Mugabe preaches peace as Tsvangirai is attacked


President Robert Mugabe Monday urged Zimbabweans to embrace peace and ordered police to arrest perpetrators of violence.

But while President Mugabe was preaching peace to thousands of Zimbabweans who thronged the National Sports Stadium, his Zanu PF party supporters were singing derogatory songs attacking the person of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who attended the celebrations.

Minister of Media, Information and Publicity Webster Shamu weighed in with an undisguised attack on Tsvangirai saying: “We have some people who say if (President) Mugabe brags that he liberated this country, he should go and surrender it back to the colonial masters and see if we cannot take it back.”

But President Mugabe said: “We are a peaceful people and so we should both collectively and singularly pledge ourselves to achieving both a politically and economically peaceful environment. Our Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration should continue to be not only the promoter of our peace and stability, but also its watchdog.”

The President was saying this while a co-minister in the Organ, Moses Mzila-Ndlovu, remained behind bars after he was arrested last week for addressing a Gukurahundi meeting where he allegedly incited the public to rise against the state agents.

Soon after the President spoke, his supporters broke into song likening him to a lion which stays alone in the bush.

“We have to unite in what we do and unite in love and work together,” the President said. “We don’t want fists, no violence, no clashes, not today and in days to come . . . Maybe some fight over beer, a girl or elections, but can we fight for that?” he asked.

President Mugabe said he was grateful to Sadc for its “unwavering support” to Zimbabwe.

“Within our region, Sadc has continued to give us unwavering support in our quest to be fully in charge of our economic resources. We are truly grateful for the guidance and support that Sadc and the African Union are giving to our country,” he said.

President Mugabe is on record saying the inclusive government was not working and that he wanted early elections.

Monday he sang a different tune, saying although the inclusive government had missed targets, it had performed well.

“During the course of 2010, the GPA, with missed targets here and there and outright misunderstanding on others, continued to be implemented,” President Mugabe said.

“In its various facets, it laid the foundations for the prevailing political and macro-economic stability in the country. I am happy to report that the GPA principals will continue to do their best to give this country, our country, the political and socio-economic direction it needs to take.

“We are also grateful for Sadc’s continued support in our efforts at ensuring the unfolding implementation of the GPA.”