Source: Economy to take centre stage at Conference – Sunday News December 9, 2018
Norman Muchemwa, Harare Bureau
The 17th Zanu-PF Annual National People’s Conference this week will consolidate national efforts towards reviving Zimbabwe’s economy, a senior ruling party official has said.
This is a marked departure to the previous regime where political issues, particularly factional fighting, took centre stage. This time, the plenary will discuss the economy and give direction to Government on implementing high-impact economic programmes to fast-track recovery, growth and development.
The meeting is themed “Zimbabwe Is Open For Business: Peace, Unity Towards An Upper Middle-Income Economy By 2030”. Mzingwane High School in Esigodini, Matabeleland South Province will host over 3 500 accredited delegates with tomorrow’s Politburo meeting marking commencement of the conference.
Party President and First Secretary Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa will headline proceedings at the Conference, following ratification of his leadership at last year’s Extra-Ordinary Congress. The conference follows the party’s thumping victory in the July 2018 harmonised elections.
Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu said deliberations this year would ignore politicking and would focus on pertinent issues.
“We will be dealing mainly with issues to do with the economy, issues to do with the party, issues that were raised in our manifesto, resolutions from the provinces and the general economic situation. So the agenda has been drafted in such a way that it will be business throughout the days that have been set for the Conference,” said Dr Mpofu.
President Mnangagwa is aggressively pursuing quick economic recovery through implementation of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (2018–2020), premised on fiscal consolidation, economic stabilisation, and stimulation of growth and creation of employment. The Conference, said Dr Mpofu, would be short and focused, unlike previous gatherings.
“We are on course; all departments, all committees have finalised their preparations and we want to assure the delegates and the country that it’s all systems go. This will be one of the most eventful conferences being held under the New Dispensation.
“This is a very different Annual People’s Conference from all the others we held previously. This is a much-focused Conference which has a lot of interest from the membership and the general populace in our country. It will be a very short Conference, instead of the usual five to seven days we used to take, this will be a three-day Conference because of the focused nature of the agenda.”
Dr Mpofu said resolutions from provincial meetings would be considered.
“We will actually be guided by resolutions from provinces on other issues to be included in the agenda. It is the resolutions that will determine the outcome of the Conference.”
Dr Mpofu said Zanu-PF’s next Ordinary Congress was due in 2022 contrary to speculation that it would be held next year.
“The next Congress is going to be in 2022. This was resolved at our last Extraordinary Congress that we will have another regular congress after five years. The annual conferences in between are actually monitoring and evaluating the implementation of those resolutions which will have been passed by the previous congress.
“So in Esigodini we will be looking at those decisions that have been implemented or those being implemented and what we will implement going ahead. We are working closely with Government to make sure that policies as espoused by the party are implemented by Government.”
On the harmonisation of the party and national constitutions for Presidential terms of office, Dr Mpofu: “It is not necessary for now as there is no major difference. The issue of synchronising the Party constitution and the national constitution is a constitutional issue. We are the ruling party and we have two-thirds majority in Parliament which allows us to do what we feel is best.
“If that need arises, the party will certainly do something about it through the necessary consultations at Congress; but look, we are not concerned with that right now. The party constitution gives us five years and the country’s constitution is also five years. There is not much of a difference hence our reluctance in doing that.”