Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has justified his factional fights with First Lady Grace Mugabe in Zanu PF as being good for democracy.
The state media reports that the current ZANU-PF squabbles will not weaken the revolutionary party, but will only make it stronger as it has experienced and survived much bigger challenges since inception, Mnangagwa has said.
In a wide-ranging interview aired by ZBC Tv last night, Mnangagwa said internal differences help the party leadership to have an appreciation of what members think and is a reflection of thriving intra-party democracy.
“I have been in the party since 1962, I can’t remember a year when there were no squabbles since 1962, but we are still going,” he said.
“The squabbles make us stronger and more sharpened to deal with issues.
“If everything dies and there are no squabbles, and there is nothing, I would be very worried.
“When these things happen, you now know what people are thinking and you know what to do to resolve the misthinking.”
VP Mnangagwa’s comments come in the wake of countrywide demonstrations by party organs against former Women’s League deputy secretary Eunice Sandi Moyo and secretary for Finance Sarah Mahoka over a litany of allegations.
The two resigned from their posts ahead of imminent sacking and the Politburo has since ordered them to return all the funds they allegedly looted.
Six of the party’s 10 provinces have also called for and endorsed the ouster of national political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere for attempting to topple President Mugabe through parallel structures.
Turning to biometric voter registration, VP Mnangagwa said Government could not surrender the running of such processes to foreign agencies, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) when Zimbabwe is a sovereign nation.
“Zimbabwe is a Republic,” he said. “The UNDP is found in Botswana, Malawi Tanzania, Haiti, Bangladesh, it is found everywhere. But these are sovereign countries and governments.
“It is not UNDP that decided we want biometric voter registration, it is us Zimbabweans. We may go to UNDP to ask for resources to support our programmes and not for UNDP to run us. Ah taramba.
“We have agreed as the Executive that we will have biometric voter registration. Yes, initially, we had difficulties of resources, but the President insisted that we must find resources and at the end of the day (Finance Minister Patrick) Chinamasa found resources, so we gave it to ZEC to look for the equipment.”
Opposition parties under the National Election Reform Agenda staged demonstrations alleging that Government, ZEC in particular, deviated from an all inclusive meeting where it was agreed that UNDP would assist in providing funds and procurement of the kits.
VP Mnangagwa denied that Government had deviated from any agreement and challenged opposition parties to approach the courts if they were aggrieved on any Government decision regarding the procurement of biometric voter registration kits.
Turning to complaints on the prevalence of road blocks, VP Mnangagwa said the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry had been asked to engage the Home Affairs Ministry to find how they could be rationalised and avoid unnecessary prevalence of such police road blocks.
He said tourism players and citizens alike had complained about the prevalence of roadblocks.
“I believe the intention of these roadblocks is to save lives, to make sure the motor vehicles on the highway are fit to be on the road,” said VP Mnangagwa. “And also there are many things that are done at roadblocks, criminal, smugglers, there must be some way to deal with those things.”