President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday urged war veterans to campaign peacefully in the coming elections and show the world that democracy has come of age in Zimbabwe.
He has not yet proclaimed the date for elections but they should be held between 21 July and 21 August and he has up to 8 July to proclaim them.
Addressing war veterans in his first meeting with them since he became leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front in November last year, Mnangagwa said ZANU-PF “is ours together”.
“You and I have a huge responsibility, which we are obligated to by our party constitution,” he said. “We must be loyal to the party, spread and popularise our party policies and principles without flinching or swerving.
“Ours is to toe the party line, cognisant of the immense responsibility to defend our national heritage and chart a definite, successful and prosperous future, not only for our party, but all multitudes of people throughout the country.
“I, thus, exhort us to go out, full throttle, in our huge numbers and campaign for a thunderous victory for our party.
“During the liberation struggle we were like fish, and the people the sea. In that fashion, let us go forth in our campaign with women, youth and their affiliates; let us go out with business, small and medium enterprises, students, informal traders, farmers and miners.
“Let us not forget the media fraternity, workers, hairdressers and our cross-border traders, among others. The task to rebuild our country is for all of us Zimbabweans together; to do so we must win the hearts and minds of our populace.
“As we campaign, I urge us all to preach and live in unity, peace and love. As you are aware, these elections will be observed by international observers, I appeal to all of our people to show them the great Zimbabwean hospitality and that, indeed, our democracy has come of age. We are united by our national anthem and flag.”
Mnangagwa said the party was now focussing on lifting the standards of the people so that it becomes a middle income country by 2030.
“We have set ourselves on a course to have Zimbabwe become a middle-income country with a per capita income of USD3 500 by 2030, with decent jobs, broad-based empowerment, increased investments, free from poverty and corruption,” he said.
“Thus, strategies are in motion to ensure the resuscitation, retooling, expansion and modernisation of various industries, agriculture, mining and manufacturing, tourism, infrastructure development, ICT and the financial services sectors.”
Zimbabwe’s per capita was put at $908 in 2016, the latest figure available.
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