Mnangagwa: the opposition can bark, but elections are held only when Zanu PF wants

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By William Milasi

ONLY Zanu PF as a ruling party has the power to announce poll dates, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared.

Mnangagwa said this Thursday in Gweru during a rally.

During the same address, he also dismissed opposition parties as insignificant in the coming polls, claiming that Zanu PF was going to romp to victory without batting an eyelash.

This comes after Mnangagwa, this week, in a Government Gazette, proclaimed that polls will be held on July 30.

He said, “I announced that the elections will be held on July 30. Only Zanu PF has the power to announce when the elections will be held.

“The opposition parties might bark but elections will only be held when Zanu PF says so,” said Mnangagwa.

He said Zanu PF enjoys massive support in the country that it finds the idea of engaging in violence absurd.

“We want a free, fair, transparent and credible election. We want a violence free election. Why should we be violent when the opposition do not have numbers?” he rhetorically asked.

“Their numbers are very insignificant that they will be finger counted. I ignore them; you have to ignore them; they are non-existent,” he said.

Mnangagwa also told the gathering that the election will be about seeking legitimacy as he is only finishing former President Robert Mugabe’s term.

 The ballot is the first after the ouster of Mugabe. Mnangagwa took over power last November after a military-led revolt against Mugabe.

“I am finishing former President Robert Mugabe’s term. However, after 30 July then I will assemble a new government which will run the affairs of the country for the next five years. A government with people whom you would have voted into office,” he said.

He also claimed that Zanu PF “is the only party that is democratic.”

Mnangagwa further claimed that since Mugabe’s ouster, his administration has introduced democracy in the party.

“Under the new dispensation we have brought back the party to move following the correct line of the revolution. The correct line of the revolution is continuing going back to the people; as the new dispensation has put the party on rail, the revolutionary party must address the issues of the economy and fight corruption.”

“Zanu PF members must decide who should go into the offices to represent them. We have agreed that there is not going to be any imposition of leaders. Leaders must come from the people,” he said

In a move which might be interpreted as a vote buying gimmick Mnangagwa said vendors must not be moved from the streets.

‘‘We will not chase vendors from the streets until we have put in place necessary ablution facilities and until there are shades and electricity in their areas of operation. This is necessary to grow a decent and modern Zimbabwe.”