Speaking at the launch of his 2023 election campaign in Chipinge, home of ZANU founding president Ndabaningi Sithole, Mnangagwa said his party had already won 74 local authority seats before the elections scheduled for 23 August..
“We are preparing for our elections, and as we prepare we have urban local authorities that are being run by the opposition. This year, we are voting them out and voting for those who have the people at heart. We will not vote for those who go into council only to do corruption,” he said.
“In Harare, where I live, there is no collection of waste. People struggle to get water. CCC or other parties should go. We must vote for our own councillors so that ZANU PF, which has the focus and people’s interests at heart, will deliver. We are a people-centred party.”
Citizens Coalition for Change leader Nelson Chamisa, who is Mnangagwa’s biggest challenger, also launched his campaign in South Africa yesterday saying his party is winning the elections with a much bigger margin this time so that ZANU-PF will not be able to rig the results as it did in 2018.
“On August 23 our goal is to win big because a small margin is going to be a problem. We are dealing with guys who like playing with figures,” Chamisa said.
“We win not because the environment is conducive. We win not because the elections are free and fair. We win against all odds and we win because we are supported by the people of Zimbabwe. We won in 2018. Mr Mnangagwa did what he did to try and subvert the will of the people. This time we are not going to allow what they did in 2018 in 2023. We are going to win again but we have to win in big margin.”
Below are excerpts from Mnangagwa’s speech at Chipinge:
Let me begin by giving due respect to all our chiefs who are here with us today and those who did not manage to attend this event, especially Chief Mutema, under whose jurisdiction we are today.
We are here after taking time to think long and hard about exactly where to hold our first rally. Here in Zimbabwe, the sun always rises from the east; so whenever a country is looking for light, it looks to the east.
And, in Zimbabwe, our east is right here in Manicaland. That is why we are here for this launch because this is where our light comes from.
My friends, Zimbabwe precedes all of us.
There is no one among us who can claim to be founder of this country. This is Munhumutapa’s land. Even when Munhumutapa looks back and sees us taking good care of the inheritance he bestowed upon us, he will be a happy man.
We are gathered here to assign each of us duties as sons and daughters of Zimbabwe.
And the duty is to safeguard our inheritance; and the revolutionary party, ZANU PF, is the sole custodian of that inheritance.
There is no other political party in this country that can claim that legitimacy except ZANU PF. Our party, ZANU PF, has its founders and before we proceed any further, we must lay out in the open the exact people who founded this party.
Dr Chiwenga touched on that subject for just a bit, but let me fill in the gaps.
Continued next page