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Mugabe pleads for peace
April 19, 2013
Mugabe yesterday re-lived his worst fears, making a passionate plea
for unity and peace during primary elections to select party candidates
ahead of harmonised elections later this year.
of people who turned up for Independence Day celebrations in Harare,
the Zanu PF leader admitted internal selection processes were a
problem to all political parties, but warned that police would descend
on perpetrators of violence ahead of polls.
of all structures, wards, branches, districts and provinces, listen!”
have elections this year and there will be fighting within all parties
when choosing each other. We want it to be done procedurally and
people should be left to vote peacefully.”
pleaded for peace before, during and after the elections saying
cases of electoral violence would be an embarrassment to a country
celebrating 33 years of independence and boasts of having the most
educated population in Africa.
This came as
serious factional fighting erupted in Manicaland last week and Matabeleland
provinces threatening to rip Zanu PF through the middle, forcing
Mugabe to shelf party primary elections to choose candidates who
will represent the party during the forthcoming elections.
Soon after infighting
broke out in Manicaland last week, Mugabe dispatched party national
chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo to try and close ranks after the provincial
leadership petitioned the veteran leader urging him to rein in party
secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa for allegedly fanning
A faction reportedly
led by Vice-President Joice Mujuru is battling with another allegedly
led by Defence minister Emmerson Mnangagwa in the race to succeed
the 89-year-old Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since Independence
in 1980. The two have, however, denied habouring presidential ambitions.
Zanu PF, which
is yet to conduct a selection exercise for its candidates, has been
experiencing internal strife over Mugabe’s successor.
PF primary elections have been marred by violence and accusations
of candidate impositions. The party was forced to disband influential
grassroots structures – district coordinating committees –
last year after serious factional fights and vote-rigging.
ahead of polls have also broken out in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
MDC-T party where aspiring MP veteran journalist Geoff Nyarota reported
to the police Makoni West MP Pishai Muchauraya for allegedly threatening
him with death.
The matter is
now before the courts. But Mugabe yesterday said no one should impose
himself on the electorate and members who lose in internal political
party vetting processes should peacefully accept the verdict and
rally behind winning candidates.
leader admitted the country was under international scrutiny and
any form of violence would disgrace the nation. He discouraged the
use of force for support by political parties and called for a replication
of the peace that characterised the referendum on March 16.
all Zimbabweans although we differ in ideologies. As we go for elections,
go and vote your own way, No one should be forced to vote for anyone.
The people will make their choices; they are now educated and clever
to decide who they want,” Mugabe said.
He also welcomed
the re-engagement efforts initiated by Britain, the European Union
and the United States of America.
these efforts will lead to the unconditional lifting of illegal
sanctions in Zimbabwe. We will never allow interference in our country,
we need respect as a country,” Mugabe said.
relationship with the West turned sour at the turn of the millennium
with the West accusing him of gross human rights violations following
the violent land reform programme. Mugabe hit back, accusing the
latter of attempting to cause regime change by imposing targeted
sanctions on his Zanu PF party.
Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe, Arthur Mutambara and other
top party officials attended the Uhuru celebrations.
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