Elections to be held ‘sometime in July’, Mnangagwa hints
President Emmerson Mnangagwa Tuesday hinted Zimbabwe could hold its harmonised elections this July adding that he cherished seeing more candidates challenging for his job.
“Zimbabwe will soon hold elections, sometimes in July possibly,” Mnangagwa said during the signing ceremony of the instruments of cooperation between Belarus and Zimbabwe at the State House.
The event was attended by visiting Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko and his delegation comprising ministers, among other top government officials.
Mnangagwa added, “Let me assure that since independence, Zimbabwe has never omitted to hold elections every five years.
“We have elections and ruling party Zanu PF has been winning all those elections and we will continue winning.
“Last time, 59 parties contested and we had 23 presidential contestants. This is beautiful. The more the people who want to be president, the merrier it is.
“I don’t know who wants to contest this but the contest is open to everyone. Zanu PF is confident that we will win.”
Among some of the country’s politicians keen to challenge the Zimbabwe strongman in this year’s elections are Nelson Chamisa of CCC, Lovemore Madhuku (NCA) and Joseph Busha (Freezim Congress).
However, the number of presidential candidates could be fewer in the coming election after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission hiked nomination court fees from US$1,000 to US$20,000 for presidential hopefuls.
Few can however afford the steep fee.
Meanwhile, in his remarks, Lukashenko said Zimbabwe should preserve its peace as a form of defence against western interference.
“You dear friends will see them, the western countries trying to instil tension among you, trying to bend you over…you must survive.
“And you will be able to survive if you stand united. If you are not, you will separate the nation over political issues.
“Please try to preserve peace in your country to avoid confrontation in your country.
“That’s how you survive. Otherwise you will once again get under the colonial rule. Don’t let that happen.”
He added, “There are no miracles, good results can be achieved through maintaining hard labour, by maintaining daily work …so I am hopeful that this year, as you go for elections, you will make the right choice and by making the right choice, you will be able to show the entire world that you deserve the independence, that you are the one and that you are going to preserve it further.
“The people of Zimbabwe deserve it. Please be very mindful, be very mindful, be very careful, only through handwork that you will be able to achieve what you want to achieve.
“There is a country called Belarus which will always be ready to give you a helping hand if need be.
“Mr President, my dear brother, I would like to thank you for everything for your warm welcome and organising this visit.
“We are going to work together; Belarus is going to help you in everything you need.”