By A Correspondent- President Emmerson Mnangagwa has warned divisive elements within Zanu-PF that “it is cold out there” as factionalism continues to rock his party ahead of the March 26 by-elections.
Addressing a rally in Epworth at the weekend, Mnangagwa admitted that the party’s internal elections held in December last year were very chaotic amid allegations of vote-rigging, violence and factionalism.
“I am aware that we have by-elections coming up and during the provincial elections, we got reports that they were chaotic. Conflicts are accepted in the party but if a candidate wins, we must all embrace the result and rally behind them,” he said.
“We do not want thieves. I am told some of the candidates ran away with ballot papers during primary elections. If you are the one who disappeared with ballot papers, let it be the last time. Zanu-PF loves peace.
“You must follow the laws that are in the party. Respect the laws of the party. Do not join the opposition. Do not ever attempt to leave. It’s cold out there.”
Mnangagwa blamed lack of development in the country on the late former President Robert Mugabe’s era, saying that at that time, money that was meant for development was looted.
“I sometimes question where money meant for development went during the First Republic, but I’m quick to put myself to order (keep quiet) as I was also part of the old regime.”
Political analyst Eldred Masunungure said: “Assuming it was not a miss of the tongue, that is staggeringly shocking and yet unwittingly true, especially from a regime that consistently seeks to distance itself in word and deed from the so-called first
Mnangagwa also claimed that opposition Citizens Coaliton for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa would not rule the country, saying it would be a difficult feat for him to achieve.
But CCC national spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere said Chamisa’s victory was certain whether Mnangagwa liked it or not.
“CCC has gone viral and has caused Zanu-PF and Mnangagwa to go on panic mode. It is the people that will decide who will get to State House,” she said.
Political commentator Effie Ncube described Mnangagwa’s statement as irresponsible.
“It shows a complete disregard of the democratic tenets and the people who are supposed to be electors. Whether the opposition stays in the opposition forever or the ruling party stays in power forever, it is not something to be decided by the President. It is out of his control. No party stays in power forever regardless of what it is doing,” he said.-Newsday