“In all the coming elections, no one is going to remove Mnangagwa. We are here until he feels it is the time to go and when we have fully restored our country to its former glory and when everything is in order. No one must dream of being the president …” said Chiwenga.
The annual conference kicks off tomorrow in Esigodini, a small town 40km outside Bulawayo, the country’s second-largest city, and is expected to host more than 5 000 delegates from different parts of the country.
It will be the first conference to be held by the ruling party since the ouster of former ruler Robert Mugabe last November.
The party subsequently held an extraordinary congress last year which confirmed Mnangagwa as the new party leader and the replacement for Mugabe.
This week’s conference is being held under the theme “Zimbabwe Is Open for Business: Peace, unity towards an Upper Middle-Income Economy by 2030” and will end on Saturday.
Party spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said preparations were proceeding well and everything was in place for a successful event.
“We will have our politburo meeting tomorrow that will be followed by the central committee on Wednesday. On Thursday, delegates will travel to the conference venue and the president and first secretary of our revolutionary party, Mnangagwa, will officially open the conference on Friday. Conference business will spill over into Saturday and delegates will depart on Sunday,” said Moyo.
Piers Pigou, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, said he expected this week’s ZANU-PF conference to be an exercise in dishing out well-choreographed praise for Mnangagwa.
“But it will help give some further clarity on Mnangagwa’s ongoing consolidation of authority, as significant parts of the country did not support him, including areas won by ZANU-PF in the parliamentary polls. The conference will also provide some further insights on how the party is responding to the government’s reform agenda which is also having painful consequences for their own support base,” he said.-TimesLive