President Mnangagwa says he will announce dates for the harmonised elections within the next two weeks, signalling that the ruling party should engage in overdrive campaigns designed to both lure voters and consign the other contesting parties to the political dustbin.
The President’s statement comes as Senate passed the Electoral Amendment Bill last week, paving the way for a credible plebiscite.
The milestone development by Parliament empowers the President to sign the legislative changes into law and subsequently proclaim dates for the nomination court sitting and the actual polls.
Addressing a bumper crowd at Sakubva Stadium yesterday — gathered in haste at a side event to the renaming of the Headquarters 3 infantry Brigade Barracks to Herbert Chitepo Barracks — President Mnangagwa said he would proclaim election dates by month-end.
“Ikozvino tiri muhurumende itsva yandinotungamira nemakurokota andinawo pano, mamwe haapo,” he said.
“Panapa tina vaVice President vaChiwenga (Constantino), vaMohadi (Kembo) havapo, pane musangano wavari kuinda kuGwanda nhasi (yesterday).
“Tigova nemakurokota mazhinji muchaavona kana tave kuita macampaign, atanga kupera kwemwedzi uno.
“Handingadudzire zuva (rema elections) nhasi, zvinofamba neronga handiti?
“Toti isu pachivanhu chedu, kana ukateya riva mugomo ukavona makabatwa hove, inda unoshopera zvinenge zvisina kufamba neronga.
“Ukaisa duvu mumvura kuti ubate tsuro wowana muine tsuro, inda kumaporofita unobvunza kuti zvakafamba sei kuti mupinde tsuro, pane akaisa.
“Saka ndozvazviri, zvinofamba negwara, neronga.”
Added President Mnangagwa: “Asi Zanu-PF, ndinokuvudzai kuti kupera kwemwedzi uno, tichange tichiita proclamation, kuti munyika muno muchava nema elections kuti campaign igotanga nemutsindo.
“Tozovuya kuno ku Manicaland toita campaign zvino yokuti mikono ndiani muno munyika, zvobuda pachena,” he said.
President Mnangagwa thanked Zimbabweans for the peaceful transition in November last year.
He said he had to skip the country after he was fired by former President Mr Robert Mugabe on November 6 last year as his life was under threat.
“Asi kubva November last year tinokutendai ne runyararo rwakaitika panguva iyoyo musi wa, I think, 18 or 19 November last year nekuti ndakanga ndaita border jumper, ndakajamba ne makomo iwaya, ndakayambuka makomo aya vaakuda hupenyu hwangu, asi kana zuva rako risati rasvika unorarama.
“Saka ndinokutendai pa transition yakaitika, yakaitika murunyararo, hapana ropa rakateuka, former President wedu va Mugabe vakaita step down, Central Committee yedu yemusangano ikandisarudza ndisipo kuti nditungamirire musangano wedu we Zanu-PF, ndikatambira izvozvo.
“Ndinofunga kuti nemiwo ve Manicaland munotambira zvakaitwa ne Central Committee, ndizvo? Hallelujah!”
President Mnangagwa said he was surprised at the huge crowd that had gathered to meet him on short notice.
He said it was his hope that the numbers would translate into votes to safeguard Zimbabwe’s legacy.
“Ndinokutendai zvikuru nekuungana kwamaita, haisi rally yatanga takarangana, ndatoshamiswa munouya makawanda kudai in one minute yamanzwa.
“Ndinokumbira kuti patinoita proclamation tichauya kuno in two weeks taku campaigner kuti umwe neumwe anovimba kuti Zimbabwe ndeyake, Zimbabwe inhaka yatinofanira kuchengetedza.
“Tinofanira kuti musi we kuvhota tovhotera kuchengetedza nhaka yenyika ino.”
The President said no other political party can safeguard and meet the aspirations of the people.
The electorate, he said, should be wary of fly-by-night political parties that are bent on causing violence.
“Tungavapo tumwe tumisangano tunotinakidza kana tuchinge tuchitaura tichinakirwa, asi isu kana tichitaura tonangana nebasa, hatitukane nevanhu.
“No violence, we want our election to be free of violence. I plead with you, it’s more important, it’s more powerful for us to be peaceful, it means we are mature and Zanu-PF is power.
“We should not be distracted by small parties in the country which go about preaching hate speech, no! no!
“We must preach love, we must preach unity. People are allowed to differ, but never be violent because your brother has differed with you, because your sister has differed with you.
“To the youths, we must leave behind a legacy where they say madzikoma edu vakatisiira nhaka yakanaka, nhaka yerugare, nhaka yakavakika, nhaka yatakabatana, ndoyatinoda iyoyo mukati menyika yedu.”
The meeting was attended by Vice President Chiwenga and the ruling party’s national chairperson Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, among other senior party members from various party organs.
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