Zimbabwe president, Robert Mugabe has ruled out resignation despite increasing pressure.
In a special address to the nation, Mugabe, who insisted he was still President, called for reconciliation on the ongoing impasse in the country.
“I am aware that many developments have occurred in the party or have been championed and done by individuals in the name of the party. Given the failings of the past and the anger these must have had. Such developments are understandable, but we cannot be guided by bitterness and vengefulness, they would not make us any better party members of Zimbabweans,” Mugabe noted in an address to Zimbabweans.
“Our policy of reconciliation which we pronounced in 1980 and through which we reached out to those who had occupied and oppressed us for nearly a century and those we traded fire with in a bitter war surely can not be unavailable to our own both in party and nation. We must learn to forgive and resolve contradictions real or perceived in comradely Zimbabwean spirit.”
Towards achieving this, he said had just held a meeting with security organs which mounted an operation Wednesday that saw him confined in his home.
“Fellow Zimbabweans we are a nation born out of protracted struggle for national independence. Our goals and ideals must guide our present and structure our future. The tradition of resistance is our collective legacy whose core tenets must be subscribed by all across generations and times.
“Indeed, this was a great concern for our commanders, who themselves were methods of that revolution and often at very tender ages and at great personal peril. We still have in our various communities, veterans of that founding struggle who must have found the prevailing management of national and party issues quite alienating. This must be corrected without delay including ensuring that these veterans continue to play central roles in the lives of our nation.”
Speaking out on Wednesday’s operation that saw him confined at his home by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Mugabe said there was no law broken by the army.
“The operation did not amount to a threat to our well cherished constitutional order, nor was it a challenge to my authority as head of state of government, not even as commander in chief of the ZDF, the command element remained respectful with the dictates of constitutionalism.
“True, a few incidents may have occurred here and there but these are being corrected. I am happy that throughout the short period, the pillars of the state remained functional.”
He said that Sunday’s meeting with the command element focused on the need “for us to collectively start processes that return our nation to normalcy so all our people can go about their business unhindered in an environment of perfect peace and security assured that law and order will prevail as before and endure well into the future”.
The meeting was facilitated by a mediating team led by Fr Fidelis Mukonori of the Catholic Church.
“Even happier for me and arising from this meeting is a strong sense of colleaguealiaty and comradeship. Now biding the various arms of our security establishment. This should lead to greater peace and offer an abiding sense of security in communities and in our entire nation.”
“Of greater concern to our commanders are the well founded fears that the lack of unity and commonness of purpose in both party and government was translating into perceptions of inattentiveness to the economy, open public spats between high ranking officials in the party and government exacerbated by multiple conflicting messages from both the party and government made the criticism levelled against us inescapable.”
Nevertheless, he says all of these will be responded to with great urgency. “In respect of the party, and the party issues raised by the commanders and the general membership of ZANU PF, these too stand acknowledged, they have to be attended to with a great sense of urgency.”
He urged his party members that the way forward can’t be “based on swapping, vying cliques that ride roughshod over party rules and procedures”.
He added advised that “there must be a net return to the guiding principles of our party as enshrined in its constitution which must be applied fairly and equitably in all situations and before all members”.
“The era of victimisation and arbitrary decisions must be put behind so as we all embrace a new ethos predicated on the supreme law of our party and nourished by an abiding sense of camaraderie,” he read as the army chief Constantino Chiwenga who led the military takeover earlier this week helped him turn the pages.
Mugabe further added that all matters will be discussed and settled in the forthcoming congress within the frame work “of our clear road map that seeks to resolve once and for all any omission and contradictions that have affected our party negatively”.
“The congress is due in a few weeks from now, I will preside over the processes which must not be prepossessed by any ax calculated to undermine it or compromise the outcomes in the eyes of the public.”
Meanwhile, his party members who have replaced him with his former Vice President, Emerson Mnangangwa have given him up to mid-day to tender in his resignation or face impeachment.
In related news, SADC has called for an urgent extraordinary organ troika summit on the political situation in Zimbabwe. The meeting set for Tuesday will be held in Angola and all presidents of SADC countries are expected to attend.