The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: 'I'll Announce Poll Dates Soon'

Photo: Zimbabwe Independent
Supporters of President Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

Gweru — Zanu-PF First Secretary and President Cde Robert Mugabe says he will announce dates for the harmonised elections set for early next year anytime soon if Copac continues to delay concluding the constitution-making process by giving flimsy reasons.

The President, who is the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, said the country had waited for the completion of the Constitution-making process for too long.

The President was speaking while opening the 13th Zanu-PF Annual National Peoples Conference being held at the giant conference centre built on the 10 kilometre peg along the Gweru-Mvuma Road.

"They cannot continue dilly dallying anymore . . . enough is enough. I will declare sooner or later the dates for elections," said President Mugabe.

"We are going for elections and those drafting the Constitution will be getting reports from the parties. The process should be finished soon."

President Mugabe said if Copac continued delaying the process, he would be forced to dissolve Parliament and announce dates for the elections set for next year.

"I know there are some people who do not want the inclusive Government to end because they know the elections will bring to an end their political careers," he said.

"There are some people who will be rejected thoroughly by the people if we go for the elections. If it was burial, it would be more than six feet."

The parties in the inclusive Government failed to come up with a common position during the Copac All Second Stakeholders Conference last month.

Zanu-PF came up with a number of changes it wanted to be effected into the Copac draft constitution, while the MDC formations endorsed the document in its entirety.

An inter-ministerial committee comprising Cde Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu-PF), Mr Tendai Biti (MDC-T), Mrs Pricilla Misihairabwi Mushonga (MDC) and the three Copac co-chairpersons was set up.

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga chairs the committee.

Meanwhile, President Mugabe criticised war veterans for splitting the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association into feuding camps.

"The issue is clear for you . . . you were the people who were put on the forefront during the fight for liberation and why are you divided today. Lifuni kuenzani?" he asked.

The conference will be officially closed by President Mugabe today.

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