HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa this week called for the rehabilitation of members of the vanquished G40 faction back into Zanu PF to foster the spirit of unity ahead of elections next year.
Following the military-aided ouster of former president Robert Mugabe and his subsequent replacement with Mnangagwa as Zanu PF first secretary, there were calls for the expulsion of all officials linked to the G40 faction that opposed his ascendancy to power.
Targeted for expulsion were former ruling party political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, former women’s league secretary Grace Mugabe, former youth league secretary Kudzanai Chipanga, former secretary for administration Ignatius Chombo and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo ,among several other G40 kingpins.
Attempts by Chombo and Chipanga to launch a comeback were met with a warning from Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo that it was criminal for them to put on the ruling party regalia.
However, while addressing the Zanu PF central committee at the party headquarters on Thursday Mnangagwa said there was no need for his supporters to pursue a retributive agenda against their erstwhile foes.
Mnangagwa acknowledged that the factional and succession fights that led to Mugabe exiting the power pedestal last month had severely weakened and polarised that it needed to be galvanised if it entertains hopes for retaining power.
“Events preceding this congress also allowed our qualities as a party to shine, principally the quality that enables us to show mercy on those that genuinely err, while working hard to rehabilitate them in order to re-integrate them into the party fold,” Mnangagwa said.
He expressed satisfaction that the party had been able to deal with internal contradictions and exhorted Zanu PF “to outgrow the urge for vengeance and vindictiveness so it rebuilds and moves forward around this abiding ethic of mercy and forgiveness”
“Let us say no to retribution albeit remaining vigilant…between now and the next elections are a few months…we cannot afford divisions which weaken our focus while they dissipate our collective energies in wasteful intra-party conflicts.
“We need every vote, including that of our members who may have been misled by the (G40) cabal, and whom we must now rehabilitate and bring back into the party fold,” he said.
He bemoaned the fact that party youths had lost connection with the “ethos of the struggle and value system of the party”.
Mnangagwa accused the G40 faction of hijacking the party in a manner that affected Zanu PF and government negatively and in equal measure.