President Mugabe being welcomed home by services chiefs — (from right) Commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Constantine Chiwenga, Major General Trust Mugoba, Air Marshal Perrance Shiri and ZRP Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Party says polls should be held this year
Tuesday, 17 May 2011 22:21
ZIMBABWE should proceed with general elections this year to decide who should rule the country with or without the MDC-T's participation, the Zimbabwe Development Party said yesterday.
ZDP said it concurred with Zanu-PF that elections should be held this year contrary to MDC-T's stance to delay the polls.
Zanu-PF has said it stands by the Mutare People's Conference resolution that elections should be held this year immediately after the completion of the constitution making process.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, ZDP secretary general Reverend Everisto Chikanga, said there was no going back on elections as the inclusive Government had outlived its lifespan.
He said while his party was "only" waiting for President Mugabe to proclaim the date for the elections, other political parties should not be influenced by the MDC-T to boycott the polls.
"The inclusive Government has had its lifespan and we are saying it's now time to live with one leader. The issue of elections depends on the electorate and there is no doubt that people have been let down by this joint Government.
"It is everyone's right to vote and it has become clear that the MDC-T is afraid of being defeated in the elections as they continue cowering away. Zimbabweans are peace-loving people and elections have always been free and fair so there is no need to fear. If they want they can join in the race but if they don't want that does not mean the country comes to a standstill because of (Mr) Tsvangirai," he said.
He said Britain and its Western allies should not be allowed to interfere in the country's internal affairs.
"There must be no interference from foreigners. We must decide the future of our country because we are the owners of the country. There are a lot of people out there who want to hijack our election process but we will not sit back and relax. The era of colonialism is over," he said.
Kaukonde urges strengthening of party structures
Tuesday, 17 May 2011 21:40
ZANU-PF members should concentrate on organising and strengthening party structures ahead of the general elections than fighting for candidates in the polls, Mashonaland East provincial chairman Cde Ray Kaukonde has said.
Speaking after a meeting at Sadza Growth Point in Chikomba District, Cde Kaukonde lamented the "hijacking" of the party by elements using money to gain people's favours.
"The people are concentrating on fighting for possible election candidates when there are no structures at grassroots levels," he said.
Cde Kaukonde hit out at the party's leadership who are giving false reports when nothing has been done in the restructuring programme.
"I am really disturbed because we have been given reports indicating that the structures are ready and going but we find nothing when we go to the people," he said.
Zanu-PF structures start from village, ward, district to provincial levels. "The leadership should not give us falsehoods when there are no structures in the areas and we are now going through the districts to check on these structures."
Cde Kaukonde said the provincial leadership has started an audit to determine the structures in the districts and their strength ahead of the elections. The team has since visited Mutoko, Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe and Chikomba districts. They are set to move to Hwedza district as the programme gathers momentum.
"We were not impressed at all by the situation in Chikomba district and we have instructed the provincial deputy political commissar Cde Peter Nyakubaya to set up structures at all levels in the district," he said. Cde Kaukonde, however, stressed that the party would not impose candidates on the people but the interested cadres should be within party structures.
Zanu-PF Politburo member Retired General Solomon Mujuru, who underscored the need for discipline within party structures, also attended the meeting.
"We need to uphold discipline and the truth within the party. When we came from the war we upheld the truth even to President Mugabe leading to our sweeping victory in 1980," he said.