Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr Gideon Gono says he is ready for political office and is prepared to lead the people of Buhera if all relevant procedures to facilitate his entry into the Senate are completed.

Speaking at the memorial service of national hero Cde Kumbirai Kangai in Glen Forest, Harare, yesterday, Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Cde Didymus Mutasa backed Dr Gono for Senate, while party spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo bemoaned a cropping "lack of respect" in the ruling party.

Dr Gono opened up for the first time on his possible entry into the legislature to replace Cde Kangai as Buhera Senator and called for unity in Zanu-PF.

"I did not come here as a member of a certain faction. Hapana mafactions pano. VaGono havasi vefaction. (There are no factions here. Gono is not about factionalism.) I have been longing to speak publicly; the last time I spoke publicly was when I was still the RBZ Governor and I want to emphasise that I belong only to President Mugabe's faction and Zanu-PF political party in its totality.

"Hatina kuuya pano tichiti uyu ndeuyu achazorwisa uyu; ngatiite zvinhu zvinovaka (we have not gathered to prepare for fights, let us focus on development)," said Dr Gono, whose second term at the central bank expired last November.

Dr Gono openly expressed his desire to be Buhera Senator, but said he would respect  party procedure on the matter.

"It is not yet ripe for me to become your leader, let us wait for all the necessary procedures to be completed. We need to follow the party protocol until such a time the party leadership confirms me."

Cde Mutasa voiced his support for Dr Gono and declared he would not rest until he was confirmed a Senator.

"We are fully behind you VaGono; the people of Buhera need you. Pane makwikwi ari mumusangano mazuva ano (there is contestation in the party today), with some throwing spanners along the way but we will not rest until you assume the post," said Cde Mutasa; who also went down memory lane, narrating the late Cde Kangai's liberation war credentials.

"He was a straight-forward man, a man who fought diligently for the liberation of this country. He was the secretary for transport and logistics in the Dare reChimurenga and made sure everything went smoothly."

Cde Gumbo weighed in: "Cde Kangai knew the party protocol. Chaakutinetsa ikozvino ndaana mafikizolo vasingazive gwara remusangano; munhu anongobuda achingoropota asingazive kuti vakuru vemusangano ndaanani, uye vanobatwa sei. (The problem we have is that of newcomers who do not know how the party works; people who just emerge and talk a lot without knowing who are the leaders of the party and how they should be treated).

"During the struggle we learnt that as leaders we should not put personal interests in front. Instead, we should extend the interests of the masses."

Among dignitaries present at the gathering were Zanu-PF Central Committee member Cde Idah Mashonganyika, Mudzi South legislator Mr Jonathan Samkange and Major-General Douglas Nyikayaramba.

Cde Kangai died on August 24, 2013 aged 75 at his Glen Forest home. He was Zimbabwe's first Labour Minister and was Buhera South legislator from 1980 to 2008. He left behind his wife Miriam and eight children.

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