BY MOSES MATENGA
THE ruling Zanu PF party has reportedly ordered intellectuals and the academia from the country’s State universities to come up with a document that will form the basis of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s political and economic transformation agenda.
Zanu PF’s Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology is behind the programme and has written to the country’s State universities, that include the Midlands State University, National University of Science and Technology, as well as Lupane State University, among others, demanding presentations on the project.
Chitepo School director Munyaradzi Machacha said the move was only an academic debate on the ideology of the country and would invite intellectuals and the academia.
“We are initiating debate on what best describes the ideology of the country, so we are inviting papers on how intellectuals and academia interpret areas of interest, programmes, utterances associated with the new dispensation policy. Basically, it is an academic debate,” Machacha told NewsDay Weekender yesterday.
In a leaked letter from the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology, universities were tasked to debate on the ideology of the second republic as a means for, among other things, fostering political transformation in the country.
“The objective of this symposium is to initiate debate on the ideology of the second republic in Zimbabwe as a tool for political, social, cultural and economic transformation,” the letter addressed to all universities and colleges read in part.
“Papers that will be presented are also expected to uncover the foundation of the current ideological thinking and the development of its trajectory.”
According to the letter, all State universities will be asked to present a paper for not more than 20 minutes. The paper will be shared online to all participants.
“The second session will involve discussions and adoption of a common understanding on what best describes the ideological thinking and trajectory of the second republic.”
The symposium will run under the theme Unpacking the Second Republic’s Ideological Thought and Direction.
Machacha said the symposium was on the ideological standpoint of Zimbabwe under Mnangagwa.
“Critical issues on the ideology of the second republic under the leadership of HE President Mnangagwa will be unpacked and discussed. His Excellency’s vision as a tool for political, social, cultural and economic transformation of Zimbabwe will also be presented in the research and panel discussions.”
Observers said the action was a reflection of abuse of State institutions to aid Zanu PF and Mnangagwa’s campaign programmes.
Mnangagwa’s critics, who include exiled former Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo, have been accusing the Zanu PF leader of lacking an ideological standpoint that goes beyond the slogan “ED Pfee.”
Moyo claims, unlike the late former President Robert Mugabe “whose ideology was clear”, Mnangagwa is “a chameleon, and lacks vision, ideology and a campaign strategy, except using the military to force people to vote for him”.
Zanu PF has also resolved to have civil servants to undergo the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology programmes while the institution has also forced local authorities and traditional leaders, among others, to attend the party’s indoctrination classes.