via Mutasa speaks on elections, sucession talk | The Herald December 3, 2013 by Lloyd Gumbo
PRESIDENT Mugabe is constitutionally free to represent Zanu-PF at the 2018 national elections as he has just started serving his first term under the new Constitution, as such any talk of succession is premature, Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration, Cde Didymus Mutasa, has said.
He dismissed assertions in the private media that the just-ended provincial elections were about who would succeed President Mugabe.
Alpha Media Holdings and Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe titles have been awash with screaming headlines claiming the routine provincial polls were a contest between Zanu-PF Second Secretary and Vice President Cde Joice Mujuru and Secretary for Legal Affairs Cde Emerson Mnangagwa.
“The thing to note is that Baba (President Mugabe) was elected for his first term under the new Constitution at the July 31 harmonised elections and the Constitution allows him to go for the second term,” Cde Mutasa said.
“How can you succeed someone who has just started serving his first term? We conduct provincial elections after every four years and then in the fifth year, we have Congress to elect the national leadership.
“The provincial elections are a constitutional requirement and not about succession as claimed by those papers. Tell those people who say the elections were about succession that Cde Mutasa says; ‘let not your imaginations be so wild’.
“The other problem is the public Press is not speaking about succession, yet Baba (President Mugabe) said it himself that speak about it. But it becomes a problem when you start saying he must be succeeded now when he has just started, ” he said.
On November 29, The Daily News led with a story titled; “Dog eat dog in Zanu-PF” and the following day, the same stable had a headline: “Mujuru to wipe out Mnangagwa”.
Yesterday, the same paper led with a story headlined; “Mujuru mauls Mnangagwa”.
NewsDay quipped with “Whitewash victory for VP Mujuru”.
Cde Mutasa said President Mugabe would be fit to stand for re-election at the 2018 national elections.
President Mugabe will be 94 years old in 2018 and the same sections of the Press have been claiming that he would be too old to govern.
But Cde Mutasa dismissed the claims.
“Does the Press determine his strength? Is it the Press that has taken him this far? If you read in the Bible, there are some people who went beyond 100 years but still ruled. Why can’t it be repeated?” he said.
On alleged factionalism in the party, Cde Mutasa said it was a creation of the media.
“If you ask both Amai Mujuru and Cde Mnangagwa, I doubt they will tell you, they lead factions. However, in any political organisation, you can never do away with factionalism because by definition, factionalism is a small group within a group. But they are not factions as it appears in the private Press.
“We in Zanu-PF, we don’t hide our things, if there was factionalism and there was need to succeed President Mugabe, we would be talking about it,” he said.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo concurred, saying his ministry did no subscribe to emotive notions that sought to polarise the media in particular and opinion in general by dividing it between public and private media.
“What we have in the country is one mainstream media with different owners and different editorial dispositions united by a common nationality and professional background,” he said.
“With this in mind, it is indeed true that some sections of the mainstream media have been reporting the Zanu-PF provincial elections as succession elections. It would be wrong to blame those sections of the media that are doing this because they are reporting what they are being told by some of our own comrades who have for reasons known only to them taken these elections in succession terms and who have been privately and even publicly celebrating or mourning the results on grounds that their succession candidate has either won or lost as the case maybe.
“I, therefore, don’t think anything will be gained by blaming or
attacking the media as that will be no better than attacking the messenger when the better thing to do is to listen to the message even if it is unpalatable or plain wrong. The media is doing its job by honestly reporting what it is being told. After everything has been said and done those comrades who have taken the provincial elections as succession elections and who are either celebrating or mourning the results in those terms are frankly in contempt of the party its constitution, its ideology and they are being disrespectful of President Mugabe and Zanu PF members as well as the majority of the Zimbabwean electorate that elected him only four months ago with an unprecedented majority.
“Having succession elections only after four months of the President’s election is in bad taste and is neither in the party’s interest nor in the national interest. And so people can say whatever they want and celebrate as much as they want but the bottom line which will be recorded by history is that what they are doing is wrong and will be ultimately rejected by the people who are 100 per cent behind President Mugabe and the party,” he said.
Zanu-PF provincial elections were concluded countrywide over the weekend ahead of the party’s 14th Annual National Peoples Conference scheduled for Chinhoyi mid next month.