Friday, March 28, 2008

Zim govt rules out post-election violence

Zim govt rules out post-election violence
By George Chellah in Harare, Zimbabwe
Friday March 28, 2008 [03:00]

JUSTICE minister Patrick Chinamasa has dismissed predictions of post-election violence in Zimbabwe claiming that Britain and the US are worried because of the current peaceful situation in the country. And Chinamasa has dismissed as utter rubbish MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai’s recent complaints over the electoral process, saying the opposition leader was now panicking and trying to prepare grounds to explain his imminent defeat.

During a special interview on Zimbabwe Television on Tuesday evening, Chinamasa expressed optimism that this Saturday’s harmonised presidential, parliamentary and council elections would be peaceful.

“There will be no Kenyan situation in Zimbabwe because the majority cannot revolt against itself. That’s a pipedream; there will be no violence here. MDC is going to be wiped out politically. We know that the British and the Americans are worried that there is no violence in the elections. They think it’s a very bad precedent, which must be stopped,” Chinamasa said.

“They will look at you as you kill each other so long as it doesn’t affect their interests. In fact, the bloodier the better, that is colonialism for you. Look at Nigeria, that election happened right in their eyes but they didn’t say anything because it didn’t affect their oil interests.

So the people of Zimbabwe should ask themselves: ‘why the discrimination?’”

Chinamasa dismissed Tsvangirai’s recent claims that the elections would not be free and fair.

“That’s utter rubbish. Last year we embarked on the SADC dialogue and they raised concerns about the playing field. We asked them to express all their concerns about the playing field and that they did.

We agreed to everything and at the end of it, it was very clear that the playing field was leveled to their satisfaction. That’s why they accepted to participate in the elections,” Chinamasa said.

Chinamasa said Tsvangirai was participating in the elections under a clear understanding that the playing field was leveled.

“Tsvangirai is panicking, they see the crowds the President is attracting. They see that they are going to be wiped out from the political map. They are seeing defeat. So they are trying to find excuses for the defeat, which is staring them in the face,” he said.

Asked about Tsvangirai’s suspicions that elections would be rigged if results were announced at the National Command Centre, Chinamasa responded: “That is the tragedy because he lacks basic education, which is unfortunate for MDC and the country as a member of the opposition.

He is humbly educated, so he lacks understanding of the process. We are basically talking of correlating the results of polling stations. I thought he has good lawyers around him to advise him.”

Chinamasa wondered why the MDC was accusing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of being biased when it participated in its establishment.

“The present ZEC is constituted by nominees from the MDC and ZANU-PF. So if there is anything, I am sure their people are there.

The ZEC is a product of the dialogue between the MDC and ZANU-PF. MDC and ZANU-PF put up their members who are now members of ZEC. You ask Morgan himself, he knows that,” Chinamasa said.
He said Tsvangirai was a very indecisive leader.

“Even in the negotiations, it was difficult. It’s very difficult when you are negotiating with puppets because someone has to decide for them. So they keep on changing positions,” Chinamasa said.

He accused independent presidential candidate Simba Makoni and Tsvangirai of supporting the West over the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe.

“They called for the sanctions and clearly they will never say ‘down with the sanctions’ because the people funding them are the ones that imposed sanctions on us. They opposition leaders have evil minds,”

Chinamasa said: “It’s like a man asking a woman out and then he buys a pliers to pinch her ears in order to compel her to love him. Sanctions have targeted all individuals critical to our economy. The economy, the government, just like companies are run by individuals. So they can’t say these are targeted sanctions because they are targeted at people who run our government.”

Chinamasa said despite the challenges, Zimbabwe would come out stronger after this Saturday’s harmonised elections.

“As far as they are concerned the economy would have collapsed in 2000. But we are still standing. We have lasted for 10 years under sanctions using our own resources. No other country in Africa has done that or will be able to do that,” said Chinamasa.

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