VP Chiwenga says unity key to development

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Goromonzi(New Ziana) – Vice President General Constantino Chiwenga (Rtd) on Friday urged the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party to concede electoral defeat in last year’s polls, and heed growing calls for national dialogue to heal election-related rifts.

The ruling ZANU-PF party beat the MDC in both the presidential and parliamentary segments of the election, a victory later confirmed by the Constitutional Court, the country’s highest judicial authority.

But despite this, the opposition still disputes the outcome of the poll, and claims its leader Nelson Chamisa defeated President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

After the polls, President Emmerson Mnangagwa set up the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) forum bringing together all parties that took part in the election as a mechanism to heal election-related rifts and to allow the opposition to also contribute ideas for national development, but the MDC shunned the platform.

Instead, Chamisa demanded separate direct talks with President Mnangagwa centred on what he called national leadership legitimacy question, brokered by a foreign mediator.

Zanu-PF ruled this out, insisting on the POLAD platform for everyone.

Addressing the 18th Zanu PF National Peoples’ Conference, Vice President Chiwenga said political dialogue was critical to the country’s development.

“You (President Mnangagwa) extended a hand to all political parties that contested the 2018 elections to participate in POLAD, we are saddened as a party that your goodwill gesture has not been reciprocated by some.

“There is no doubt that an enduring peaceful environment is a precursor for economic development and solid nation building. We appeal to all political actors to accept dialogue, respect the rule of law and respect the will of the people as a key tenet of the Second Republic. They are wasting their time thinking that the leadership will change, nothing will change (Zanu PF will continue to rule),” he said.

“These malcontents after losing the 2018 harmonised elections and Constitutional Court case continued on a spate of retrogressive violence, intimidation and a propensity of lawlessness. This is evident in their persistent threats, demonstrations, unsanctioned gatherings and illegal industrial actions.”

VP Chiwenga said the polarised nature of the Zimbabwean society should be brought to an end.

“Sadly, the nation is currently bedevilled by the legacy of polarised divisions and a telling lack of respect for constitutionalism, itself a reflection of loss of national identity and pride as well as definitive ethical values of Ubuntu/hunhu by opposition elements in particular the MDC alliance,” he said.

“We are Zimbabweans and this is our country, we have no other country to go (to) we must be united as Zimbabweans.”

Turning to the role of the ruling party in national development, the VP said Zanu PF should always put the expectations of the people first.

He said this year’s conference provided an opportunity to reflect on the past year’s achievemnets and failures, both at party and government level.

“We have always re-iterated that the ruling party is supreme to the government, as such government policies must always be guided by party manifestos,” he said.

“We need to appreciate at every level of the party that the economy comes first before politics. It becomes imperative for all of us to acknowledge that we work for the people and the national good by putting national interests before those of the individuals, let us all walk the talk in the quest to achieve vision 2030.”

Vice President Chiwenga added: “We need to be true patriots and loyal servants by shunning and arresting and exposing corruption.”

He said discipline was also important among party members.

“Our party Zanu PF needs to educate its members and instill discipline in the party and government including continuous thorough vetting of both new and old members, whether you are in the party or government we want to vet you to see whether you are delivering or not,” he said.

New Ziana

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