By Andrew Kunambura
IN a development certain to rile the opposition and jolt electoral stakeholders, Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu Monday declared the ruling party will never relinquish power and plans to rule for a very long time.
Mpofu’s averments come at a time calls for electoral reforms are growing louder ahead of the watershed 2023 general election.
The main opposition party, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) has also said it will not contest the poll in the absence of these systemic reforms and accuses the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of being biased towards Zanu PF.
Speaking at the send-off ceremony for 36 Zanu PF officials who left to join the Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre in Tanzania on Monday, Mpofu said Zanu PF will never surrender power under any circumstances.
The Julius Nyerere Leadership School in Tanzania was built and funded to the tune of US$40 million by the Chinese Communist Party
The burly politician, known for not mincing his words, also said Zanu PF was one of Southern Africa’s most formidable political parties.
“We are going to be in power for a very long time. We are not going to surrender power. We will always be the governing party,” Mpofu said.
Mpofu however unwittingly revealed that Zanu PF leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, had to hastily dispatch the late minister and Airforce of Zimbabwe commander Perrence Shiri to Tanzania to lobby for support after the January 2019 protests as he felt that his grip on power was under threat.
“President Mnangagwa had to dispatch the late air marshal Perrence Shiri to lobby for support in Tanzania after the stay away. The late Tanzanian President John Magufuli promised unwavering support and said all regime change machinations will be thwarted,” he said.
During the three-day protests, security forces used excessive lethal force to crush nationwide demonstrations. The government had announced a fuel price increase of 150 percent. Security forces fired live ammunition killing 17 people.
Mpofu also flaunted his liberation war credentials claiming to have trained in Tanzania during the liberation struggle.
“Tanzania was one of the first countries to train liberation fighters. I trained in Tanzania in 1968 where I was with the likes of Ambrose Mutinhiri. Mutinhiri was an instructor then,” he said.
Mpofu said the 36 people who are going to attend the Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre were drawn from the ruling party, public service and other institutions.
The Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre prides itself in contextualizing problems and their solutions. It draws from a wide variety of approaches, that include, innovative policy leading research, quality dialogues, youth training and mentoring, providing an important platform for distinguished African intellectuals and scholars.