via Mnangagwa rules out election reforms – New Zimbabwe 02/06/2015
VICE President Emmerson Mnangagwa has ruled out electoral reforms, telling opposition MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai that Zanu PF will continue to rule while he “makes noise outside government”.
“Zanu PF will not be moved by the reform mantra but will instead go ahead with the elections and will continue to rule forever,” Mnangagwa told a campaign rally in Mutare on Tuesday.
He was helping to drum up support for the Zanu PF candidate for Chikanga-Dangamvura constituency, Esau Mupfumi.
The constituency was left vacant after Arnold Tsunga and other MDC-T rebel legislators were recalled from Parliament.
By-elections have been scheduled for June 10 with all the MDC parties will boycotting the polls and any future elections in a bid to force Zanu PF to implement reforms they say will help make the contests more even.
MDC-T spokesman Obert Gutu, in a statement this week, said the boycott was, among other factors, forced by “the corrupt Zanu PF regime’s failure to create a democratic environment with regards to elections”.
“This is a bankrupt and violent regime that has continued to bury its head in the sand and pretend that the comatose economy will somehow, miraculously get out of the intensive care unit and start to grow without the adoption of the necessary political and socio-economic policies that are deliberately geared at stimulating political stability and fostering industrial growth,” said Gutu.
However, Mnangagwa, seen as a potential successor to Zanu PF’s 91-year-old leader President Robert Mugabe, said the ruling party was not bothered.
“We are not moved by Tsvangirai call for election boycotts and reforms,” he said.
“While Tsvangirai will be saying no reform no election, as Zanu PF we will be saying election, election those who don’t want to participate you are excused but us we will participate and continue to rule.
“Tsvangirai will continue to make noise outside government.”
He also mocked squabbles in the opposition ranks that have seen the MDC, which came close to toppling Mugabe in 2008, split into various rival groups.
“MDC broke into the Ncube faction, the Mutambara faction, then Job 99. Now it’s Biti and soon something is about happen but as Zanu PF we still have President Mugabe and our party is solid and going forward,” said the vice president.
Zanu PF has also had its own ructions over Mugabe’s succession resulting in the recent expulsion of former vice president Joice Mujuru.
Top party officials such as Didymus Mutasa and Rugare Gumbo as well as several of ministers we also fired.
Mnangagwa however, said the ruling party remained united despite the expulsions and suspensions.
“In Zanu PF when you err we expel you from the party but the party does not disintegrate. Yourself, your name and your identity card you are expelled from the party but Zanu PF will remain intact,” he said.
Mutasa also came under attack for criticising the land reform programme which is blamed for sparking Zimbabwe’s 15-year-old economic crisis.
The former presidential affairs minister recently said the chaotic land reforms were a mistake, adding that black farmers had failed to be productive thereby plunging the nation into hunger.
Responding Tuesday, Mnangagwa said: “Mutasa is like the MDCs who want reverse the land reform programme once they are elected into power.
“Mutasa is saying taking land from white commercial farmers and parcelling it out to black Africans is a mistake. Mutasa Mutasa?!”