— President Robert Mugabe on Friday told hundreds of cheering supporters that he will this year trounce Movement for Democratic Change leader, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, and other candidates in Zimbabwe’s forthcoming presidential poll.
Officially launching Masvingo Community Share Ownership scheme under the country’s controversial indigenization program, President Mugabe said people should vote for his party which rolled out the black economic empowerment program in 2011, widely criticized by his rivals in the unity government as an election gimmick.
He said Zimbabweans should start preparing for the presidential, parliamentary and council elections “in which I will beat, hands down, (MDC-T leader and Prime Minister) Tsvangirai and others”.
The president, who also officially opened the Chiefs’ Council Conference at Masvingo Polytechnic College, said the elections will end what he called “a three-headed creature”.
He stressed that time has come for the country to get rid of the unity government which he said had largely been characterised by disagreements.
Mr. Mugabe said now that unity government leaders have agreed on the country’s draft constitution, people should go out in large numbers to vote for leaders of their choice.
The president said he had been particularly irked by his partners in the coalition government “who changed positions all the time even after we agreed on crucial issues.”
Mr. Mugabe called for a violent-free election, adding that his party will win the crucial polls.
Launching the share ownership scheme, the president said the government would continue to target foreign-owned companies in the same way it took productive land from white commercial farmers to re-distribute to ordinary black Zimbabweans.
Report Filed By Obert Pepukai
Masvingo becomes the sixth province in the country to have such a scheme. Some of the targeted mining companies in the region include Murowa and Bikita Minerals.
Reports say some top Zanu PF officials have already forcibly grabbed Renco Mine, one of the biggest mining entities in Masvingo region.
Zimbabwe's indigenization laws require foreign-owned companies to cede for value 51 percent of their shares to local blacks, in an attempt to reverse inequalities caused by the country's colonial past.