Source: LIVE BLOG: ZANU-PF EXTRAORDINARY CONGRESS | The Herald December 14, 2017
UPDATES: Vusumuzi Dube; PHOTOGRAPHY: Wilson Kakurira; PICTURE EDITOR: Joseph Murisi; ONLINE EDITOR: Costa Mano
1525: “We came here to congratulate you Zanu-PF because you did something good and commendable as traditional leaders. We were also worried that you were not acting while our party was going down the drain….it had become a taboo to be seen talking to anyone deemed unacceptable, we had become a party of spies but now we have freedom of association. You learnt that the party cannot stand without war veterans and we hope this is the final lesson members of the party will heed regards the importance of war veterans in this party….as a chief we have also learnt that I as a chief should not allow my wife to preside over cases,” says Chief Charumbira.
1520: We are now moving to local groupings who will give their solidarity messages starting with traditional leaders followed by war veterans then students. President of the Chiefs Council Chief Fortune Charumbira now giving his solidarity message of behalf of other chiefs.
1429: Solidarity messages continue, so far we have had presentations from the Democratic Party of Malawi, Progressive Democratic Party of Malawi, Frelimo, People’s Party for reconstruction and democracy of DRC, SWAPO of Malawi, Patriotic Party of Zambia, Communist Party of China and the Botswana Democratic party.
1340: We now move to the solidarity messages starting with one from South Africas ANC which will be presented by the party’s national chairperson Cde Baleka Mbethe.
1336: Cde Muchinguri-Kashiri lauds the war veterans for the role they played leading to the new dispensation.
“We now see light at the end of the tunnel due to your astute leadership President Mnangagwa, within the few weeks you have been at the helm has seen a lot of changes in the economy,”
1326: Master of Ceremony Cde Khaya Moyo has now called Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri to give the Vote of Thanks.
1315: President Mnangagwa now tables the central committee report and ends his address.
1312: “Let us commit to uniting the party membership. The disintegration of the party must never be allowed again,”
1309: President Mnangagwa says the party should shift focus and now instead of being a party of politics and politics alone but must become about a party of politics and economy.
“My Presidency is not to be seen as a rise of a certain region or tribe but should be seen as rise of total unity. I am an emissary of all veterans and heroes dead or live. I am a President for everyone,”
1304: “War veterans should be at the core of all this. Their value is greater than their vote. We must stop being a party of the past but become a party of the future,”
1302: ”We must now focus on rebuilding our party and restore the confidence of the people which had been lost because of this cabal (G40),”
1259: ”The ninth interface rally ended with me being likened to a snake whose head had to be crashed. This was all said by people who have little history in the liberation of the country….Let us draw lessons from all that has happened, revolutions get infiltrated but let us not lower our guard ever again. Let us remain genuine cadres instead of careerist who focus on self-gain and enrichment. In the future, let’s remain disciplined, disciplined and disciplined,”
1256: “Our history and legacy were under threat from the G40 cabal which had divided the party. Party structures were overrun, corrupt activities were daily sanitised, the country was violated with impunity. The so-called youth interface rallies were not mobilisation but were agendas,”
1252: “I would like to salute CDF Constantino Chiwenga and the entire ZDF and also the war veterans who remained resolute despite being condemned at times but they indeed remained resolute…The people of Zimbabwe showed that they are united by the Zimbabwe flag, national anthem and legacy. The voice of the people is the voice of God,”
1248: “Above all, we must ensure peace in our land. We who are called upon to lead the party must always remember that we are servants of the party and the nation…a new era of prosperity for our people is in the making,”
1247: The 2018 general elections will be held as scheduled.
1244: His Excellency pays his respects to liberation struggle forebearers saying the duty to continue the struggle is a collective effort. He describes Zanu-PF as a great party and so is its history. He says it’s a party tied to the people through blood shed during the liberation struggle.
