ESIGODINI – The Zanu PF annual people’s conference was officially opened yesterday by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Esigodini amid a sea of poverty that was, however, drowned as fashion and top-of-the-range vehicles took over the show.
While Mnangagwa arrived here aboard a military helicopter, his supporters were a mixture of the rich and poor.
Some came aboard the latest vehicles while others arrived on buses and perched precariously on trucks, clad in different colours that are part of the ruling party regalia.
Every party official, from the youth league national political commissar chanted the slogan ED for 2023 and denounced those in the ruling party who are eying the presidency just a few months after elections.
Through song, Mnangagwa was pronounced a king as each province tried to outdo the other.
Some referred to Mnangagwa as “our father” while the slogan ED pfee gained currency.
When it was the turn of Masvingo province, Central Intelligence Organisation boss Isaac Moyo just smiled as his wife, who is MP for Mwenezi West, danced to the song
that also exalted Mnangagwa.
“As a province, we resolved that you (ED) are going to be our sole candidate for 2023,” said Rabelani Choeni the Zanu PF chairperson for Matabeleland South in his welcoming remarks.
Zanu PF’s second secretary — who is the country’s vice president — Constantino Chiwenga also threw his weight behind Mnangagwa saying the ruling party’s first secretary should serve for two terms.
Chiwenga’s bold and unequivocal declaration left the packed auditorium on its feet with the ruling party’s chairperson Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri saying it settled the succession question.
“The two full terms you shall have so that the party continues to draw from your wisdom. We will not wait for 2023 we will start to work for that now to ensure that you win,” said Chiwenga as he gave the vote of thanks.
Muchinguri-Kashiri, who chaired the meeting, said Chiwenga had defeated prophets of doom who are fanning seeds of division in the presidium.
“What I have discovered is that they are people who are dreaming and they are people who want to cause divisions within the party leadership. We have been told that he is supposed to finish two full terms and that is a message that we should carry home that there are no divisions within Zanu PF,” said Muchinguri-Kashiri.
Chiwenga, who is seen as eying the presidency, also insisted Mngangagwa will be the country’s sole candidate for the 2023 elections.
Meanwhile, Vice President Kembo Mohadi did not attend the party’s 17th conference as he is sick, Mnangagwa said.
“He was not sent anywhere but he is sick. If he gets better he might come for the conference but he is in Harare,” Mnangagwa said as he corrected Muchinguri-Kashiri who had said Mohadi had been sent on an assignment.