I am humbled and indeed honoured to greet you and welcome you all to this Extraordinary Congress of our Party, the Zimbabwe African Union-Patriotic Front! In welcoming you all, may I recognise in a very special way those comrades representing sister liberation movements with whom we shared the trenches in our struggles for national independence. Furthermore, I also recognise delegates representing other political parties from the region and beyond, with whom we enjoy warm, fraternal relations.
You are most welcome and rest assured that you are among comrades, ideological soul mates, brothers and sisters who warmly embrace you in your individual capacity and as emissaries of your parties and governments.
This convocation is thus ours together. Comrades, delegates, we meet today in Extraordinary Session of Congress of the Party, which brings together leadership from the district level to the Central Committee.
First and foremost, we must all recognise that we convene here primarily as members of the Party, bound by the duties and obligations of all Party members as outlined in Article 3, Section 21 sub-sections 1 to 6 of our Party Constitution, which states the following.
“Duties of members
Every member of the Party shall have the duty to:
1. to be loyal.
2. to observe and abide by the policies, rules and regulations of the Party;
3. to strive continuously to raise the level of his/her own political and social consciousness and understanding of the Party policies;
4. to strengthen, promote and defend the Party and popularise its policies among the people;
5. to conduct himself/herself honestly and honourably in his/her dealings with the Party and public and not to bring the Party into disrepute and ridicule; and,
6. to pay regular subscriptions.”
To this end, the spirit and letter of this Constitutional provision must guide, not only today as we deliberate on the agenda of this Extraordinary Congress but all our party interactions at every level.
Today I address you as a newly draped President and First Secretary of Zanu-PF, subject of course, to the ratification, by this august gathering of the resolution of the Extraordinary Session of the Central Committee held on 19th November 2017, which appointed me to the helm of our Party. I feel the full weight of this new role which is made lighter by the wealth of experience and systems synthesised into clear rules, procedures and traditions we have built together as a Party over the years.
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