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Mugabe sets election date

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe wants this year’s elections to be held on June 29, but a faction within his Zanu PF is opposed to the date fearing that the party is not yet ready for polls, senior officials have said.

BY PATRICE MAKOVA

Sources told The Standard last week that Mugabe had told senior party officials to prepare for elections on June 29.

“The President [Mugabe] said the cut-off date for an election is June 29 and not any other day later,” said a Politburo member.

“He wants all the processes leading to elections, including the voter registration and voter education exercises to be done as soon as possible.”

The official said Mugabe had indicated that he might proclaim the dates for the elections, at the same time that he would announce the dates for the referendum on a new constitution.

“It’s a gamble which Mugabe appears set to take,” said another senior party official.

The Zanu PF official said Mugabe’s confidence of winning stemmed from the fact that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had been weakened by scandals and the failure by the MDC-T to deliver on many promises the party made when it joined the coalition government four years ago.

He said Mugabe also believed the party lost the 2008 elections due to the imposition of candidates and now wanted all top Zanu PF officials to be challenged during primary elections.

“Mugabe is saying, let the best candidate win, whether he or she is a ‘Young Turk’ or party veteran,” said the official. “Resistance is however coming from some senior party officials who want safe seats to be reserved for them.”

Zanu PF was also hoping to win the elections by dangling the indigenisation carrot to voters who would be promised majority shareholding in foreign-owned firms.

But the official said some members of the faction loyal to Vice-President Joice Mujuru were against the idea of holding elections on the proposed date.

They were said to be of the view that Zanu PF and Mugabe had no realistic chance of winning. “The Mujuru faction is still wary of the protest vote,” said the official.

Some of the Mujuru loyalists wanted elections next year, while others were supportive of Ibbo Mandaza’s idea of another GNU.

The faction loyal to Defence minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa wanted elections in March this year with or without a new constitution, but their idea was shot down by Sadc and the MDCs. Zanu PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo could neither deny nor confirm that his party now had a date for the elections.

“We will go on what the (GPA) principals say,” he said. Gumbo said depending on how the constitution-making proceeds, the Zanu PF politburo might meet soon to decide on party primary elections and national polls.

He reiterated his party’s position that following the recent agreement on the new draft constitution, there was no need to implement more reforms in the country.

“Reforms will come after elections. If they (MDCs) win then, they will implement the reforms they want,” said Gumbo. Zanu PF secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa, told The Standard recently that it was individual members and not Zanu PF as a party opposed to early elections.

20 Responses to Mugabe sets election date

  1. jonso February 3, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

    saka toziva zvipi

  2. Beya February 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Yes. Let’s get the elections over and done with. The GNU works against itself due to the different political camps. It has run its course.

    • Method Ndlovu February 3, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

      Let the elections come once and for all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. ANDERSON February 3, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    Zimbabweans are in a dilema. Tswangirai is too week and his party too immature. Mugabe is leading a bunch of thieves who steal in broad daylight and he doesnt do a thing about it!!!!

    Who then should we go to vote for in the forthcoming elections????

  4. Nazmo February 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Why delay the elections? The political parties in the GNU have agreed to the draft constitution and it is bound to succeed when it is put to a referendum. The GNU was a nonsensical brainchild of SADAC which only prolonged the political uncertainties creating economic stagnation etc.
    A early election at the end of June is just as good as having one much later, why waste time. As long as the elections will be free and fair and whatever the outcome the international community will have to accept the will of the people. If Zanu PF trounces the MDC which seems most likely the west must accept the reality that the limited sanctions it has in place has failed

  5. Munhava February 3, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    Why June 29?
    June 29 2008 Mugabe declared winner in runoff elections. Mugabe installed as President.
    Tsvangirai goes into hiding in some embassy.
    Inflation is around 4million percent (whatever that is)
    Shops are getting empty

    Boy! I hate elections.

  6. Prophet Nums February 4, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    @ Nazmo
    Dont rely too much on opinion polls. Peoples responses are hugely influnced by fear and safety.
    BUT Three strong reasons why Mugabe is losing the forthcoming elections.
    1-There is nothing really on the ground that has made old MDC supporters to jump the ship to ZPF. Nothing asanyeperwe . Ask us takafarisa.
    2-The Arab Spring clearly demonstrated that no matter how popular Mugabe claims to be, conscience tell us overstayed dictators are just difficult to support.
    Sure voting a president to99 years having served for 42years takurwara here.
    3-The high %of new voters. No doubt over 80% sympathise with new leadership.
    Dont say sekuru wasnt warned. Prepare for your demise zpf.
    Muchatadza kudanidzira ma results gore rino after a crushing loss.

  7. tinashe February 4, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Kukura Makura vakuru Dai machingobva zvakanaka before makunyara kuburitsa maresults.29 June musatirovawozve tivotere patinoda ende musanyeperwe vana veZimbabwe usamanikidzwa kuvotera pausingade tinozviziva kuti ZPF haichisina vanhu kusara kwaivavo vari mumaoffice ayo ende vamwe vacho kuNyarara vanoziva pavakatsika uchenjere kuvoter wega murume because pakaipa ende gore rino yatungwa ngaibude free and fair is what we want no RUN OFF BECAUSE MUNGATIPEDZISA VAMAKATORA VAKAKWANA

  8. patriot February 4, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Even if he loses & refuses to accept loss what are you going to do? Don’t be too optimistic. He is still ruling after losing clearly in 2008!

    Zimbabweans you are good at meaningless debates, but come practical solutions, mpu!

    Vachatonga kusvikira madonki………….

  9. joshua February 4, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    elections dizvo zanu pf and mdcs will lean to respect peole they are one and all lets vote and show them the door. unless they have planned to rigg

  10. sir p February 4, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    ngazviitve nekuti machonjwe haaiti mawiri mudanga

  11. Rudzindi February 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    Another GNU maybe the way to go; no people beaten up and no blood shed.

  12. takundwa February 4, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Lets go for elections and the best candidate will win, but each has to market self very well so as to convince the electrolate. We need progress as a nation.

  13. Bk February 4, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    since the gnu our dear president has been declaring cut of dates for elections so same old same old

  14. Mai Svodai February 5, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    June waaMarch here? Anogona kunge uri June wa2014 futi uyu……at 90

  15. charuwki February 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Itai tivhote zvipere!! pliz

  16. charuwki February 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

    Itai tivhote zvipere!! pliz

  17. Exiled February 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

    I feel very sorry for my country, sure i feel very sorry. whoever wins they are still pathetic. of the current crop no one deserves that high office.

  18. tinashe February 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    LETS GET OVER AND DONE WITH IT PIRIZ.Elections yesterday,today or next year zvakangofanana.Musatibvisirewo ba ma USD

  19. mundau February 10, 2013 at 6:55 am #

    varume,jongwe rachembera.i think its time we vote for a part without war back ground.the problem
    is zanu pf doesnt value any one who didnt fight in chimurenga even if that person is more creative
    than them.this time we need a part that promotes heavy industries.zanu kuba mani vanozondonye
    pera kusungana kwaita ma elections.

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