President Robert Mugabe who has been under pressure from the opposition and activists to step down because he has failed to run the country says this is all aimed at creating a false electoral crisis because the opposition is afraid to face him in 2018.
Addressing the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front central committee yesterday, Mugabe said the recent demonstrations under the umbrella of the National Electoral Reform Agenda were “clearly a smokescreen for their real intentions, they want to avoid going to the general elections in 2018 by creating a false electoral crisis which they hope would be addressed ahead of any plebiscite by outsiders”.
“Let the opposition parties, and all those angling for chaos and mayhem, and violent demonstrations, be warned that our patience has run out,” he warned.
“Government will take very strong measures against any political party, organisation or individuals that perpetrate violent demonstrations. Anybody breaking the law of the land will be punished accordingly.”
Mugabe said that ZANU-PF was alive to the continuing everyday economic challenges facing the people today and did not need to be reminded about that.
“What is happening around us with these concocted demonstrations is distracting us from progressing on with our concerted efforts aimed at improving the performance of our national economy and the welfare of our people.
“Our economy has been quite resilient against the Western sanctions onslaught and it cannot get any worse than it already is. It can only get better as we all put our shoulders to the wheel, in concerted efforts to rebuild and develop our country.
“The banner of NERA, which they have used as a pretext to resort to violent demonstrations is quite clearly a smokescreen for their real intentions. They want to avoid going to the general elections in 2018 by creating a false electoral crisis which they hope would be addressed ahead of any plebiscite by outsiders.”
Mugabe said elections in Zimbabwe were the hallmark of the country’s democracy.
“All the elections we have held before in this country follow the dictates of our constitution to the letter and spirit. We have an independent Electoral Commission that runs our elections, and it has performed commendably.
“The electoral processes are accountable to our own people, who are entitled to vote for candidates and parties of their choice. When the people decide on the political party that should govern them, so be it. That does not require foreigners. There is no reason to believe that the 2018 elections should be regarded as different.”
Opposition parties have called for comprehensive electoral reforms before the next elections and have accused the Electoral Commission of bias saying it is staffed with intelligence and military people that are there to protect the interests of ZANU-PF.-Insider