Prosper Ndlovu/Nduduzo Tshuma, Chronicle Reporters
ZANU-PF has all it takes to garner a resounding victory in the forthcoming harmonised election set for July this year and will not use violence to coerce the electorate, President Mnangagwa said yesterday.
Addressing thousands of people at separate rallies in Hwange and Bubi districts in Matabeleland North province, the President said the revolutionary party was readying itself to defeat its fragmented opponents, riding on its sound policies and proven track record since the days of the liberation struggle.
He called on Zimbabweans to register as voters in their large numbers and decide their destiny through the ballot box.
The President said this year’s polls should mark a defining moment in Zimbabwe’s democracy as it would be free, fair and transparent.
The Zanu-PF First Secretary denounced political violence, which has been strongly exhibited by the MDC-T in the last few weeks, and called on all Zimbabweans to unite and embrace each other in peace and love despite their ethnic and lingual differences.
“We are going to have elections in July this year. We are determined to have free fair and transparent elections in Zimbabwe. There is no reason for anyone of us to resort to violence. People should choose and vote for whoever they like,” said the President.
“Very soon I am going to announce an election date when everything has been done and I exhort you all to go and register. But people will vote for a party with a record of development, a party that liberated them and that party is Zanu-PF.
“I have no doubt Zanu-PF will win this election and continue to rule until eternity. So, we are saying to our people we need to grow our economy, we need to have policies in place that create jobs for our youths, policies that ensure food security.”
President Mnangagwa said the Government has invited the United Nations, European Union to observe the country’s elections along with traditional observers like Sadc and the African Union.
“We will win these elections hands down, clean win, hands down win. All we need is to register as voters,” he said.
Cde Mnangagwa urged party members to maintain their calm ahead of primary polls that he said should choose leaders with quality credentials, who are honest and willing to serve the nation.
He said the party would not allow any imposition of candidates as all contesting candidates would have to come from the people.
The President also warned members against abusing his name by claiming that they had been endorsed by him to contest for positions.
He said the revolutionary party has moved past misdeeds of the former President Mugabe’s era and that of the G40 toxic politics, which had turned party meetings into platforms of hurling insults at fellow comrades, and was forging ahead with focus on transforming the economy and improving livelihoods for the majority.
President Mnangagwa said he is a listening President with a listening team as their strength is derived from the people and not themselves.
The new political dispensation, he said, has excited the local business community and potential foreign investors.
Since its inauguration last November the new Government has been aggressively engaging the international community and re-assuring key business stakeholders at home.
Recent reports indicate already the country has booked in excess of $3 billion investment proposals with more positive signals evidenced by the influx of foreign business delegations seeking to explore economic opportunities.
The Zimbabwe Diaspora community has also jumped in with the recent conclusion of the $400 million National Railways of Zimbabwe recapitalisation deal.
“The economy has begun to respond because we have opened ourselves to the international community after years of isolation. As long as we remain peaceful and united we can develop this country into a middle class economy by 2030. That is what we want to achieve,” said the President.
He said the country, last year and previous years, would attract annual investment between $300 and $400 million but the new administration had within three months managed to secure $3 billion in commitments.
He said the country’s prospects for recovery were very bright as he emphasised the need for the holding of peaceful elections.
“Many companies, global players are sitting on the fence, they are waiting for our elections, once elections have been done, I have no doubt, many players would jump onto the wagon so that they could participate,” said President Mnangagwa.
He reiterated the mantra “Zimbabwe is open for business” saying the country was ready to embrace new allies in the world including those that previously imposed sanctions on the country and pledged to deepen ties with those nations that have stood by Zimbabwe in difficult times.
In his remarks Zanu-PF Matabeleland North provincial chair, Cde Richard Moyo, said the revolutionary party was geared to win all the seats in the province but stressed the need to work hard in mobilising supporters.
President Mnangagwa was accompanied by his deputy General Constantino Chiwenga (Retired), Cabinet ministers; Dr Obert Mpofu (home affairs), Simon Khaya Moyo (energy), Prisca Mupfumira (tourism), Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri (environment), Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Cain Mathema, Presidential spokesman George Charamba, Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda, Zanu-PF political commissar, Lieutenant General Engelbert Rugeje (Retired) and Zanu-PF youth secretary Cde Pupurai Togarepi.