydney Sekeramayi, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs responsible for Mashonaland East province, Retired Brigadier-General Ambrose Mutinhiri, several Members of Parliament, and traditional leaders among other dignitaries.