From George Maponga in MWENEZI
Zanu-PF national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere has said the ruling party was the undisputed dominant political party in the country, saying differences in opinion among members were healthy and should not be misconstrued by detractors as a sign of deep-seated divisions.
Cde Kasukuwere said the party was gearing for a crushing victory in the 2018 elections that would permanently shut doors on any hopes of a political comeback by those who have been pushing a regime change agenda using their local proxies, in a bid to reverse the land reform programme.
Addressing hundreds of Zanu-PF supporters at Rutenga primary school where he was officially introducing the ruling party candidate for the coming Mwenezi East parliamentary by-election, businessman Cde Joosbi Omar, Cde Kasukuwere said the by-election was a perfect opportunity to completely sap the remaining energy within local opposition parties.
The by-election is set for April 8, and Cde Omar will square off with ex-Masvingo provincial affairs Minister Mr Kudakwashe Bhasikiti of ZimPF, Mr Welcome Masuku of NCA and Mr Turner Mhango of Free Zimbabwe Congress party.
The Mwenezi East parliamentary seat fell vacant after the death of Cde Joshua Moyo of Zanu-PF in December last year.
Cde Kasukuwere said a crushing victory for Cde Omar would further dampen morale within opposition ranks.
“My appeal to the people of Mwenezi is, let us go in numbers and get better results than we got in other by-elections like Bikita West. We must make sure that Zanu-PF scores a resounding victory so that (MDC-T leader Mr Morgan) Tsvangirai will realise that contesting the 2018 elections will be an exercise in futility,’’ he said.
“Tsvangirai is the only opposition leader at the moment who is still hoping to cause an upset to Zanu-PF and we must send a clear message to him that we are the only game in town.’’
Cde Kasukuwere said Zanu-PF’s emphatic victory in Bikita West caused an implosion in the newly formed ZimPF party that saw interim leader of the party Dr Joice Mujuru moving on to form the National People’s Party.
‘’Some of our detractors even rub their hands in glee when they see Zanu-PF members quarrelling, but let me tell them today that differing in opinion is very healthy. It does not mean we are divided. We are one big united family and will join forces to vanquish any enemy whenever the need arises,’’ said Cde Kasukuwere.
Cde Kasukuwere took a swipe at some fly-by night characters who were angling to take over from President Mugabe. He said President Mugabe’s advanced age did not mean he was no longer able to continue as Zimbabwe’s leader.
“We have already chosen President Mugabe as our candidate for the 2018 Presidential election, and there is no going back on that,’’ he said.
“Choosing someone to rule a country is different from choosing a football player or a person who takes part in an athletics competition. We choose leaders on the basis of what they stand for, their values, irrespective of their age. President Mugabe is our icon, let him rule. He is the father of our nation.’’
He defended the distribution of food and agricultural inputs such as seed and fertilisers ahead of elections saying it was the duty of the governing party to make sure that people were well-catered for.
Some of the challenges that needed urgent attention, said Cde Kasukuwere, had to do with the effects of recent floods that swept through most parts of the country devastating infrastructure such as roads and bridges.
Masvingo provincial affairs Minister and Politburo member Senator Shuvai Mahofa appealed to Cde Kasukuwere to push Government to pay outstanding compensation to the Tokwe-Mukosi flood victims.
The flood victims were relocated from the flooded basin in 2014 together with their belongings and moved to Chingwizi at the Nuanetsi Ranch, which falls under Mwenezi East constituency.
Cde Mahofa also took a swipe at Mr Bhasikiti describing him as a clueless person who never left any footprints of development in Mwenezi and Masvingo during his stint in both Parliament and Government.