Republic of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe at a press conference on July 30, 2013. Mugabe said he was certain of victory in the national elections., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
President confident of emphatic victory
July 31, 2013
Farirai Machivenyika and Farai Kuvirimirwa
PRESIDENT Mugabe is confident Zanu-PF will romp to victory today and says the policies of his new Government would be underpinned by indigenisation and economic empowerment, with focus on resuscitating the manufacturing sector.
Addressing a Press conference for local and foreign journalists accredited to cover today’s harmonised elections at State House in Harare yesterday, the President dismissed claims in some quarters that he had the power to manipulate elections.
He said he was subject to the laws of the country like anyone else.
The President is widely tipped to romp to victory, with Zanu-PF grabbing a two-thirds majority.
President Mugabe dispelled accusations that have been leveled against him and his party that they were manipulating electoral processes, saying Zanu-PF was buoyant and would exceed its 1980 feat where it garnered 71 percent of the seats on offer.
“I don’t have the power. Are you giving me the power now? If you give me the power I will say no I don’t need it. I have the law in my country. It is the law that manipulates us all.
“I don’t control the electoral process, I comply with and obey the electoral law and I move in accordance with the demands of the electoral process that is moving in accordance with the law as set.
“That is the electoral law. I am very obedient. I am a lawyer myself; I am also a person who believes in order. I have been brought up obeying father and mother, obeying systems, obeying customs, obeying elders and that’s it.”
He said even when Zanu-PF did not agree with views by some observers that the 2008 elections were marred by violence, they had nonetheless agreed to go into a coalition with the MDC formations to facilitate the holding of new elections.
“We accepted that when Africa said we should redo the elections, that was obedient to the views of others and compliance with the thinking of others which the majority think, we should redo our elections and we agreed to redo them.
“We together sat here to establish an inclusive Government, we agreed to work together and we were working together right to the end and we were not law breakers,” he said.
He thanked all political parties for the manner they conducted their campaigns, but reserved particular praise for Zanu-PF candidates and wished them well in the polls.
“On behalf of my own party I would want to take this opportunity to thank all members, leading members of my party for the very important and very energy sapping exercise that they undertook in organising our campaign.
“I believe we ran a successful campaign. I believe the campaign also showed us that the people still support the principles of Zanu-PF and believe in Zanu-PF. I want, therefore, as I thank them to wish all those who are candidates on our behalf that is standing on our behalf every success,” he said.
He also commended the MDC formations for also conducting their campaigns in a peaceful manner.
“I would also want to thank other parties, big and small, the MDCs and their leaders for what was a joint exercise, a joint appeal to our nation for peace, for a fair and violence free campaign.
“There might have been a few incidents here and there but those of you who were with us from the beginning of the campaign to this day you will have noticed that our meetings, the interactions, were very peaceful indeed and we owe this to the decision we undertook all of us to emphasise the need for a peaceful process, all of us the principals, the three principals, it’s not just the President alone.
It’s the President, Prime Minister Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister (Arthur) Mutambara and even the Cabinet.
“So we go out and tell the people that this is a national election, a national election which is really an opportunity for our people to go out and cast their vote for the party of their own liking and I am glad this has paid dividends and we do hope that we remain this way even after the elections,” President Mugabe said.
The President acknowledged that there had been a few challenges in the run up to the elections but expressed hope that everything would go on smoothly today.
“I say there have been a few hitches here and there but one of the hitches was the delay in delivering of voter registers and we got them late. I suppose this had to do with the printing and whatever other hitches those who handled the printing exercise and the distribution of it had to overcome.
That has been overcome now, so I am told, and all stations and all those who should have the registers now have them and we do hope that as the voting starts tomorrow, these registers would be at all stations and will enable the process to start and start being regulated and regulated in the normal way,” he said.
President Mugabe also said he would hand over power if he were to lose the elections.
“That’s a normal thing if you go into a process and join in a competition, well there are only two outcomes, win or lose. You can’t be both, you either win or lose. If you lose then you must surrender to those who have won. If you win then those who have lost must also surrender to you, this is it, we will do so yeah, comply with the rules,” President Mugabe said.