Signs that the party is getting stronger in the United Kingdom – President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party on Saturday hosted a historic conference in the second capital Birmingham city.
It is Birmingham that is remembered during the liberation war of independence for providing refuge to then senior ZANU PF emissary, Didymus Mutasa (now Presidential Affairs Minister) who lived there while mobilising resources and support for the ZANLA forces back home.
On Saturday, the party deliberately chose Birmingham to meet for a key consultative forum seeking to among other things see that its ZIMASSET economic program works.
Below was their press release following the meeting which attracted numerous members across the United Kingdom:
ZANU PF UK held a landmark Consultative Meeting and Business Forum in Birmingham on Saturday, the 15th of March at a packed venue. The meeting was hosted by the vibrant ZANU PF UK Birmingham Branch which is led by the Branch Chairman; Cde George Nhera.
The inclusive meeting, held under the theme “Making Zim Asset Work for You” drew Zimbabweans from various professional backgrounds across the UK, and the mixture combined to make the meeting vibrant and one hailed by those who attended as a great success.
ZANU PF UK has put it at the centre of its approach to combine business and politics. This comes from an appreciation that people don’t eat, dress or drive politics. Politics should be about the betterment of people’s lives and not the betterment of the life of the politician. It should be about self-sacrifice by the politician and not unjust enrichment. Therefore flowing from that philosophy Zanu PF-UK embarked on a programme to explain Zim Asset and make it simple enough for the enterprising mind to envision the opportunities that lie therein. Leading this initiative is the ZANU PF UK Science and Technology Secretary; Dr Samuel Chindaro, who gave another of his series of presentations on Zim Asset. Cde Moses Samasuwo, a local entrepreneur and Party Cadre also gave a presentation about the investment climate in Zimbabwe and outlined practical and technical steps about establishing a business in Zimbabwe.
Dr Chindaro gave a presentation covering the background of Zim Asset, and explained why this policy is different from previous policies in that it is based on exploiting the country’s abundant natural resources and its well-established human capital. He said that technology and the people are the key drivers of Zim Asset and gave examples of how technology can be a key to all the four main clusters and the sub-clusters. He blasted the imposition of sanctions on the President and his family calling it an absurd, unjustified, divide-and-rule tactic meant to split the Zimbabwe family and to hurt the country as a whole. He added that sanctions on the President are sanctions against the country and an attack on all Zimbabweans.
Dr Chindaro’s presentation combined very well with Cde Moses Samasuwo who gave a powerful presentation which included the 7 steps which one should take in order to establish a business in Zimbabwe. The 7 steps and associated advice will be made available on the ZANU PF UK website in the near future. Cde Samasuwo said a comprehensive investment guide on Zimbabwe which will outline the wide-range of opportunities available in Zimbabwe, would also be made available in the next three to six months.
The Secretary for Administration Cde Marshall Gore spoke about establishing a Chamber of Commerce to bridge the business information asymmetry between the UK and Zimbabwe.
ZANU PF UK Chairman Cde Nick Mangwana, who was chairing the meeting, gave a narrative of his personal experience about adapting and meeting challenges in order to succeed, grow and make a difference. He made an impassioned appeal to the diaspora community to come out of their comfort zones. He said that anyone who stays in their comfort zone will never grow. He said that breaking out of your comfort zone is doing something you have not done before, something which is anxiety invoking and is not risk neutral. He spoke against the spirit of entitlement and the loss of the Zimbabwean work ethic.
The Chairman’s message was supported by Cde Itai Choto, the ZANU PF UK Information and Publicity Secretary whose thrust was the branding of the Party. Cde Choto spoke about awareness of how the Party members engage with other people. He spoke against being aggressive and abusive and urged members to stay calm and polite when they engage in public fora such as social media and articulate the party’s position in a dignified manner. He implored cadres to go on a charm offensive rather than the bludgeoning of people with words. Cde Choto was credited with giving the meeting the level of publicity it had which had resulted in the overwhelming unprecedented attendance. There was consensus that Cde Choto continues to excel in his role as evidenced by the rapidly growing membership and visibility of the party in the UK. The Secretary for Security Cde Matunge called for maintenance of vigilance. He said that there is a need to remain aware that there will be an on -going attempt to infiltrate and disrupt the party in the UK.
The Women’s League Chairperson Cde Ruth Jabangwe spoke about the need for married women to maintain their cultural values despite the change in social setting. She said she hates seeing so many marriages breaking up due to the loss of cultural values, especially in the diaspora; a message which got a standing ovation from the male attendants!
The presentation was followed by a lively question and answer session which was open to the floor, for both question and answers. Issues ranging from the challenges the diaspora community face when opening businesses in Zimbabwe, the operation of ZANU PF UK, to the Issues of corruption were discussed. The forum noted with concern the level of dishonesty pervading our value system as a nation. There was consensus that corruption eradication should begin with individuals saying no to corruption.
Cde Tinomudaishe Chinyoka spoke passionately about corruption and noted the difficulties faced in all societies in eradicating “individual” corruption. He said that it was “institutional corruption” which is more damaging and should be tackled vigorously. Dr Chindaro noted that the current drive against corruption was initiated by the ZANU PF government and was included in the Party Manifesto, Zim Asset and the Party Resolutions from the 2013 Chinhoyi Conference. He implored individuals not to jump on the bandwagon by throwing around unfounded allegations.
A Party member who attended the Chinhoyi Conference, Cde Matongo, surprised Cde Nick Mangwana by informing him that he had listened to his landmark, ground-breaking address at the Conferenc. He commended the Chairman for the consistency in his message which resonated with his landmark, address to the Conference, and urged members to continue with their support.
Secretary for Commissariat, Cde Davison Chimenya saluted all the branches that were there. Among the branch members who attended were Cde Alfred Runyararo Benyera and Cde Table (South West England), Cde Mazala Bako (Coventry), Dr Agatha Benyera-Mararike (Kent). Cde George Nhera was the hosting Branch Chairman, supported by his team which included the Vice-Chairman Cde Chatindiara.
Zanu PF UK acknowledged the tasty complimentary culinary supply from the West Midlands women’s League led by Cde Gloria Chimbara. The Youth Chairman Cde Takunda Mangere, the Finance Secretary, Cde Eddie Mukutirwa were acknowledged for their unwavering support to the cause and the wisdom they bring to their portfolios.
The meeting was followed by a social event which allowed members to interact and network. This report would not be complete without mentioning the beautiful dancing and singing by Cde Bevan Pemhenayi which brought “morari” to the occasion. The meeting was closed by Cde Chatindiara the Vice Chairman for Birmingham.
Similar events are lined up during the course of the year and will be announced on the website and other media platforms.