Saturday, 16 June 2018


PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa will soon meet fellow presidential candidates for the July 30 harmonised elections following the sitting of the nomination court on Thursday so that they commit to holding peaceful polls.

Addressing a record crowd of Zanu-PF supporters at the Mucheke B Arena in Masvingo yesterday, President Mnangagwa said he had planned to meet the leaders of the political parties earlier but postponed the interface after he was told that the country had 133 parties.
After the sitting of the nomination court, however, 23 candidates, including President Mnangagwa successfully filed their papers to contest the country’s presidency.

“I come here a day after the nomination court. You will recall that some time ago I said I wanted to meet all leaders of political parties and we commit our political parties to non-violence, to a free election, to a transparent election, all of us together, we must commit ourselves.

“I thought there were about six or ten political parties but when I wrote Zec asking for the names of the parties, I was told at the time that they were 112 and I realised that the venue I had arranged was too small for the meeting,” said President Mnangagwa.

“I decided that we wait until we get a bigger venue but when I inquired again (from Zec), I was told that the parties were now 133 and I said let us wait for the nomination court and I will invite those parties that would succeed in filing their nomination papers.

“I am told that there are 23 parties with leaders that are contesting the presidency. We will then meet, myself included so that they commit themselves to peaceful campaigns, non-violent campaigns, no violence, we want a mature political campaign. Zimbabwe is of age in terms of politics.”

MDC Alliance led by Mr Nelson Chamisa is the most prominent of the 22 political parties challenging the ruling Zanu-PF party in the July 30 polls. 

However, poll surveys ahead of the elections have put Zanu-PF in the lead and highly likely to romp to victory.

President Mnangagwa said Zanu-PF enjoys the majority support of Zimbabweans for its members to bother those from other political parties.

He called for unity, harmony, love and peace in the country as the country inches towards the polls in line with his administration’s vision of love, prosperity, peace.

President Mnangagwa said the peaceful manner that Zimbabweans conducted themselves during the country’s transitional period in November last year should be continued.

“Why should we today have violence? Let us continue with this peaceful culture. It is giving us greatness across the world because we are a peaceful and warm people here in Zimbabwe, that’s a culture we must speak about, we must spread, we must embrace as a nation,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said his two deputies had visited Masvingo before yesterday’s rally and told him of the love that the people of the area have for the party.

He said he was convinced that no other province would match the multitudes of people at yesterday’s rally.

“You have filled the venue as I was told. If there is a day I will sleep peacefully, it is today. I can see that all of you love Zanu-PF and your leadership,” said the President.

“The power of those ruling comes from the people and those people are you here. If you want powers to rule this country and you don’t have these people here, where will you derive your mandate? The people are the ones who give leaders power.  My team and I are happy to see you in your multitudes.”

President Mnangagwa told the multitudes of Zanu-PF supporters, who started arriving at the venue as early as 4AM, to vote in their numbers to ensure the party’s victory.

He said by voting for the ruling party, the Zanu-PF supporters will not only defend the heritage of the black masses but put the country in the hands of an organisation with a clear vision for its future.

“Let us go on July 30 to cast our votes in our numbers to defend the heritage of the black people. It is only our party that knows the suffering of our people during the liberation struggle, our relatives dying outside the country and within, we honour them on July 30 by voting Zanu-PF,” said President Mnangagwa.

“These other parties do not know the struggle we went through and the vision we have for the country.”

President Mnangagwa acknowledged the logistical problems that characterised the holding of primary elections but called for members to unite and work towards the interests of the party.

He discouraged the tendency of shunning the party after losing in the primary elections with some opting to contest as independent candidates.

“The party is bigger than you. I have always said that there is no one with a pocket big enough to fit Zanu-PF but we can all fit inside Zanu-PF. Zanu-PF is a mass party that includes everyone,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said the re-engagement drive by his administration was bearing fruits as many multi-national corporations were visiting the country to explore investment opportunities.

“They are coming in their numbers and our hotels in Harare are facing challenges accommodating them with the overwhelming number of companies who are seeking engagement in our country,” he said.

The President called for a coordinated fight against corruption in all sectors of society. Herald


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