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'Zanu-PF has become an employer of choice'

by Staff reporter
08 Dec 2019 at 11:43hrs | Views
The 18th Zanu-PF National People's Conference takes place from Tuesday to Sunday in Goromonzi, Mashonaland East.

Kuda Bwititi spoke to Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu on preparations, as well as expected outcomes from the five-day indaba.

Below are excerpts from the interview.


Question: May you give us an update on preparations for the upcoming conference?

Answer: The preparations, as reported to the Politburo (Wednesday), are almost complete . . . The venue for the conference in Goromonzi is ready. Early this week (last week), a delegation led by our national chairperson, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, visited the venue and they expressed satisfaction with what is on the ground.

Q: How many delegates are scheduled to attend?

A: Over 5 000 (party delegates) drawn from all provinces and districts will attend the conference. The majority of our party delegates have been accredited. What is of interest to me is that we have had overwhelming interest from private institutions.

Institutions such as associations of miners, farmers, churches and non-governmental organisations also want to be part of the conference. More than 2 000 individuals from these organisations have requested to attend.

I am not even talking about Government institutions, but private institutions drawn from a plethora of sectors.

I can safely say that almost all well-known institutions in the country have submitted their request to be part of the conference. Interestingly, some political parties have also requested to attend, and we have accommodated them.

Q: Can you give us the names of these political parties?

A: Perhaps, they might not be comfortable with me revealing their identities. But what I can say is that Zanu-PF is a mass party for the majority, and our people are excited to be supporting the New Dispensation, whose vision is to allow all well-meaning Zimbabweans to come forward and help in the economic development of our country.

Q: What is unique about this year's conference?

A: This year, I think we will see increased presence of our party branches from the Diaspora. We have grown in numbers in different parts of the world. Some of our delegates will come from our branches in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, Canada, China and others.

We will have representatives from our US-based friends, the December 12 Movement. We will also have former liberation movements from the Sadc region. They are all going to send representatives.

Q: What are the major items expected on the agenda of the conference?

A: The theme of the conference is "Modernise, Mechanise and Grow the Economy towards Vision 2030".

The conference will look at the economic situation, political situation as well as betterment of lives for our people through projects that we want to promote. Broadly, we will look at the state of the party and the state of the economy.

Q: The ordinary person affected by the ongoing economic reforms will ask: what is in it for me? And how can this conference be relevant to the ordinary Zimbabwean?

A: The idea behind this theme is to focus on issues that affect ordinary people. We understand the challenges facing the country in terms of prices of basic commodities. As you are aware, the President recently directed the return of subsidies. We are sensitive to the plight of our people that after this conference, it will be all systems go, for the betterment of the life of our people.

The conference will have thematic committees that will discuss issues that are coming from the people.

Some of the issues that will be raised include devolution, which is a policy that Government is implementing to bring fruitful benefits to all provinces and districts. The thematic issues will also dwell on food security, social services, macro-economic stability, inclusive growth, infrastructure development, as well as value addition and beneficiation.

These are the issues that affect the people and conference. We are also going to have a session where Cabinet ministers will make presentations of how they have been implementing their programmes to reach the people. So a number of ministers will give detailed feedback.

So there is going to be a takeaway for everyone. They will have a deeper understanding of how the economy is running and what they can also look forward to in the next year. That is why at the end of the conference there will be resolutions meant to direct Government on what they need to do to better people's lives.

Q: What progress has been made in implementing resolutions from last conference?

A: This is one of the major items on the agenda; there is going to be a report that will be done by party representatives and Government representatives.

This is why we have invited ministers to give feedback. So, on the resolutions, there is going to be a thorough review to see which resolutions have been implemented and those that have not so that progress can be measured in a comprehensive way.

It will be a very focused gathering dealing with issues that affect the country and the party.

Q: What would you describe as some of the successes recorded by the party during the year?

A: The key success is that we need unity and focus. We have managed to create the war veterans wing in the party, and that is a major milestone in the revolution of our party.

War veterans, war collaborators and ex-detainees are crucial to the party. This shows you what the New Dispensation is about. We are changing things, and changing things in a revolutionary way to strengthen the movement.

Q: In terms of changing the party, we see that Zanu-PF has taken a professional route by redeploying some former Government ministers like yourself to work full-time for the party. Can you explain how this has helped the     party?

A: This has been done through the wisdom of our First Secretary, His Excellency the President, and we have to applaud him for that wisdom.

Zanu-PF is being professionalised after he assigned experienced cadres to take up leadership positions at the party (headquarters).

They are now running the party on a full-time basis so that they can modernise the party and adapt to the constantly changing social and political environment.

A good example is that our youths now have a heavy presence on social media to push the party's brand. In the past, we were lightweights on social media, and we couldn't drive the conversation and we were attacked left, right and  centre.

Right now, no one can attack us without cause and think that we will not fight back.As a professionalised institution, we are facing them head-on.

The Zanu-PF of today is not the Zanu-PF of yesterday that would be abused. We are constantly strategising. We have heads of department here who work full-time, and they have all the experience.It is really a cradle of knowledge that we have for both the country and our party.

Q: But what really has come out of professionalising the party?

A: The party is now self-sustaining, financially. All along, we relied mainly on the political parties' funding, as well as targeted fund-raising activities.

We now have a resource mobilisation unit, where the party has its own income-generating projects to sustain its operations. We have in the party an investment committee that I chair; this committee meets every week.

We have initiated some projects that compete with commercial enterprises. We have also established a research and policy unit of academics and professionals, where we research on policy decisions, be it for the party consumption or for Members of Parliament (MPs).

When MPs come here, we give them valuable information based on our research.

Zanu-PF has become an employer of choice: we have many academics like professors and PhD holders.

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Source - sundaymail