She also denounced Cabinet ministers who confuse the electorate and investors by making conflicting policy pronouncements.
Further, Dr Mugabe took a swipe at corrupt members, saying those engaging in graft should not cry foul when the long arm of the law catches up with them.
Dr Mugabe said this while addressing thousands of youths who attended the first of President Mugabe’s youths interface meetings held at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera on Friday.
“There are some weaknesses that are there – infighting and factionalism,” she said. “Pasi nevanoda zvefactionalism. That cannot drive Zanu-PF and the country forward. We must show small parties that as Zanu-PF we are against factionalism,” said the First Lady.
“If it is about leadership, we should wait until the time comes and elect our leaders without fighting. Today we bring this name and tomorrow we bring another. I don’t think that can help us as a party. If we do that, we confuse the electorate,” she said to applause from the gather- ing.
Dr Mugabe’s comments came after Politburo member and Higher Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo on Thursday last week publicly announced that Defence Minister Dr Sydney Sekeramayi was better suited to succeed President Mugabe compared to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Prof Moyo launched the verbal onslaught against VP Mnangagwa during a SAPES Policy Dialogue in Harare.
Dr Sekeramayi has since distanced himself from Prof Moyo’s utterances, viewed by a majority of party members as misguided.
“Please, they must leave me in peace,” Dr Sekeramayi told our sister publication, The Sunday Mail, over the weekend. “Why drag me into those things?”
In her speech at the Marondera rally, Dr Mugabe called for consistence on policy announcements by Government ministers.
“At times the ministers give conflicting policy pronouncements,” she said. “We request that our ministers should stop to give conflicting statements because it also confuses potential investors. We want things with cohesion.”
Dr Mugabe said corruption was not welcome in Zanu-PF, Government and the country at large.
“We have our deposits and if you are given a claim, be it gold or land, utilise it yourself,” she said. “That is where we are having problems because some are already leasing the land to former white commercial farmers.
“Corruption, we don’t want to talk about corruption every day – stealing people’s money. If you steal, (Zimbabwe) Anti-Corruption (Commision) is there and when it comes after you, you say people hate me.
“Pasi necorruption. In the rural areas there are people who support us. We must do projects that we promise them. I am sure you are aware that there is the Women’s Bank and the Youths Bank that are coming,” she said.
“I want to talk about the Women’s Bank. It’s not like only women will access money from that bank. Youths also can access loans and I am saying this because we are already at an advanced stage in our quest to set up that bank. Soon we will be announcing where you can access the loans, but you should know that these are loans and you have to pay back at affordable interest rates.”
Dr Mugabe challenged the Zanu-PF leadership to deliver on promises made to the electorate.
“We neglect roads for a long time and only refurbish them when the President is coming here,” she said of Marondera council. “No, that’s not good. How many times does the President come here? Roads should be maintained all the time to show that we are here to represent the people.”
Dr Mugabe said bond notes were introduced after it was realised that unscrupulous foreign business people were coming in to mop up foreign currency in the country.
“Still on the issue of money, I want you to understand why Government introduced bond notes,” she said. “Government realised that we are using currencies of other countries, especially the United States dollar and the South African rand and some people come here selling useless things and take away that money,” she said.
“They don’t bank it in our banking system and we end up having shortages because we don’t print that money here. It was pronounced clearly that one bond is equivalent to one US dollar. Foreign currency should be a reserve currency and that is what we want to hear as well,” she stressed.
“It’s not only bond notes that you should use for transacting; you can as well use credit and debit cards. These cards are convenient because you don’t move around carrying cash. If you withdraw money from the bank you can be robbed, so please let’s learn to use plastic money.”
Dr Mugabe said Zanu-PF should take advantage of the infighting in the opposition to bring back people who were hoodwinked into joining the opposition.
Turning to social media, Dr Mugabe said: “We have opportunities and threats on using that technology. Some use social media to spread good news and programmes about Zanu-PF, but others use social media to denounce party leadership.
“It’s not good. Today you are called youths, but tomorrow you will be adults. When you are sowing seeds of discontent like that will you be happy to see young people denouncing you in front of your children?”
Dr Mugabe said the country was expecting a bumper harvest this year and that there was no need for non-governmental organisations to bring their aid that normally comes with strings attached.
She said Zanu-PF was implementing several life-changing projects as outlined in the country’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset.-Zimpapers