The trying times we went through as a party undoubtedly tested our resilience. Events preceding this Congress also allowed our qualities as the party to show and shine, principally the quality that enables us to show mercy on those that genuinely erred, while working hard to rehabilitate them in order to re-integrate them into the party fold. In this regard, we have been able, in a very short time, to rid contradictions, however, antagonistic, and to mend broken relations so that we move forward in unity and newfound harmony within the party. In this vein, I exhort the party to outgrow the urge for vengeance and vindictiveness so it rebuilds and moves forward around this abiding ethic of mercy and forgiveness. Let us say NO to retribution, albeit remaining vigilant. As the curtain comes down on our Extraordinary Congress tomorrow, it will be expected that you who represent the highest body outside Congress, will show the way through discipline, respect for the constitution, exemplary conduct, and restraint from excesses and inspire magnanimity.
As you are all aware, I am completing the term of my predecessor and our past President and First Secretary Cde R. G. Mugabe. Between now and the next elections is a few months. Given that overbearing fact we cannot afford divisions which weaken our focus while they dissipate our collective energies in wasteful intra-party conflicts. We need every vote including that of our members who may have been misled by the cabal, and whom we must now rehabilitate and bring back into the party fold.
Lest there is confusion, may I point out that the Extraordinary Congress we are set to have tomorrow is not an elective one in respect of the Central Committee and all other organs of the Party. The congress will therefore extend the tenure of you the current Central Committee Members, which would have ordinarily expired in 2019, by another five years! This means that luckily, you here now stand to serve the Party for another five more uninterrupted years until the next congress which falls due in 2022. I hope this clarification allays all anxieties and stops the jostling that had begun to negatively affect the Party. Meanwhile, Provinces will be permitted to fill vacancies where they exist.
The Extraordinary Congress we hold tomorrow will fundamentally be, by no means a form of celebration, but it marks the beginning of hard honest work that is ensuing, of rebuilding all organs of our Party from the cell upwards. These must now be inspired not just for a thunderous showing but as part of our broader return to full vibrancy.
I am particularly concerned with the situation in both the Women and Youth Leagues which were the greatest victims of the counter revolutionaries who had captured the Party. These two vital organs of our Party must receive our urgent but compassionate attention so we put them back on the rails. In respect of the Youth League, conscious effort must be made to ensure vigorous interventions from the commissariat so that the youths reconnect with the ethos of the struggle and the value system of the Party as it has evolved over the years.
Regarding the Women’s League, I will tomorrow announce the new leadership.
The Extraordinary Congress equally marks a shift in paradigm of the Party as we, more than ever before, concern ourselves with the bread and butter issues that affect our people we lead. The party at all levels must give due attention to the developmental and economic issues within their Wards, Districts and Provinces. Leaders must be truly servants of the people, moved by matters that affect the people.
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