President Robert Mugabe has announced that he is resigning in December 2014.
President Mugabe said all members of the Politburo and Central Committee, including himself, will resign ahead of the December elective congress.
Mugabe will, however, not be challenged by anyone as he seeks to maintain his grip on the party. He told the Women’s League conference that:”At the December Congress, all of us must resign so that new people are elected. The Politburo and the Central Committee – we must all resign.”
He castigated leaders who are engaged in vote-buying to influence the outcome of the congress.
“Some are already campaigning vigorously, dishing out loads of money and so they would want to see the Youth League, the Women’s League, producing people whom they think support them and will at Congress then combine in electing them.
“So it’s up to you – be vigilant. If you want to be used go ahead and accept their bribes. We want people to be free to elect whoever they want to represent them,” he said.
He said people have grouped themselves alongside faction lines, but those who aspire to be elected should be servants of the people whose focus is on implementing government policies on the ground.
“At the end of the day, good leadership is disciplined leadership. Do you respect the freedom of others and refrain from interfering with them? Are you yourself sufficiently disciplined in terms of how you conduct yourself? Or are you morally weak, sexually weak? You take this woman as your wife, you that that one…” –
He acknowledged the support women continue to give to him and to Zanu PF. “The women are the backbone. They have always been the backbone of the party. Without your support I am nobody. It is only when I have your support that I can say Zimbabwe will never be a colony again,” he said.
He said the black government, after independence, introduced deliberate measures to uplift the lives of women who had been down-trodden for many years.
“That is why some of us when independence came we decided we must respect women in terms of their status and regard them as equal to men. We passed laws; we changed the system we found in that it discriminated against women and we amended the laws in regard to the salaries of women.
“And because we saw how tough women were during the war, in the new government we changed the status quo – in respect to work
positions, remuneration etc, that is why we changed the laws.
He said today fathers are sending boys and girls to school on equal terms ecause there is no difference between the boy child and the girl child.
He added, “And I am glad that our system has now produced so many educated women. We still have to do more of course. And we are glad there are so many holding senior positions, not only in the public service, but also in the private sector.
“And we would want to see our women being given the necessary freedom to play their part in the community – whether in the public sector or the private sector – and we are sure that once the women are given something to do, in the majority of cases they are likely to perform better than men.”