Friday, July 26, 2013

Zimbabwe Declares July 31 Holiday for National Elections

President declares July 31 holiday

Friday, 26 July 2013 01:27
Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe Herald

PRESIDENT Mugabe has declared next Wednesday a public holiday to enable people to vote in the harmonised elections.

The declaration was published in the Government Gazette on Wednesday in terms of Section 2 (2) of the Public Holidays and Prohibition of Business Act (Chapter 10:21).

“His Excellency the President in terms of section 2 (2) of the Public Holidays and Prohibition of Business Act [Chapter 10:21] hereby makes the following notice: “This notice may be cited as the Public Holidays and Prohibition of Business Notice, 2013,

“It is hereby declared that Wednesday the 31st of July, 2013 shall be a public holiday,” read the Gazette.

The declaration comes as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced on Wednesday that it is now ready to hold the harmonised elections with the printing of ballots having been completed, while other logistical arrangements are shaping up to ensure the smooth flow of polling.

Zec chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said sufficient mechanisms had been put in place to ensure a credible election.

She said in the “rare event” that most registered voters fail, for a justifiable cause, to cast their ballots on July 31, the commission would approach the court seeking an extension.

Justice Makarau said the commission was confident of delivering a credible election despite attacks and accusations it has been subjected to by some stakeholders.

At least 20 000 local and foreign observers have so far been accredited for the elections.

The foreign observer groups, which are already in the country, include the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for East and Southern Africa, Sadc Parliamentary Forum and non-governmental organisations such as Sadc Electoral Support Network and Sadc Electoral Advisory Council.

Local embassies have also been allowed to select a maximum of five observers to participate in the elections.

A host of local NGOs and church organisations from across the country’s 10 provinces have also been given the green light to observe the process.

A total of 294 local journalists and 28 foreign journalists have also been accredited for the process.

President Mugabe will contest against Mr Morgan Tsvangirai of MDC-T, Mr Dumiso Dabengwa of Zapu, Professor Welshman Ncube of MDC and Mr Kisinoti Mukwazhe of the Zimbabwe Development Party for the presidency.

Various political parties have also fielded candidates for the parliamentary and council seats.

You were educated for empowerment: President

Friday, 26 July 2013 01:37
From Farirai Machivenyika and George Maponga in MASVINGO

ZANU-PF’S education-for-all policy at Independence in 1980 is now paying off as the people were empowered with knowledge and skills to run the economy they are taking ownership of through indigenisation and economic empowerment programmes, President Mugabe has said.

He told tens of thousands of Zanu-PF supporters at a star rally at Mucheke Stadium B Arena here yesterday that the revolutionary party empowered Zimbabweans through education so that they could be masters of their own destiny.

“Patakawana kuzvitonga kuzere muna1980 takati zvikoro ngazviwande, hapana akasara.
“Vakuru vakabuda paiti vanokanya zvidhina nevaiburitsa mari muhomwe vemaSDCs, munhu wese akabuda zvikoro zvikawanda.

“Iko zvino tinofanira kuratidza ruzivo rwedu rwekuti vana vedu vakaenda kuchikoro, chikoro chinopfuura primary, secondary, chikoro chekumusorosoro. Flying high like our own Zimbabwe bird. Tinoda kuti vana vaende kumusorosoro varege kudhererwa nemabhunu, ndosaka takati zvikoro ngazviwande.”

President Mugabe urged Zimbabweans to be ambitious to ensure their children achieve higher targets in life.

“Tava nevana vaneruzivo saka tavakuda kubata nyaya dzese dzehupfumi kubva muzvicherwa nezvimwe zvose tinoda macompanies pachedu tiri togawo, tingaita majoint ventures asi tinoda kuwanza iwo edu macompanies ane maZimbabweans,” he said.

“Ngatisiye shure nyaya yekusevenzera varungu. We must be employers in our own right.”

The indigenisation and economic empowerment programme seeks to, among other things, place majority shareholding in all foreign-owned companies with an asset value of or above US$500 000 in the hands of indigenous Zimbabweans.

The President said Zanu-PF’s policy of education to every Zimbabwean made the country the highest ranked in terms of literacy in Africa.

The latest rankings by African Economist magazine put Zimbabwe at 91 percent, the only country above the 90 percent threshold in Africa, closely followed by Equatorial Guinea at 87 percent.

The United Nations Development Programme had consistently ranked Zimbabwe at No. 1 since 2009 when it had a rate of 91.2 percent, despite close to a decade of ruinous Western sanctions that curtailed Government’s capacity to fund education.

