ROBERT Mugabe told his Zanu PF party to “disentangle” itself from a coalition with its MDC rivals on Thursday as he demanded a decisive victory in general elections slated for next year.
Mugabe told his party’s central committee in Harare that a coalition he was forced into after disputed elections in 2008 was a “monster” which had slowed down their “pro-people programmes”.
“It’s important, comrades, that our victory in the harmonised elections should leave no room for doubt in our opponents,” Mugabe said, speaking at the party’s headquarters in Harare.
“Our performance in the elections should certainly disentangle us from the inclusive government monster which, like a behemoth, has pulled back our coherent, forward-looking, pro-people programmes.”
On Friday, Mugabe travels to Gweru for the official opening of Zanu PF’s annual conference hoping to stir his party out of its electoral decline – dramatised by its loss of majority in 2008 – ahead of the new elections slated for March.
Mugabe also insisted Zanu PF would not be stampeded into accepting a draft constitution containing clauses “smuggled in by Western crooks”.
Zanu PF’s insistence on amending the draft constitution first published in July has stalled its passage on the path to a referendum.
Rewriting the constitution was one of the key reforms Zanu PF and the two MDC factions led by Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube agreed to implement before holding elections.
While Ncube’s MDC insists on taking the draft as it is to parliament, Tsvangirai is ready to defy his party and open it up for amendment as demanded by Zanu PF, some say for selfish reasons because he is unhappy with the “running mates” clause.
But while Tsvangirai is open to amendments, his MDC-T and Zanu PF are hopelessly split on the contents of the draft and agreement could elude the parties well into the new year.
“We had to, nay, needed to, ensure that the ever present mischief-makers did not give us a constitution which was totally at odds with the Zimbabwean vision,” Mugabe said.
“As a revolutionary party, the people look upon us to provide solid leadership and solutions in situations where some of our colleagues are easily blown away by every wind and doctrine.
“So it became our calling, our duty, a national service, to monitor the Constitution exercise. For it became very clear that those we entrusted as drafters of the new constitution had regrettably been overcome by ill-winds and become drifters in the process.
“Who can forget the trickery and chicanery we had to look out for, eventually fight, as dirty hands tried to cheat their way into the constitution-making process?
“While our people’s views were simple and straightforward, sincere and reflective of the history of their existence, the Western crooks, apparently here to ‘help us’, soon proved to be conduits through which to smuggle foreign, clearly anathema views into our constitution.”
Mugabe praised “those comrades who worked faithfully and diligently” on the constitution-making exercise ensuring that the “enemy’s dirty tricks were always exposed”.
“In a game of chess, they would say ‘checkmate!’”