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Takunda Maodza in MASVINGO
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday said he will meet with opposition leaders soon, now that the nomination process is over and together they will commit to holding free, fair, credible and peaceful elections. The country holds harmonised elections on July 30.
Twenty three presidential aspirants successfully filed their nomination papers on Wednesday.
Pundits say the presidential contest will be a two-horse race between Zanu-PF Presidential candidate Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa and the MDC Alliance’s Mr Nelson Chamisa.
Opinion polls released so far have, however, pointed to a victory by President Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa intended to meet the opposition leaders earlier in the year, but they were just too many.
He said at some point they were 112 before reaching 133, making it impossible logistically to meet them.
“After nomination dzanezuro ndakati ndoda tose vatungamiriri tisingane and we commit ourselves to free elections,” said President Mnangagwa.
He said he had inquired from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) earlier and was told at some point there were 112 opposition leaders before the figure increased to 133, forcing him to wait for the nomination process.
“Ndohwa kune 23 varikukwikwidza hu President. They must commit themselves to peaceful campaign. No violence. We want a mature political campaign,” said President Mnangagwa, who was in a jovial mood buoyed by thousands of ruling party supporter who thronged Mucheke B Arena to welcome him home.
President Mnangagwa hails from Masvingo and in the province are the footprints of his heroic liberation war exploits.
“Isu seZanu-PF takawanda semasvosve. Kuwanda kwamakaita mugowana nguva yokutambudza vamwe?
“Toda runyararo. Unity, unity, unity. Harmony, harmony, harmony. Love, love, love,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said even when provoked by the opposition, ruling party members must not retaliate but exhibit political maturity hinged on tolerance
A drone was hovering in the sky snapping the thousands gathered to listen to the President, who was accompanied by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and his wife Marry, Cdes Marbel Chinomona, Prisca Mupfumira, Josaya Hungwe, Victor Matemadanda, Engelbert Rugeje, Amon Murwira, Paul Mangwana and other ruling party stalwarts.
President Mnangagwa, who is certain of victory on July 30, said leaders were chosen by people and are their servants.
“The power yokutonga nyika inobva kuvanhu zvino vanhu vacho ndivava. Masimba anobva kuvanhu. Vanhu ndivo vanopa vatungamiriri simba rokutungamirira. Ava vose varikuno (at high table) varanda venyu kana mukaona VaHungwe muti kazuwai muranda VaHungwe, kazuwai muranda national political commissar (Cde Rugeje). I have said to you I am a servant leader. I am a listening President,” he said.
Ever since he rose to power last November, President Mnangagwa actively engages Zimbabweans through all platforms including social media where he responds to their grievances and share information on the operations of his administration.
This is a new culture in the history of political administration in Zimbabwe.
President Mnangagwa rallied Zanu-PF supporters to massively vote for him and the ruling party come July 30.
He said they must not allow divisions caused by primary elections in some constituencies to derail the revolutionary train as it surges ahead with economic revival for the benefit of all Zimbabweans.
“Hongu kwakaita maprimary elections vamwe vakahwina vamwe vakabiridzira asi ndinoti pasi nokubiridzira. Hutungamiri ngahubve kuvanhu. Pasi neimposition of candidates. Asi whether wakahwina kana hauna kana urimunhu wemusangano tsigira wahwina woti tosangana zvekare kwapera makore mashanu ,” he said.
The Zanu-PF First Secretary slammed ruling party officials who after losing primary elections opted to stand as independent candidates
“Vanoti kana varuza voita maindependent ivavo handivadi mweya wa Legion,” said President Mnangagwa.
He emphasized that Zanu-PF was too huge a pocket to be monopolized by an individual.
“Zanu-PF is a mass party ine munhu wese mupfupi, murefu, murombo, mupfumi, muroyi . . . arimo,” said President Mnangagwa.
He explained to the sea of supporters that his Government was pursuing more economics and less politics.
“Economics, economics, ndoyatava kufamba nayo. This new administration shall engage and re-engage. We have opened ourselves to engage new partners, nations, organisations. We want them to be friends of Zimbabwe. Vakanga vanesu vakaita disengage we are saying let us engage. If you do not have relations with us, we are saying lets engage,” said President Mnangagwa.
He spoke about efforts by Government of revive the economy of Masvingo and the country.
Having in the morning having toured King Mine in Mashava, an asbestos miner that ceased operations several years ago, President Mnangagwa articulated how his administration was reviving the company through capital injection.
President Mnangagwa revealed that Government had so far given King Mine $20 million out of the $35 million it had requested to operationalize it and create employment for thousands of people.
King Mine is on the outskirts of Masvingo City and talk on its revival by the President saw youths in the crowd jumping in joy ignited by prospects of employment.
President Mnangagwa indicated that the Shabani Mashava Mines, which employ over 6 000 people when operation, would be up and running by mid next year.
He also spoke on Tokwe-Mukosi, Bikita Minerals and Tongaat Huletts and how full exploitation of their potential would change not only the economic face of Masvingo but the nation as a whole.
President Mnangagwa condemned corruption saying it harms efforts by Government to lure investment and rallied the nation to fight it wherever it is.
“Without corruption more investors will come to Zimbabwe,” he said.