“It must be an instrument available to a national purpose…our party must be an instrument for the realisation of the collective dreams of our people…that is our duty as a party of national liberation which wields power responsibly. Democracy and respect for the rule of law runs through the veins our party since independence,”
1238: President Mnangagwa says every member of the party shall have the duty to be loyal, abide by the party rules, understand party principles, defend the party and popularise the party’s principles as well as not bring the name of the party into disrepute.
1235: President Mnangagwa is now on the podium. He says he is humbled and honoured to greet and welcome all delegates to the congress. He recognises the sister liberation struggle parties that they shared the trenches with.
1231: Dr Mpofu describes President Mnangagwa as a caring and loving father, an attentive listener, man of the people, large-hearted unifier and is an inspiration of confidence and hope among his countrymen. While most would like to call him Ngwena or INgwenya, which may explain his alertness, he remains as soft and as tender as an African mother’s love. He has now called the President to give his keynote address.
1224: Dr Mpofu says recent events saw the party go on a drive of self-destruction. Party meetings and gatherings, he says, became unpredictable and turned into platforms of disunity. He says party cadres within the rank and file as well the war veterans became routine targets of abuse. He laments the random expulsions of the party faithful by political turncoats who ran the party as they pleased. He says the former President Cde Mugabe had completely lost control of the party.
1218: Dr Mpofu is now giving his welcome address after which he will invite President Mnangagwa to give his keynote address.
1203: Delegates are now being presented to the congress and they are making their presence felt through song and dance.
1201: Dr Mpofu has also warned Harare delegates to behave saying President Mnangagwa is a strict disciplinarian.
1158: Cde Khaya Moyo castigates Harare Province delegates for being unruly during Cde Chikukwa’s address and especially so in the presence of President Mnangagwa. He now invites the Acting Secretary of Administration Dr Obert Mpofu to present delegates to the extraordinary congress.
1154: Master of Ceremony Cde Simon Khaya Moyo calls for chairpersons that will be invited to the podium to make welcome remarks only and make no salutations as they’re known. The speakers should get straight to the point. Cde Miriam Chikukwa is now making her welcome remarks as the Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs.
1152: He says the appointment of President Mnangagwa marks the start of a new era. Cde Masimirembwa narrates the process that led to the resignation of former President Cde Robert Mugabe. He says the province is delighted to be at the congress and duly nominates President Mnangagwa to be the party’s candidate in the harmonised elections set for 2018.
1145: Chairman of Harare Metropolitan Province, Cde Goodwills Masimirembwa, is now on the podium.
1138: Acting Secretary of Administration Dr Obert Mpofu gets the official business started by reading the agenda of the extraordinary congress.
1131: The delegates are now on their feet dancing as Jah Prayzah belts out his popular song-Kutonga Kwaro.
1124: President Mnangagwa is flanked at the high table by acting Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu and Secretary for Legal Affairs Cde Patrick Chinamasa while the First Lady is seated with her fellow Politburo members.
1118: The National Anthem now being sung to start official proceedings.
1116: Whistles and ululation as President Mnangagwa and the First Lady Amai Mnangagwa make their way into congress venue.
1112: Tree planting is now complete and the programme now shifts inside where President Mnangagwa will give his opening remarks.
1054: The President is also officially opening a park which will be established at the Robert Mugabe square. The park will mainly be made up of fruit trees.
1049: President ED Mnangagwa and the First Lady Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa have just arrived at the congress venue. They are now planting trees at the venue to launch the National Tree Planting day.
1044: Delegates to the Zanu-PF extraordinary congress, which is being held at the Robert Mugabe Square behind Rainbow Towers in Harare, are now seated as they wait for President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s arrival. Only senior party members remain outside as they wait to welcome President Mnangagwa who is set to plant a tree as part of commemorations of the National Tree Planting day.
Around 7 874 people are expected to attend from the ten provinces in Zimbabwe, various Zanu-PF chapters in the diaspora and international friends of the party. Delegates will be drawn from the Central Committee, the National Consultative Assembly, Youth League, Women’s League and the Provincial Executive Councils. The duration was cut to three days from the previously suggested five days with the party leadership agreeing to cut the budget drastically. The congress is expected to endorse changes that came up as a result of Operation Restore Legacy.