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Harare Residents Say Zanu PF Conference Waste of Time And Resources

President Robert Mugabe with his two deputies, Phelekezela Mphoko (L) and Emmerson Mnangagwa (R). Collage by Ntungamili Nkomo

Some Harare residents say they are unlikely to benefit from the Zanu PF conference which started a few days ago and will end Saturday.

The conference, which will be officially opened Friday by President Robert Mugabe in Victoria Falls, is expected to focus on the state of the party and Zimbabwe’s declining economy.

Several senior Zanu PF officials, including Central Committee member, Silvester Nguni, Christwell Mutematsvaka and Batsirai Musona of Mashonaland Central, have been expelled from the party for being supporters of expelled former Vice President Joice Mujuru.

Others have also been targeted for siding with current Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa believed to be habouring presidential ambitions.

Some party activists are demanding that the party should revert to a constitutional system in which one seat in the presidium – comprising the president, his two deputies and chairperson – was reserved for a woman.

Indications are that First Lady Grace Mugabe is eyeing the presidential seat together with Mnangagwa, President Mugabe’s long-standing blue-eyed boy.

The Zanu PF conference is not an elective event but some party activists are suspected to be allegedly attempting to elevate Mrs. Mugabe to the presidium within the next three days.

But Harare residents say all this will not bring food on the table for their families.

Glenview resident, Tigere Mahembe, said Zimbabweans should not expect any surprises from the conference.

He said resourced being used at the conference could be put to better use than holding such a huge event.

“I believe these are the same conferences we have had before. Nothing will change. It is just the Zanu PF MPs and ministers pushing their own interests without the nation’s well-being. They are wasting money. Instead of building roads and clinics, why are they holding such a lavish conference? There is nothing that has come out of these conferences.”

Several other residents expressed the same sentiments saying Zanu PF normally holds such conferences, which never benefit local people.

But Passmore Taizivei said the people should not ignore the Zanu PF conference.

Taizivei told Studio 7 that whatever decisions are taken at the conference will affect the country's policies as Zanu PF is the ruling party.

He equated the conference to a company's annual general meeting in which important and binding decisions are made.

Taizivei said, “It is on the Zanu PF calendar and it’s happening and the conference has an impact on the generality of the population of Zimbabwe. It is like an AGM (Annual General Meeting) of a company you reflect on the year on what you have done and the impact of that on everything.”

Memory Ndlovu also said she hoped the conference would resolve factionalism currently gripping Zanu PF so that instead of fighting each other, the ruling party can concentrate on tackling the country’s ailing economy.

“After the conference we expect the president to talk to his people to nomalize things. We are tired of politicks without economic benefits,” said Ndlovu.

Political analyst Earnest Mudzengi said the Zanu PF annual conference has just become a ritual that does not address the socio-economic problems bedeviling Zimbabwe.

“Zanu PF being the ruling party one would expect that its conference affects what happens in the country but this is a mere talkshow. This is not where decisions are made. It has become a ritual. It will not have an impact on the economy which is the main problem at the moment.”

The Zanu PF conference started sometime this week with a Politburo meeting in Harare and is expected to end on Saturday.

Report on Zanu PF Conference Filed By Patricia Mudadigwa
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