HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has said it will work to heal a rift with Western countries as stipulated in the party manifesto.
Rugare Gumbo, Zanu PF’s spokesperson, told the Daily News Zanu PF will keep its doors open for Western countries who wish to open a new page of “mutually respectful re-engagement.”
Amid measured criticism from Western countries of the July 31 elections won by Mugabe and Zanu PF by a landslide, the revolutionary party wanted to open a new chapter.
The United States and European Union have questioned the election, but observers from the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (Sadc) said the vote had reflected the “will of the people.”
Gumbo said Zanu PF will not confront Western countries about their position.
He said: “If the international community considers it necessary to reject the July 31 election, Zanu PF will continue as if nothing has happened.”
The former Mberengwa East Member of Parliament said notwithstanding misgivings on the electoral results from certain quarters, the guerrilla war movement is plodding ahead and will implement its policies outlined in the manifesto.
“It is up to those same countries which have imposed illegal sanctions on us to extend an olive hand to Zanu PF and the Zimbabwean government,” he said.
This year, the EU suspended most sanctions after the country’s voters approved a new constitution, limiting presidential powers and paving the way for elections, but the US has largely maintained its targeted measures.
A cheerful Gumbo refused to discuss the contested July 31 poll outcome, saying it is time to pop the champagne bottles instead of focusing on the negatives.
Asked whether the revolutionary party is going to tinker with the new constitution now that it has a two-thirds parliamentary majority, Gumbo maintained that the party that amended the Lancaster House Constitution for a record 20 times is in no spirit to lacerate the “people driven” charter it co-authored with the MDC formations.
“We made this constitution after we had consulted the people of Zimbabwe, so there is no way we are going to change the constitution without the people’s consent,” Gumbo said.
“Zanu PF is a people’s party and if need to amend arises, we will go back to the people who have approved this same constitution. But our position is that we don’t have any intentions of changing the constitution,” said Gumbo.
Dodging questions related to policy, in particular the land audit and indigenisation programme, Gumbo said such issues would only be addressed by relevant ministers in the incoming Cabinet.
The 73-year-old Zanu PF spokesperson said indigenisation remained the party’s key policy.
“Questions related to that ministry can only be answered when the new cabinet comes into power but l can tell you that, indigenisation is our key policy,” added Gumbo.