The Herald (Harare)

16 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Vote Peacefully, Says President

PRESIDENT Mugabe has reiterated his call for peace and a culture of non-violence as Zimbabwe prepares for a referendum and harmonised elections. The country will hold a referendum on the new Constitution on March 16 and thereafter, it will hold harmonised elections.

"We do not want violence. Ukatora tsvimbo ndokuti adiyi? Kana asingade ko isu tashayeyi isu tine party inopa simba kuvanhu munyika mavo, inokoshesa hunhu hwedu vanhu vatema? Asi kana pane asingaidi ungamuita sei? Kune vanhu vakangoita semhuka yesangoka. (Why should you club your opponent? Why should we worry when we have a party that empowers people in their own country and respects Africans' dignity? If they don't support you, what can you do? There are people who behave like wild animals).

The President said this while officially opening the Annual Chiefs' Conference and launched seven Community Share Ownership Trusts in Masvingo yesterday.

"Let's unite and vote properly and correctly, but no to violence. We need to go out and vote so that we get rid of this three-headed creature," he said.

He castigated chiefs and senior Government officials fronting for whites, saying he had full details and would not hesitate to expose them.

He urged Zimbabweans to stop placing their faith in the white man instead of seizing opportunities created by land reform and the indigenisation and economic empowerment drive.

The President warned Zimbabweans to be vigilant as white former farmers and die-hard Rhodesians were sweating to reverse the gains of the land reform programme.

"Kune machiefs vane varungu vavo please tibatsirei machiefs and stop being fronts for former white farmers nekuti kana tanzwa kuti kuna chief anemurungu wake papurazi tinozouya kwamuri toti tiudzei mutupo wake.

"We do not want to end up repossessing some of the farms that we gave you under the land reform programme, but we know a lot of things that are happening on the farms.

"We know a lot of things that some of you do not even know and it's not chiefs alone who are fronting for the white men there are even some senior Government officials who are being used by whites. Beware!" he said.

President Mugabe said those who were leasing their farms to former white farmers would end up losing them to the same people as the whites were still keen to reclaim the land.

"I am not saying beware because I am having that spirit to sieze those farms from those of you who are fronting for the white men but the former white farmers and Rhodesians are coming back and may even take back the farms, they are coming back to take the resources before even VaMugabe comes,"said President Mugabe.

The President challenged skilled and educated Zimbabweans who benefited from Zimbabwe's education system since to start forming their own companies and exploit Zimbabwe's vast natural resources.

"Our people were used to working for the white men, I appeal, appeal and appeal to our educated and skilled indigenous people to come together and start businesses. Our people should not develop cold feet that they would need big machines and colossal equipment to run their companies they can hire those machines or even come to us as Government and we will assist them.

"Zvekuramba takazemberana nevarungu aiwa and the Rhodesians are coming back into the country and are the ones who have companies that manufacture these big equipment like combine harvesters that we need on our farms and if we are not careful eventually they will take our farms again.

"Handizivi kuti chiyi? Kuti chevarungu chakabaya chikatyokera here. The biggest challenge is for us to start our own companies toenda tichinoita migodhi yedu sevatema nekunotora imwe iye inenge yasiiwa nekuti vaiishandisa vanenge vatadza kuenda mberi," he said.

He said said Zimbabwe welcomed foreign investors but only those with a friendly disposition and willing to subscribe to the terms set by people of Zimbabwe.

"Tinoshanda nemacompanies atinobvunza kuti munobvuma here kuti tinotora 51 percent mucompany yamuri kuita kana vati hongu toti saka imimi yenyu i49 percent and isusu totora the lion's share or majority shareholding kana vabvuma kudaro tochiti lets meet on some of the terms like on the issue of rehabilitation of the land where resources will be extracted among other things," President Mugabe said.

He said the land reform programme was the first of a series of stages that Government embarked on to gradually transfer control of the means of production from the white minority to the majority of Zimbabweans.

Zimbabweans, said President Mugabe, were now supposed to assume total control of all their natural resources.

"When we first took our land from the whites we knew that we were on the first stage of transferrring wealth from whites to blacks and mabhunu celebrated kuti vari kutora mapurazi oga vanhu vatema asi isu we have the minerals and control the industries.

"We knew exactly that we were on the first stage of taking our resources after we had educated our people from 1980 when we started building schools in all parts of the country. We now have many educated people and we should now move to assume total control of our natural resources.

"We can now stand on our own. Tinokwanisa kuzvitonga iye zvino chaizvo izvo,"he said.

President Mugabe hailed chiefs for being custodians of Zimbabwe's tradition and culture.

He said while it was important for black people to adopt some foreign cultural practices that were progressive alien practices like homosexuality should never have a place in Zimbabwe's culture.

"Zvino kana iwe uchinotora mumwe murume motochata kutopanana ring mufunge and they say you will then look for children, munovawana kupi vana uye vana vacho vanenge vari vaani," he said.

President Mugabe said the same people who brought heinous practices like homosexuality to blacks colonised and oppressed them under the pretext of bringing civilisation.

He however urged chiefs to campaign for a "Yes Vote" saying the party that wins the next elections could choose to amend the new constitution.

President Mugabe said the draft constitution was a compromise document.

He said Zimbabweans should focus on the referendum paving way for elections.

He warned Zimbabweans against falling prey to some unscrupulous money lending and investment firms sprouting all over the country.

The President also officially launched seven community share ownership schemes in Masvingo.

Seven companies namely Bikita Minerals, Lennox Mine, Renco Mine, Steelmakers(Simbi), Gaths Mine, Tongaat Hullet and Save Valley Conservancy will pour in US$1 million each for the trusts.

President Mugabe also officially handed over a cheque of US$1 million from Murowa Diamond mine for the Chivi Community Share Ownership Scheme and US$500 000 from Bikita Minerals for the share ownership scheme for Bikita.

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