Saturday, 23 December 2017


The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association has hailed the appointment of Lieutenant-General Engelbert Rugeje as the Zanu-PF national political commissar saying the move will help reconnect the party with its liberation ethos.

Lt Gen Rugeje, a veteran of the liberation war, was appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa into the Zanu-PF Politburo during the party’s extra ordinary congress last Friday replacing Mr Saviour Kasukuwere who was expelled along with 25 other members of the G40 cabal.

The President also appointed Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri as the party’s chairperson among a number of appointments.

War veterans are on record calling for the deployment of a person with liberation credentials to the Zanu-PF commissariat department so that they guide the party in accordance with the party’s liberation ethos.

They condemned the conduct of Mr Kasukuwere, a key member of the G40 cabal, who used the position to purge perceived enemies of his clique especially targeting party cadres with a liberation background.

ZNLWVA spokesperson Cde Douglas Mahiya yesterday said Lt Gen Rugeje’s appointment marks a shift towards getting the party back on the rails in the aftermath of the chaotic and destabilising politics of the G40 cabal.

“We hail his appointment to the position of political commissar. Remember, we have always encouraged the party to deploy someone with a liberation background in the party’s commissariat department.

“It is the articulation of the revolutionary principles and ethos that should guide the party in its activities,” he said.
“The party and the people will benefit from those principles. We will be able to actually position the party in its former position, that of a party guided by the liberation principles and ideology.”
Political analyst Mr Richard Mahomva weighed in saying the party’s ideological values need to be celebrated and imparted especially on the youth.

“Cde Rugeje’s appointment is quite significant in addressing the long dismissal of war veterans’ participation in the party. Therefore, his tenure must play a decisive role in anchoring long lasting binding terms to unity in the party and country at large,” he said.

Mr Mahomva said, in line with President Mnangagwa’s address at the Zanu-PF extraordinary congress, the party must connect with the youth and impart the liberation tradition and ideology to future commissar s.

“That way, ideological values of the party will be carried into the future,” he said.
Addressing Zanu-PF members as he opened the congress, President Mnangagwa said the G40 faction and their destructive politics had not only destabilised Zanu-PF but also brought confusion in the country.

“It had destabilised the party, causing absolute divisions and disquiet in the nation which sat on edge. The party ideology, rules and protocols were being desecrated daily; or simply being brushed aside at will,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Party structures were overrun, while elected office-bearers were summarily suspended and dismissed at speeds of caprice and vaulting ambition. Corrupt activities and corrupt individuals were daily sanitised while millions of dollars were being stolen and stashed outside the country.”
President Mnangagwa said the G40 cabal created a self-serving environment that shielded corrupt tendencies and criminals.

“The economy bled from repeated rampant smuggling. The country was violated with impunity. Disaffection was building especially from among the youths who were seeing their hopes of a bright future slipping away,” he said.

“Veterans who had sacrificed to liberate this country were not just being reviled; they were being abused and incarcerated on flimsy pretexts.

“Party events were manipulatively re-engineered to contrive a show of popularity and unanimity. Party mobilisation was reduced to coercion. Party rallies became expensively choreographed pseudo-events dominated by a roving core group which used different venues in order to create a misleading illusion of populism which belied the bitter discontent which simmered beneath, threatening to boil.”

The Zanu-PF First Secretary said the G40 group derailed the ruling party from a progressive and people oriented organisation.

“Let us draw lessons from all that happened. We must vehemently defend to the hilt the party values, cultures and traditions.

“Revolutions do get infiltrated and corrupted and once corrupted, they degenerate and lose direction,” said President Mnangagwa.

“We must never lower our guard and must arrest any negative tendencies that creep into the party to hold, corrupt and alienate us.” Herald


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