PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday claimed that Zanu PF was the only democratic party in the country that allowed people to freely choose their candidates without any form of coercion.
BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
Addressing thousands of ruling party supporters at a Zanu PF youth convention in Gweru, Mnangagwa said other political parties imposed candidates, while his party ensured a free and fair selection process.
“Zanu PF is the only democratic party, which does not impose candidates,” he said.
“As the leadership, we do not say this candidate will represent the party, but we allow the people to choose even from cell level those that they want to represent them. This makes Zanu PF a supreme party.”
Mnangagwa’s statement comes as many disgruntled party supporters have threatened to vote for the opposition in some constituencies in protest of imposition of candidates by the ruling party’s top officials.
He, however, admitted that there were disagreements in primary elections, and urged losing candidates to accept their fate as “the party is bigger than individuals”.
Mnangagwa said Zanu PF youth should not lose sleep over the challenge posed by opposition parties.
“As we go to the elections, it is only Zanu PF,” he said.
“What I have done, myself, is to ignore these small political parties because they are nothing. You should do the same and ignore them.”
Mnangagwa said his administration had transformed the lives of Zimbabweans in the few months he has been in office.
He said people in the country now enjoyed liberties, which had never happened before.
“We now have hotels always fully booked at 110 % capacity with investors from foreign countries,” he said.
“Investors now come because we always preach peace. Moreover, people now enjoy freedom in a way never experience before.”
Mnangagwa said the youth should be afforded a stake, particularly in mining, to economically empower them.
“As youth, you should not remain poverty stricken because you are the future leaders,” he said.
“If you are not economically empowered, it means you would not be able to uplift other youths in future.”
The Zanu PF leader said he does not condone corruption, warning anyone caught on the wrong side of the law would be prosecuted regardless of their standing in society.
He also charmed street vendors, saying his administration would push so that their vending stalls had all the necessary provisions, including water and electricity.
“There is need for vending stalls with water, toilets and electricity and, therefore, you can’t just say vendors leave the streets,” he said.
“But we are having headaches in implementing programmes at local government level because they are controlled by the opposition. You should, therefore, ensure that we win elections and take control of all councils.”