We publish here the full text of the speech made by President and First Secretary of zanu-pf, Comrade R.G. Mugabe, on the occasion of the 105th Ordinary meeting of the Central Committee at zanu-pf Headquarters in Harare yesterday.
Vice President and Second Secretary, Comrade Emmerson Mnangagwa,
Vice President and Second Secretary, Cde Phelekezela Mphoko,
Secretary for Administration, Cde Ignatius Chombo,
Members of the Politburo,
Members of the Central Committee,
Comrades and Friends.
I welcome you all to yet another ordinary meeting of our Central Committee.
I trust you travelled well from the various provinces that you represent, and that you are well and fit for yet another session which must review the our programmes for the first quarter of the year, while also charting our way forward for our party.
This is a crucial year, anticipating, as it does, 2018, the year we are required by our national Constitution to go back to the people in order to renew our governing mandate.
It is our first meeting since the break of the New Year and let me tender my belated compliments of the New Year.
Let me also salute Masvingo Province for the recent by-election victory in Bikita West, which sent a ringing message to the ramshackle opposition for ever daring to stand against Zanu-PF electoral might.
The Province upheld the winning trend which has been ours to enjoy since the whitewashing 2013 harmonised elections, but which had suffered a fluke interruption in the poorly-run Norton by-election.
Indeed Manicaland repaired that winning record which Masvingo proceeded to consolidate.
We expect to maintain this winning streak in the forthcoming Mwenezi by-election which has already sent shivers in opposition upstarts.
The message to be gleaned from these successive victories is that of huge rewards that await us, indeed the ceaseless celebrations which are ours to enjoy, for as long as we think, plan and act in unison, bound by common belief, and an abiding sense of camaraderie.
Of course we should remain the avowed interpreters of people’s wishes.
All the time, evolving policies and programmes which are oriented towards our people in times of difficulties, and advancing their interests and welfare, when the prospects allow.
Today we reap the happy rewards of fending for all our people in the year of drought which we are slowly putting behind us, thanks to the good rains that have been ours to enjoy this season.
Our flagship Command Agricultural Programme and traditional Presidential Input Scheme demonstrated, not just our closeness to the people, but the correctness of our policies and programmes, in bringing about a quick recovery and turnaround in the pivotal agricultural sector.
As a result, the prospects before us are decidedly bright, with a palpable sense of hope pervading our nation.
We have regained our status as a food-secure nation, something which must be applauded.
The promise of a good agricultural performance translates, quite naturally, into even greater support for our party as we inch towards the 2018 harmonised elections.
Reeled by successive by-electoral blows, the opposition is in a quagmire, all the time clutching at straws in the vain hope of some modicum of political respectability which routinely eludes them.
We look with glee as they daily turn on each other, while pretending to chase a mirage they have termed “grand coalition”, apparently unaware of the grand defeat that stares them in the face.
Unable to face our mighty party, they have now turned their guns on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, itself a Constitutional body mandated to run elections in our country.
Afflicted by madness which knows no bounds, they even seek to interfere with mundane Government tendering processes, hoping for some opportunistic fissures that might give them some slender chance.
Nor is that all.
They make futile noises by which they hope to besmirch and override Zimbabwe’s sovereignty through attempts to involve international bodies which have no role in the running of elections in sovereign countries.
Shame on them!
As they expend their faltering energies on such inane calls and charades, we must ourselves take full advantage of this confusion to consolidate our support on the ground in readiness for another emphatic win in the forthcoming harmonised elections.
Our Command Agricultural Programme is not just about recovering from the severe drought, which hit us in the previous season.
As already stated, it is about restoring food security in our nation.
More important, this agricultural recovery is a prelude to, and an integral part of our broader response to the challenges of illegal economic sanctions imposed on us by the spiteful West, indeed a key component towards sustainable economic recovery and employment creation.
As I address you, and against the good prospect in Agriculture, we already see signs of a new surge in the economy, auspicious signs which must never be lost to us merely because of some problems of adjustment which we must go through, and which should be behind us quite soon.
I am very happy that our cash crop farmers, principally those in the tobacco and cotton sub-sectors, have risen to the occasion, complementing what our maize farmers have done.
The reigning firmer prices in the tobacco sub-sector are a deserved reward to their sterling efforts.
Equally, the cotton crop should re-ignite activity in the textile sector, in the process creating significant employment opportunities for our people.
The livestock facility under Command Agriculture Programme, coupled with measures Government is taking towards the resuscitation of the Cold Storage Company, should trigger sympathetic developments in the livestock sub-sector.
All these programmes, we must always remember, emanate from our party Zanu-PF, and are thus ours to claim and build on as we mobilise grassroot support in readiness for the 2018 harmonised elections.
Against such auspicious developments, the mood in the party must tally and splendidly resonate with the reigning buoyancy.
These successes we have wrestled and earned against hard odds and prophecies of gloom and doom.
They must inform the mood and temperament in our party.
There is absolutely no need or reason for cultivating messages of discordance or despondency in the party.
Absolutely none at all!
The successes outlined above do not owe to any one person or any one organ of the party or Government.
They owe to all of us; they belong to all organs of the party and Government which, in combination and harmony, enabled this excellent result that is ours to reap.
The policies came from the party, Zanu-PF; the execution was done by a Zanu-PF Government.
The benefits redound to our people and our nation in its entirety.
This is what makes us the only national Party of trust and record, indeed the author of policies that equate with people’s aspirations and well-being.
It is sheer small mindedness to generate little discordant noises such as we have heard lately, whose effect amount to detracting from our ringing successes.
To all who have been expressing displeasures through demonstrations in various provinces, we say you have made your points, and your voices have been heard.
The party does have structures and organs designed to handle such matters in a dignified way.
We must now give those organs time to look into the grievances expressed, due process must be allowed and followed.
We cannot run the party from newspaper headlines or angry placards.
The party runs on rules and procedures. These must now take precedence over all else.
Let me end up by thanking the Youth League of the party and Matabeleland South Province for honouring me through commemorations of my birthday. It was very organised and well attended.
Indeed commemorations continue at various levels and in different parts of the country. I am humbled, truly humbled by the respect you continue to show me.
This meeting will receive many reports reflecting activity areas of the party in different spheres.
We must weigh these critically so we note deficiencies there might be, while augmenting strong points we have achieved.
Above all, we need to pay particular attention to reports from those provinces which got affected by the recent cyclone activities.
We need to ensure Government moves in speedily to assuage challenges faced by families that are still displaced, while a lasting solution is, of course, being developed.
I am happy that our security forces rose to the occasion, as also did the inter-ministerial teams, which were constituted for the purpose. We must ensure a speedy return to normalcy.
I thank you.