Sunday, 27 November 2016


By Ignatius Chombo
When you want to win an election, there is need to interact with the people in a language they understand and that’s what we do as a party. We interact with the people in the language they understand and on issues they are concerned about.

Zanu-PF is in good standing, enjoying about a 75 percent majority in Parliament. That representation demonstrates the good health the party is in, giving one an idea of Zanu-PF’s strength.

Political parties are formed to win elections and form governments. We did well in 2013 and continue to do well in by-elections. We are convinced the party is unstoppable.
Workers in Zanu-PF are being paid monthly; everything is under control and there is support for the party. The leadership is happy as we are on the same page.

The 15th Annual National People’s Conference held in Victoria Falls in 2015 came up with various resolutions related to the national economic blueprint – Zim-Asset.

His Excellency, President Mugabe, gave Cabinet ministers an opportunity to explain what they had done in their ministries. Likewise, ministers will this year get another opportunity (at the conference in Masvingo in December 2016) to explain what they have done.

Conferences are meant to provide an update on what will have taken place during the year. Are we attaining goals and objectives set after the last conference? This is an opportunity to review progress on such issues.

Successes are contained in the Central Committee Report, which will be presented to Conference by the President.

Conference is also going to discuss issues raised at provincial level and, more importantly, unity of the party. The President is on record emphasising the importance of unity within the party.
We will be saying to each other, “Let’s heed the President’s call to pull in one direction for the good of the party and our country.” Our enemies will find it difficult to infiltrate or destroy us if we are united.
Further, we will focus on discipline within the party. President Mugabe has been saying this for years; the importance of discipline. We will achieve more with discipline.

Graft undermining Zanu-PFIt’s a public secret that the party does not tolerate corruption and again, the President has, at every opportunity, condemned such acts. The corrupt are undermining the party, destroying it from within. Zanu-PF will not stand idly while it is tarnished by corrupt, selfish individuals.

We are also going to ensure party members are always guided by our green book (party constitution). Party members should also show respect, with differences resolved peacefully. That’s what the President has always been saying.

We should resolve our differences through internal channels not by going public about them. Adhering to appropriate channels ensures the party’s unity.

At the Conference, we will highlight the fact that it’s not possible for all of us to see things in the same way, and that if disagreements emerge, we should resolve them respectfully while supporting each other.

The President is clear on all these matters. He never said we should always agree, but let’s disagree peacefully and not expose each other to the enemies of the party.

Obviously, the economy is of paramount importance, and several ministers will present their achievements and what needs to be done to address the challenges we are facing as a country.

For example, the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Ministry will tell Conference the number of houses that have been built. Other portfolios will relate performances in areas under their respective jurisdictions.
We will look at how well we have done in terms of Zim-Asset implementation.

Peace, unityPreparations for the Conference are almost done. Food, transport, regalia and all the other related logistics are satisfactory, and we are happy everything is in place. (Secretary for Finance) Dr (Obert) Mpofu is almost done with all our payments; it’s all systems go.
The agenda is ready. The programme is there and our theme is “Moving with Zim-Asset in peace and unity”.

More than 400 invites have already been extended to chief executives, senior Government officials, media and diplomats. We have also invited sister liberation movements and the December 12 Movement, among others who are coming in full force.
In addition, we have directed the National Disciplinary Committee, chaired by Cde Patrick Chinamasa, and the Appeals Committee, chaired by Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko, to conclude all disciplinary cases as we should head to Conference without outstanding cases.

Masvingo should arrive with everyone on the same page. It is in line with our preparations that all cases be cleared as we head towards 2018. As a party, we are done and already have our candidate, President RG Mugabe.

You have been following our provincial inter-district conferences, and all provinces unanimously endorsed the President (as our candidate). This shows the solidity, unity of purpose that we have as a party. With everyone agreeing that President RG Mugabe is our candidate, it is impossible to lose that election to anyone. (Joice) Mujuru is completely irrelevant, relegated to the backwaters of national politics. She is not an issue.
(Morgan) Tsvangirai and his MDC-T are equally struggling and by the way, they have never articulated even a single policy position; never mind two!

He has failed dismally as a politician while his time in Government was a disaster. Those people (Tsvangirai and Mujuru) are bereft of ideas, intellectually empty. This is a complex country which needs sophisticated, educated leadership, not people like Tsvangirai whom, we are told, has two O-Level (passes).

Zimbabwe needs serious leaders and they are only found in Zanu-PF. When you want to win an election, there is need to interact with the people in a language they understand and that’s what we do as a party.

We interact with the people in the language they understand and on issues they are concerned about. Some move around demonstrating: Do you think the majority of people are concerned with that? People want peace.

Critically, we have always focused on what people say and issues they are concerned about, their aspirations, dreams and interests. That’s where we stand as a party. We have never taken an agenda from outside, never tried – in our history – to push a foreign agenda, but we push and work for a Zimbabwean agenda.

That agenda comes from our villagers and the generality of our people. What they want is what concerns Zanu-PF. It is difficult for any political party to separate us from the people because their interests are of utmost importance; from the days of the liberation struggle.

People whom we are supporting and listening to will continue to vote for Zanu-PF. We are a grassroots political party. As I speak, Zanu-PF has had seven political meetings per day for the last two weeks, while all opposition parties held one meeting.

We are having between 36 and 48 meetings in one week, with an average of 500 people per meeting. MDC-T is having three or so, and an average of 180 people per meeting. Mujuru’s party is having five meetings, with an average of 150 people per meeting.
And when we win elections, they move around saying Zanu-PF rigs elections. No. We work with the people and know what they want.

Dr Ignatius Chombo is Home Affairs Minister and the ruling Zanu-PF’s Secretary for Administration. He shared these views with The Sunday Mail Reporter Tinashe Farawo.


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