President Mugabe chats with Politburo member Cde Tsitsi Muzenda before the Zanu-PF Central Committee meeting in Harare on March 30, 2012. Mugabe says that elections will be held this year in the Southern African state., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Poll decision by May, says President
Saturday, 31 March 2012 00:15
Sydney Kawadza Assistant News Editor
ZIMBABWE will go for a referendum in May, failure which it will revert to the Lancaster House Constitution and hold elections before the end of the year, President Mugabe has said.
He challenged Zanu-PF leaders afraid of elections to join the MDC formations that were trying to stall efforts to hold the polls.
Addressing the 88th Ordinary Session of the Central Committee at the party’s headquarters in Harare yesterday, the President said members of the South African government had no power to interfere in Zimbabwean affairs.
He said President Jacob Zuma, in his own capacity, was the only one with the privilege to facilitate dialogue between Zimbabwean parties.
“South Africa are not our facilitators, but President Zuma as was President Mbeki. We cannot be facilitated by the whole of South Africa.
“We are a sovereign State and we cannot be led by the government of South Africa. Let’s not be told that South Africa is our facilitator.”
President Mugabe instructed the party’s Global Political Agreement negotiators to advise their colleagues that the Constitution-making process should be concluded.
“Let’s conclude the process, whether we agree or disagree. The dance we have had for the past four years is over. Let us have an election and end this animal called inclusive Government.”
The GPA, he said, was not signed to craft a new Constitution.
He said the parties had agreed to go for an election using the Kariba Draft, but changed after civil society complained it was left out.
“We decided to go for an outreach programme to get the people’s views. We are now trying to enunciate what the people said and we are not agreeing.
“They are delaying the process arguing on small matters, but we are saying no, no, no.
They are out of step.
“We must conclude this process. If they haven’t finished in time, we will do it our way.
“If they reject the Constitution, we will go back to the Lancaster House Constitution, which gave us our independence. That is what we are going to tell the facilitator.”
President Mugabe said the acceptance or rejection of the new Constitution will clear the way for an election.
“Their days are numbered and one should expect that by May we have a referendum. It is this referendum that should give us the way forward,” he said.
President Mugabe said Zimbabwe should go for elections as was resolved by the party’s National People’s Conference in Bulawayo last year.
“I am told that there are some among us who do not want elections this year. Kana varipo, endai munojoina MDC.”
He said elections will bring a Government that is not affected by divergent views.
“(Finance Minister Tendai) Biti said US$20 million had been given to distressed companies in Bulawayo, but we understand that not even a cent has been sent there.
“This Government is a Government of negatives. It’s a Government of people who do not want to do things for the people.
“We want to move on unhindered by little thoughts and in some cases sheer ignorance,” he said.
The President said GPA principals were ready to take over the Constitution-making process.
“Bring the document we will complete it ourselves. We have done it before. There are many drafters who can do the job,” he said.
President Mugabe bemoaned the number of accidents that have claimed lives on Zimbabwe’s roads.
“The roads must be attended to, but it’s not only the bad roads but the way our drivers perform on the roads.
“There are so many buses on our roads, so we must brace for more accidents,” he said.
President Mugabe said Zimbabwe will once again face food shortages due to erratic supply of inputs.
He, however, hailed Zimbabwean farmers for working hard in producing cash crops and food.
“I do not think in the whole of Southern Africa, I am even tempted to say the whole of Africa, there is a community of farmers that are dedicated and focused as ourselves,” he said.
The President, however, bemoaned the lack of support for farmers from the inclusive Government.
“We are lacking, lacking in effort and spirit to the right thing. Lacking to the point of being irresponsible.”
He also castigated Zanu-PF leaders who abused the Presidential Inputs Scheme.
He said the indigenisation and empowerment drive was continuing.
“It is a beginning to chart an irreversible path,” he said.
President Mugabe urged the banking sector to support people who wanted to start businesses.