Saturday, April 21, 2012
Saturday, 21 April 2012 00:00
Takunda Maodza in MT DARWIN
VICE President Joice Mujuru says she will not run for the Presidency as long as President Mugabe is in power. “Handimbochichemera chigaro chavo (President Mugabe) kana varipo. Tinozviziva kuti kune vakuru, kuti kune order . . . Hatife takapanduka isu vamwe nekuti takabikwa tikaibva.” She described President Mugabe as “a gift to the nation”.
The Vice President said this while addressing hundreds of people who thronged Mt Darwin Secondary School yesterday to witness the launch of the First Choice Wholesale programme by President Mugabe. She becomes the second senior Zanu-PF official to dismiss claims that they are targeting the Presidency.
Defence Minister and Zanu-PF secretary for legal affairs Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa this week dismissed reports that he had entered into a secret pact with President Mugabe to take over the presidency once the Head of State and Government leaves office.
Responding to questions by Midlands State University students after presenting a public lecture at the campus on Thursday, Minister Mnangagwa said the rumours were a strategy by Zimbabwe’s enemies and detractors who were always working on reversing the gains of Independence.
“I was as surprised as you to learn that there was a pact between the President and myself to take over office. I also read about it in the Press.
“This is a strategy by our enemies, but we are too mature and intelligent as a nation to fall for that. We do not read much into that,” he said.
VP Mujuru said she first met President Mugabe during the liberation war in 1975 when she was 20-years-old and learnt a lot from the veteran leader.
“I have now known him for 37 years. Our problem as Zimbabweans is that we do not understand our President. Had we understood him well, we were not going to have any challenges. Hanzi n’anga haikudzwe nevayo.”
This comes as the President told the same gathering that Zimbabwe is going for elections this year.
He said this will enable the country prepare for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly to be co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe next year.
He said it was impossible to have both events next year.
“We just have to go for elections this year. Moreso as next year we have to prepare for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly with Zambia. We have to have elections this year and leave next year clear,” President Mugabe said.
He challenged the Copac management committee to ensure the Constitution-making process was completed on time and avoid deliberate delaying tactics as a referendum had to be held soon and pave way for polls.
“The management committee should go and demand the consolidated report (from the Copac team) and bring it to us. We want to make decisions as the principals.
We do not want to go into the second half of the year without a referendum,” President Mugabe said.
He made the remarks after Transport, Communications and Infrastructural Development Minister Nicholas Goche, a member of the management committee and negotiator in the inter-party talks, indicated to the President that they had not received the consolidated report.
“We are not scared to go for elections. We are ready, ready, ready, but we have not seen the consolidated report as the management committee,” said Cde Goche.
He said the management committee will speedily work on the Constitution once it was furnished with the consolidated report.
“If we fail to agree we will refer it to you as principals. We will not waste time,”
Cde Goche said.
First Choice Wholesale is the brainchild of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises and Co-operatives Development.
The co-operative-owned wholesale concept intends to establish outlets in rural communities to bring basic goods to the people.
The wholesalers get their wares from local producers and sell them at affordable prices in rural areas.
The Zanu-PF leadership in Mashonaland Central urged President Mugabe to call for elections and do away with the inclusive Government.
They said the inclusive Government was not beneficial to the nation as parties to the arrangement were pulling in different directions.
Said Zanu-PF’s Mashonaland Central provincial chairman Cde Dickson Mafios: “Mashonaland Central is ready for elections. We are tired of the inclusive Government. Let us go for elections united and reclaim the two constituencies lost to the MDC in 2008.”
Mt Darwin South legislator and Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere echoed similar sentiments.
“As Mashonaland Central, if we have elections today or tomorrow, we have a candidate. You are our candidate Your Excellency,” he said.