President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday paid tribute to Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration Dr Obert Mpofu and Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda’s roles in the political transition that ushered in the new dispensation in November last year.
The two party cadres, who hail from Matabeleland North, played historical roles in process that subsequently led to the recall and resignation of former president Robert Mugabe on November 21.
Cde Mpofu chaired the Zanu-PF Central Committee meeting on November 19 which removed Cde Robert Mugabe as First Secretary of Zanu-PF and expelled several members of the G40 faction who were accused of unprocedurally angling to capture the levers of power in both the party and Government.
Two days later, on November 21, Adv Mudenda presided over the joint sitting of Parliament to impeach Cde Mugabe.
The latter, however, resigned before the impeachment proceedings began.
Addressing thousands of people who attended the party’s rally at Somhlohlo Stadium in Lupane on Friday, President Mnangagwa said the duo were influential in birth of the new political administration.
“When the Vice President (Dr Constantino Chiwenga) was introducing me, he missed something,” President Mnangagwa told the supporters.
He continued: “When I became a border jumper last year, you who had remained behind refused to accept the situation. Your party Zanu-PF met and uMpofu, uObert Mpofu, ukhonapha, sukuma ndoda, nguye lo undoda lo owatshela umhlangano weCentral Committee ukuthi sibe ledawn leyi esesilayo namuhla.”
He said at the November 19 Central Committee, 262 members of the 300 were in attendance and resolved to sack G40 cabalists from the party, including Mr Mugabe’s wife, Grace.
“This is now a clean revolutionary Zanu-PF with committed leadership.
“The next decision that was made at that meeting was to reinstate me and you said jump the border back into Zimbabwe to become Vice President again.
“Meanwhile, again, a revolutionary son from Matabeleland North chaired Parliament as Speaker, undoda lo ngu Mudenda and said the former president has abandoned his executive powers and we now want to impeach him. The son of Matabeleland North, uMudenda nguye owayesesi hlalweni for the impeachment process.”
President Mnangagwa said after Mr Mugabe’s resignation, Advocate Mudenda asked Zanu-PF to nominate a candidate within 48 hours to fill the vacancy.
“The former president uMugabe, stepped down, resigned and in terms of our Constitution, within 48 hours, the Speaker demanded that the ruling party, Zanu-PF, should produce a nominee to take over.
“The Central Committee of the party then nominated me to take over as the President of the new Republic. As a result of that, on the 24th I was sworn in as the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe,” he said.
The President said two weeks after his inauguration, the Zanu-PF Extraordinary Congress appointed him the substantive First Secretary of the party.
“After my inauguration, I made a pledge that we will respect the people’s wishes because the voice of the people is the voice of God,” he said.
“I also said we as a revolutionary party shall respect all our icons who led us through the armed revolution that gave us Independence.”
During his visit to Matabelaland North, the President also handed over 1 444 cattle to farmers in Matabeleland North as he officially launched the provincial Command Livestock and Fisheries Programme at Arda Jotsholo Estate in Lupane.
The cattle were distributed to beneficiaries from Matabeleland North’s seven districts.
Addressing beneficiaries and guests, President Mnangagwa said his Government had an all-inclusive approach in its development programme for the country.
He said after considering that not all provinces were the same, Command Livestock was meant to cater for those dry areas that do not receive much rainfall like Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, southern parts of Midlands, Masvingo and part of Manicaland.