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Prepare for polls – Mugabe

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PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe yesterday insisted that general elections will be held in March next year despite grumblings by his coalition government partners who demand that polls can only be conducted after adoption of electoral reforms.

Report by Everson Mushava, Chief Reporter

Addressing delegates at the ongoing Copac-led Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference in Harare, Mugabe said there was no going back on the set date and urged parties to start preparing for the watershed polls.

“There will certainly be elections in March next year. We are not ambushing anyone. We should start preparing for the elections now,” Mugabe said.

Mugabe’s election decree flies in the face of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who last week said no election dates had been agreed yet, adding the March 31 date was simply a working deadline for the proclamation of poll dates.

Of late, Mugabe has been preaching peace at every opportunity, but observers have dismissed the overture as insincere, saying the veteran leader had failed to rein in rogue elements within his party, particularly the Mbare-based militia, Chipangano.

The President is reported to have left for Dubai soon after his keynote address at the conference. Reports say he is expected to attend the World Energy Forum.

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