Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Friday made an impassioned plea for the ruling ZANU-PF party to shun factionalism and remain united as the nation gears for elections next year.
Addressing his third presidential youth interface rally in Masvingo, the veteran leader lamented growing disunity in the party, some along tribal lines.
He said all the party’s 10 provinces were ridden with divisions as members fight along factional and tribal lines.
“I will never accept division on the basis of tribe. That is not how we built our party. The so-called factions must be silenced,” Mugabe said.
The veteran leader expressed frustration with the growing infighting, and said members not happy were free to leave ZANU-PF.
“We cannot continue with this factionalism. We have been quite tolerant and this party is built on the blood and suffering of many,” said Mugabe.
Mugabe has since been confirmed by his ZANU-PF party as its presidential candidate for the 2018 polls when he will be 94.
Mugabe warned senior party leaders against misleading youths through giving them money and other favors.
He also berated people in the party and government who are attacking the government’s command agriculture program which he said had resulted in the country recording a bumper maize harvest this year.
Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo is one of the people who have attacked the program.
Mugabe urged the party to start preparing for next year’s polls by mobilizing more people to register to vote, particularly the youths.
Zimbabwe will compile a new voters’ roll for the 2018 elections after adopting a new constitution in 2013.
He also warned the nation to remain vigilant against the West’s machinations to effect regime change in the country.
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