HARARE – Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised to hold free and fair elections and says his party’s constitution obligates the party to do so.
Mnangagwa is under pressure to guarantee free and fair elections because his party has been accused of rigging polls since 2000 when it nearly lost to the nine-month-old Movement for Democratic Change.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai believes his party won these elections but was outmaneuvred by ZANU-PF and ended up losing by only three seats polling 57 out of the 120 elected seats.
Mnangagwa who launched his party’s election manifesto and campaign yesterday tweeted: “The upcoming elections will be free and fair, and I am confident that with this ambitious and achievable plan for Zimbabwe, we will be victorious. The voice of the people is the voice of God!”
He told the delegates to the launch that the ZANU-PF constitution obligates the party “to create conditions for the establishment of a democratic, political and social order which guarantees in perpetuity that the Government of the state shall be answerable to the people through periodic free and fair elections based on universal adult’s suffrage”.
“We are here to prepare for the elections in fulfilment of this fundamental provision,” he said.
“Before this revolutionary gathering is Team ZANU-PF, who are the party candidates to the upcoming senatorial, parliamentary, provincial, and council elections.
“I now appeal to my fellow candidates to now go out and humbly canvas for the vote of the people of Zimbabwe. Ours is a call to be servants of the people. Let us thrive to go out there to win the hearts and minds of the people for them to vote for our party. Victory is certain.”
Zimbabwe is due to hold its elections in July or August.
Mnangagwa has the right to proclaim elections any time now and has until 8 July to do so.
There are, however, two outstanding court cases that are seeking to bar Mnangagwa from announcing the election dates.
Parliament is also still to pass the Electoral Amendment Bill to bring about the necessary reforms to guarantee free and fair elections.
It resumes sitting on Tuesday.