Analysts attributed Zimbabwe’s pole position to the strong foundation laid by President Mugabe and Zanu-PF from independence in 1980.

“Ndisu tiri pamusoro iyezvino, muAfrica tinopfuura nyika dzese panyaya dzedzidzo neover 91 percent literacy rate. Hapana imwe nyika inotevera, inotevera ine 87 percent.”

President Mugabe slammed MDC-T for its reliance on the West, saying the party had no policies of its own.

“Vamwe vanofunga employment chete, ivoka veMDC ndozvavanofunga hanzi makatorera varungu mapurazi honai hapachisina employment,” he said.

“Vanorumbidza varungu, vanaEddie Cross nanaBennett ndovavanorumbidza, havagare vasina varungu ndomadvisor avo,” he said.
President Mugabe said it was pointless to have a high GDP when the majority of the wealth was in the hands of foreigners.

“Vamwe vanovhaira kuti GDP yakwira yasvika pakati, but what really is in that GDP is yours? The GDP should contain upwards of 80 percent of what is our own,” the President said.

He said now that people had been given land they should use it effectively.

“Mava nevhu ngaririmwe, mave ne opportunity yekuti mutange mabusiness enyu tinokubatsirai angave mumining, commercial sector zvekutengesa, manufacturing sector kana financial sector,” President Mugabe said.

The President took a swipe at Britain for trying to effect regime change in Zimbabwe, saying only Zimbabweans had a right to choose a Government of their choice.

“Varikuti bvisai VaMugabe, regime change, imimi vanaBlair. What right have you to call for regime change in Zimbabwe? Whoever calls for regime change in Britain?” he said.

“Regime change in Zimbabwe is the task for Zimbabweans. It is they alone who have the responsibility, the sole responsibility to change the leadership and put a new leadership if they so desire.”

President Mugabe said the MDC-T was a brainchild of the British and had no ideas of their own.

“Vakabvumirana pahutatu hwavo, Labour Party, Conservatives nemaLiberal Democrats vakati ngatibvisei mari yazotangisa musangano muZimbabwe. Tony Blair’s party is labour based so let’s look for a labour organisation in Zimbabwe, that is how they identified the ZCTU led by (Gibson) Sibanda as president and Tsvangirai as the secretary general,” he said.

“Vakati ngatifomeyi party ibvise Zanu-PF nekuti irikutorera vana vedu minda. Ndokuvakwa kwakaitwa MDC kunze kwenyika, ndokwakabva pfungwa dzacho.”
President Mugabe said the MDC was unlike other parties that were formed in the past that were genuinely Zimbabwean.

“MDC haidi pfungwa dzevatema,” he said. “KuBritain ndokwadzakabva, honai kusiyana kwatakaita. Tinocherechedza kuti Zimbabwe ndeyedu, tinozvirova matundundu kuti upfumi ndehwedu.”

President Mugabe said negotiations to the Global Political Agreement took a long time because Mr Tsvangirai would constantly refer matters to his handlers in the West.

He said the MDC was relying on funds and ideas from Britain and their Western allies, while Zanu-PF was calling for the indigenisation of the economy and empowerment of indigenous Zimbabweans.

President Mugabe implored banks and other financial institutions to address interest rates so that people could be able to borrow and start their own enterprises.

Turning to the food situation in the country, the President said Government was aware of the plight of people after crops failed due to the drought experienced last year.
President Mugabe said maize had already been imported from Zambia and assured the nation that no one would starve.

He, however, said there was need to use the abundant water in the country’s dams through irrigation to mitigate the effects of drought.

On the elections, the President called on people in Masvingo to vote overwhelmingly for Zanu-PF to regain the seats lost to the MDC-T in the 2008 harmonised elections.
Zanu-PF won only 12 out of the 26 seats in the province in the 2008 elections.

He also slammed party cadres who have registered to stand as independent candidates in the forthcoming elections.
“Kana usina kucheneswa nesu hauzvimanikidze pavanhu, hazvinei kuti ungaunganidze machief akadii,” said President Mugabe.

“We will not have a person who is dishonest, disobedient and impose themselves on people. We want people who obey rules. I obey the rules of the party. Tine party which has rules and those rules must be obeyed hazvinei kuti une support kubva kupi.

“Tine vaviri kana vatatu vanofunga kuti they are greater than the party. Even the President is not greater than the party, ndiri chizvarwa cheparty, ndinobva kuvanhu ndimi munondisarudza, tinotevedzera gwara reparty,” he said.

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