The Sunday Mail
Zanu-PF is certain of victory in next month’s harmonised elections, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa saying the July 30 polls are a mere formality to endorse the ruling party’s national administration.
Addressing a packed White City Stadium in Bulawayo yesterday, the ruling party’s First Secretary and 2018 Presidential Candidate said he was confident of victory.
“This gathering is a Zanu-PF gathering and I say to you as your leader, let us unite and mobilise and win the July 30th elections. Those elections are just a process to renew our mandate to rule the country. That’s the purpose of the election, otherwise we are the rulers,” he said.
President Mnangagwa took his message of peace to Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, imploring party supporters to refrain from violence to ensure a clean electoral victory.
He said the open invitation to international election observers was testimony to his administration’s commitment to credible polls.
“We don’t need any violence at all. Unity, love and peace – we need an untainted thunderous victory.
“We have invited, for the first time in the history of the country, we have invited worldwide observers. We have
said our elections are transparent, are fair and credible.
“Anybody who wants to come and observe our elections must come and observe. We have opened the gates.
“We would want you as Zimbabweans to show your maturity, your warmth to visitors that are coming into our country.”
President Mnangagwa said under his administration, politics would be on the back burner as economic development would be prioritised.
“Upon my inauguration on the 24th of November last year, I promised that my administration will henceforth look into developmental issues and put political issues in the backseat.”
He said a new culture of placing ordinary people’s livelihoods above other considerations was already being instilled, adding: “Pamberi ne business, pamberi ne economics, pamberi ne wealth, pambili nokunotha.”
President Mnangagwa said his administration was instituting the mechanics of rating provinces’ economic performance by gross domestic product (GDP) as a means of inculcating competitiveness and enhancing productivity.
China, for one, has used such a system to good effect in recent decades to make it the world’s second-biggest economy.
“There shall now be provincial GDPs in each single provinces; identifying the growth of the economy in each single province. Provinces are going to compete,” he said.
The President made a strong and well-received statement against the rot at opposition-led urban councils, which are characterised by poor service delivery, saying voters must kick out such non-performers at the polls.
“I am disappointed by urban councils. Most urban councils have gone to waste. The roads are poor, service delivery is poor.
“Even today, I am informed Bulawayo City Council has stopped water to this place.
“The power of the councillors and the power of the council comes from the people. You are the people and they deny you water? You are the people who put them in council and they deny you water. What nonsense is that?”
Turning to land barons, he warned that their “Armageddon was coming”.
President Mnangagwa said an interim report on housing in Harare had opened a can of worms.
“We have launched an inquiry into urban and rural councils. I have received a report on Harare alone and it’s terrible. The interim report I have, I now know who are the land barons, their cellphone numbers, their addresses, and what they are doing and how much they have stolen.
“So the day of Armageddon is coming for them. It’s not only Harare, all other cities and councils. We now want to have a housing programme that is for a modern Zimbabwe,” he said in reference to his Government’s Command Housing initiative.
President Mnangagwa again threw down the gauntlet on the matter of corruption, adding that everyone has a responsibility to play the role of whistle-blower to help end the scourge.