Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Saturday said elections would go ahead in March next year even if the proposed new Constitution was rejected in the impending referendum.
Officially launching the 2012/2013 Presidential Well Wishers Special Agricultural Inputs Scheme at the Zanu-PF party headquarters in Harare, Mugabe reiterated his plea for people to refrain from violence before, during and after the impending referendum and general elections.
"Whether we have a new Constitution or not the elections will come and they will come in March next year. So go and prepare yourselves for those elections," He said.
Mugabe took a swipe at some senior members of his Zanu-PF party who imposed candidates to further their own political ambitions at the expense of the party, saying that the people should be free to choose their own candidates in primary elections.
Violence, allegations of vote buying and imposition of candidates characterised the last primary elections that the party conducted before elections in 2008.
Mugabe expressed confidence that his party would win the elections, which he has described as the last battle with imperialism. "I know we are going to win," he said.
Zimbabwe is expected to hold a referendum on the proposed new constitution before the end of this year while general elections have been set for March 2013.