Cde Victor Matemadanda
I take over the Zanu-PF Commissariat at a difficult time when the ruling party has been torn apart.
For a long time, there hasn’t been meaningful organisation in terms of checking structures. This is the department which was spearheading factional fights that nearly destroyed Zanu-PF.
Nevertheless, it’s an honour to have been appointed to head this department. It is an honour because the President and entire party have shown confidence in me; that under the circumstances I will contribute positively to the reorganisation, refocusing and rejuvenation of the party, restoring its normal place in Zimbabwe’s body politic.
It is quite a challenge, but we will be equal to the task. Of course, many things need to be redone; some require Central Committee approval and consultations with the leadership. We want to change many things as a party, especially the culture.
The party becomes alive when it is structured properly, and structuring does not necessarily translate to leadership changes.
My view is that you maintain the same web from the lowest to the highest organ, refocusing the party to the policy of democratic centralism where every level has a constitutional and rightful function that must be fulfilled. But most importantly, I talk of a structure like a web, a honeycomb, for example, where cells made by bees are useless without honey.
So, the combination of bees at work develops them. A young bee stores food while the other stores honey, etcetera.
Basically, when people sing “Musangano kumacell”, what they mean is that the cell, the inter-connectedness of the cells, should be as solid as possible. This should be the case so that the party cannot be broken and can be traced from the lowest to the topmost cell.
That is the cell in the sense of moving from the village, branch, district, National Consultative Assembly, Central Committee, People’s Conference and Congress.
All these should have an unbreakable link either going up or down. Concerns of the smallest organ should be sent systematically to the topmost organ and the response should again be transmitted systematically. This should be done with every structure being allowed to accomplish its constitutional obligations.
That culture has not been followed, and we will make sure that it is followed going forward. There is also the issue of reinvigorating the party. The party has been focusing on petty factional battles; it now needs to be redirected to actual business of a political party.
Ideology and policy must be made clear and here we must show renewed purpose that translates into strong and solid structures; pure party structures. People with vested interests or bias should not be allowed to structure Zanu-PF in accordance with their personal interests.
The party must be structured in accordance with its constitution. The leadership that we hope to have, which the President has shown, is tolerant servant-leadership.
Bossing people around should not be tolerated as a culture as every leader should be a servant of those he/she leads by serving them faithfully.
We must also show commitment to peace, security and development, all of which President Mnangagwa has already put forward.
For the party to be reinvigorated, the leadership should be accountable and responsible.
The age of party leaders who only become visible at conferences and congresses is over! Everyone should justify why they occupy a certain position; they must be answerable to the people and have a programme for the people who chose them.
Zanu-PF party programmes are people’s programmes, and everything done by a Zanu-PF Government should be based on people’s wishes.
The party leadership is continuously informed and the leadership should, in turn, inform Government regarding what the people want so that the web I referred to earlier is not broken.
Further, the Commissariat has the task of healing the party and the people in general by way of re-orientation programmes that identify, for instance, one who can be termed an enemy.
We believe a political opponent is not necessarily an enemy; he/she is a person you compete with for political office.
So, we are redirecting even our language, especially concerning people whose views differ with ours.
Government must also have a clear mission, vision and team-work in order to create people-centred programmes.
Ultimately, we aim to achieve economic revival and growth so that our people enjoy prosperity and an inclusive society; a society that can live together in harmony despite divergent opinion.
The party has to verify some of the decisions, but this is what we hope to achieve.
We have the vanguard force – the war veterans, collaborators and ex-detainees – by our side, and this constituency comprises running machines that can move programmes.
We will not leave any stone unturned; we will tap every talent.
You have heard the President say he is going to work with everybody, including those who might have been expelled or – because of misunderstandings – had chosen to leave the party.
The march organised by war veterans showed that many communities are prepared to work for Zimbabwe, but there has been an exclusionist approach of sorts.
So, we are going to engage all of them, including the white, coloured, Indian communities; all citizens of Zimbabwe.
We want to hear their views on how they want the party and Government run.
I say party and Government because Government is formed by a political party and policies of the political party carry the day. The party is to blame if Government performs dismally.
We are not going to label people, but engage them no matter how diverse or opposed they maybe. This is not an attempt to lure them all to Zanu-PF – although they are all welcome.
The idea is to find common ground as a people.
In addition, the Commissariat is concerned about the Diaspora, which to us is the 11th province. We are going to engage them to hear what they can offer.
We know they have acquired various experiences that can benefit the party, Government and the generality of Zimbabweans.
No one will be expelled. I believe what caused expulsions in the immediate-past was the lack of proper orientation, in-depth knowledge of party ethics.
People made mistakes on what was required of them.
Deviating from constitutionalism also caused a lot of problems and we are going to make sure the constitution is followed to the book.
The party has war veterans, collaborators, ex-detainees, youths, women, workers, peasants and professionals who all have roles to play.
We will engage them in their capacities to determine what they can contribute.
I am convinced that those who dislike Zanu-PF have a reason for their disposition.
They are probably seeing certain wrongs and we want to sit down with them to understand their concerns.
Zanu-PF has contributed much to Zimbabwe; I don’t believe some people can just hate it for no reason.
So, everybody with either a positive or negative mind will be engaged.
Cde Victor Matemadanda is the Zanu-PF National Political Commissar. He was speaking to The Sunday Mail’s Senior Reporter Lincoln Towindo in Harare last week
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