Mnangagwa says elections in 5 months
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said Zimbabweans should brace for harmonised elections in the next five months, which should be transparent, free and fair for the progressive good of the country.
Despite coming to power on the back of a military coup that deposed longtime dictator Robert Mugabe in November last year, Mnangagwa is desperate to cast himself as a reformer.
Speaking here during the fourth leg of his tour of the region in which he is apprising Sadc Heads of State and Government on political developments in Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa said free and fair polls were critical in repositioning Zimbabwe as a democratic State within the international system.
“Zimbabwe is going for elections in four to five months’ time and we have to preach peace, peace and peace because we know it is good for us and we have no doubt that we will have peaceful elections.
“I assure the regional leadership that the forthcoming harmonised polls will embrace the tenets of democracy, fair play and standards set by us in the Sadc.
“We will ensure that Zimbabwe delivers free, credible, fair and indisputable elections to ensure Zimbabwe engages the world as a qualified democratic state.”
His promises are in stark contrast to his role in 2008, when as chairman of the Joint Operations Command (JOC) he led ‘Operation Mavhotera Papi’ that saw the murder of over 200 opposition supporters when opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai had won presidential elections over Mugabe.
Mnangagwa has so far visited South Africa, Angola and Namibia and is scheduled to visit Zambia tomorrow and Botswana in coming weeks, among other states.
In all the engagements he has been explaining the political transition that saw him ascend to power and applauded the region and the international community for support. He said Zimbabwe was now geared for economic turnaround and was willing to work with diverse partners in rebuilding the economy and creating cordial relations with the international community.