ZIMBABWE – President Mugabe yesterday blasted Politburo members attacking each other in the media, granting self-destructive interviews to the hostile private media and denigrating the party’s senior leadership saying while they think they were being cheered on by the media for their actions, they were in fact embarrassing themselves and the party.
Addressing zanu-pf supporters at the party’s headquarters in Harare, the President said the revolutionary party had normal channels of addressing grievances, describing the behaviour by some Politburo members in the past few weeks as indiscipline at its worst.
His remarks come in the wake of frenzied tweeting by Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo who has also been using the private media to attack Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba and War Veterans Minister Christopher Mutsvangwa.
In response, Mr Mutsvangwa also granted an interview to the private media.
President Mugabe admonished unrepentant party cadres whose stroppy behaviour had become the talk of opposition parties and the private media.
The gathering was convened by the Zanu-PF Women’s League to “thank President Mugabe for a successful tour of duty as African Union chairperson and to show solidarity with the First Family following the attempted bombing of their farm, Gushungo Dairy.”
“The media, especially the opposition one, is having a time of their life, something which has never happened,” President Mugabe said. “Varikuti aaah hatisati tambowana rufaro serwatinarwo rwekuti muZanu-PF varikungotukana siku nesikati, kubvarurana.
“They (Politburo members) are going to the private media and saying I have done this to so and so as if they are little children.
Yesterday after our Cabinet meeting, we deliberated on that at length and I said down with that.”
Prof Moyo has also used his Twitter account, @ProfJNMoyo to attack fellow party members, including Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a move which has been condemned by war veterans, the police, youths and other organisations affiliated to Zanu-PF who said the behaviour was reminiscent of the shadowy Facebook character Baba Jukwa who built a social media following at the expense of the party.
The organisations said Prof Moyo’s behaviour was a direct challenge on President Mugabe, as he is the one who appointed VP Mnangagwa at the Zanu-PF 6th National People’s Congress in 2014.
President Mugabe said by washing their dirty linen in public, the Politburo members were “embarrassing themselves and the party”.
Any differences, he said, should be addressed in line with party procedures.
“If you feel you are aggrieved, the party has a way of dealing with that,” he said. “Come to the party not the opposition (media), you will never find a solution there. Uko kuzvinyadzisa ikoko kwauri kuita. Usafunge kuti zvawaisa nyaya uko urikupembedzwa, urikuzvinyadzisa iwe nekunyadzisawo vamwe. That’s not how you handle issues.”
President Mugabe went on: “If there is any difference, come let us sit down then we see the best way forward in line with the party regulations. Izvi zvekugara tichishaudhana ah…we do not want that. And those doing that are Politburo members who should know better.”
The President said even MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, who no longer had any party to speak of, was accusing Zanu-PF of detracting from national development through factional fights.
“Even Tsvangirai is saying the country is being led astray because of the fights in Zanu-PF,” he said. “People now see us as more divided than his party. He is happy with that not knowing he no longer has a party to talk of. His party is splintered, a splinter here, a splinter there. Just a bit part.”
President Mugabe said a strong organisation was built on unity and Zanu-PF members should not demean the lofty status Zimbabwe achieved during his successful tour of duty as AU chair.
He said party leaders should disseminate the correct information to party structures to avoid a situation which saw some provincial front runners barring some women from attending yesterday’s meeting.
President Mugabe said he had also learnt of the event just three days ago.
The President said women were critical in every aspect, including elections, and as such they should be empowered.
He said since independence, the Government had been working hard to achieve gender equality in all sectors and he spread the doctrine during his tenure as AU Chair.
“We can’t even win a single election without you (women),” he said. “During the colonial era, women used to get lower salaries than men and we said down with that because the work is the same. We have championed the rights of the girl child even in education, among other sectors.”
President Mugabe also took time to brief the supporters on the outcomes of the summits and meetings he attended during the last quarter of last year as AU chairman, including the handover ceremony of the chairmanship last month in Ethiopia.
He chronicled how he had moved other continental leaders to fight for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, adding that the “Western world should not continue belittling us”.
President Mugabe said foreigners who wanted to work in the country should come as partners and stand guided by the country’s laws.