Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa receives a gift after officially opening the Extraordinary Congress of the ruling party ZANU PF in Harare, Zimbabwe December 15, 2017. REUTERS
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Zimbabwe’s Ruling Party, ZANU-PF, Endorses President Mnangagwa As Leader

Zimbabwe’s ruling party ZANU-PF on Friday confirmed Emmerson Mnangagwa as the party leader and as the party’s candidate for the 2018 presidential elections.

The message from ZANU PFs new leader is clear: Let’s learn from the events of the recent past, let’s remain united and lets not let our party be hijacked by counter-revolutionaries again.

“My ascendancy to the helm of the party must ever be interpreted as a defeat of one faction and the installation of another. My presidency should not be perceived as a rise in the fortunes of a region, or a tribe or totem. No. My presidency is about a united ZANU-PF, national party, with national outlook.” Mnangagwa said.

Delegates ratified Central Committee resolutions to reinstate members expelled from the party since 2014, when the divisive succession battle escalated.

Mnangagwa’s administration has taken measures to end years of economic decline. How it fares in turning around the country’s fortunes, will make or break ZANU-PF in next year’s polls.

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“In the same vein democracy bids that as a political party ZANU-PF must always compete for office through pitting itself against opposition parties in elections which must be credible free, fair and transparent. This we will continue to do as we have since independence and I have already announced that the 2018 harmonised election will be held as scheduled.” Mnangagwa said.

The congress has been shortened from six to three days to reduce its budget, in line with the government’s new cost-cutting measures.

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday vowed to hold free and fair elections next year, warning his party the contest was “nearer than what you expect”.

President Mnangagwa came to power last month after the military toppled long time ruler Robert Mugabe.

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