In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

SADC warned by Mugabe

Posted by smeddum on June 28, 2008

(The Chronicle)

Harare Bureau

NO country in the world including those in the African Union and Sadc, can dictate how Zimbabwe should conduct its elections, President Mugabe has said.

He said irresponsible and reckless statements by some Sadc leaders could lead to the breaking up of the regional grouping.
Addressing a rally at Chitungwiza Town Centre yesterday, President Mugabe said the Zimbabwean situation was better than what has happened in other countries during elections.
“Some African countries have done worse things and when I go to the AU (African Union) meeting next week (in Egypt) I am going to challenge some leaders to point out when we have had worse elections.
“I would like some African leaders who are making these statements to point at me and we would see if those fingers would be cleaner than mine,” he said.
Cde Mugabe said while any country was free to discuss with Zimbabwe possible solutions to the country’s challenges, these have to be done with respect.
“We remain open to discussions and proposals that come in good spirit, would be listened to (but) not because these have been dictated to us from outside.
“There are countries that have had elections in worse conditions in Africa and we have never interfered.”
Cde Mugabe said Zimbabwe would not be forced to violate its laws and cancel the presidential election run-off by some African countries.
“For any country to say stop the elections, to tell us to violate our laws would not only be unfair but completely lawless to us. We reject such moves, it does not matter where these are coming from but such suggestions are completely unacceptable,” he said.
“We hold our elections within the precincts of our laws, yes, advice can be given but not to be dictated to us. Noone should be deluded into believing that they are so and so and what they say would be listened to.”
He said while some Sadc countries could also help in solving the challenges being experienced in the country but other leaders were saying bad things after being pressurised by the British to condemn Zimbabwe.
“We are surprised by what some Sadc leaders are saying, some are even calling for President Mbeki to stop current mediation efforts while others want him to be replaced.
“These reckless statements being made by some Sadc leaders could lead to the breaking up of Sadc. When we formed the regional bloc it was agreed that members of the bloc would quietly intervene in areas that face problems and we have done that in some countries although we had to use military intervention in the DRC.
“There are, however, some countries wanting to be better Sadc members from others and Zimbabwe would never accept it.”
Zambian president and Sadc chairman Levy Mwanawasa in March admitted being pressured by Washington and London to call a summit to discuss Zimbabwe’s elections when the results of the elections had not been announced.
On Wednesday, Tanzania and Swaziland succumbed to Western pressure to call an emergency meeting of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security which resolved to call on Zimbabwe to cancel the runoff. However, Angola which chairs the organ and South Africa the mediator in the Zimbabwe issue ignored the summit.
Analysts said the summit ended up being a bilateral meeting between Tanzania and Swaziland and its resolution would have no effect on Sadc, let alone Zimbabwe.
President Mugabe said despite the isolated cases of politically motivated violence, Zimbabwe still remained a peaceful country.
“We are a peaceful country, although there have been incidents of violence the country has remained quiet and calm.
“The incidents of violence by the MDC and in some cases by ZanuPF supporters, in retribution after having their houses burnt, does not make the situation insecure in terms of law and order.
“I have been everywhere around the country, there is peace and some statistics telling blatant lies are naturally offending. I would rather have the world leave us alone. They can impose sanctions on us but we have the capacity to work for ourselves because we have the land, resources and the capacity to work for the country.
“There are however some African countries that are content with budgets that have been made by others, they have weaknesses that leave them subjecting to their donors.”
Cde Mugabe called on Britain to stop meddling in Zimbabwean affairs and stop lying to the world about the bilateral dispute between it and Harare. “The British should stop its devious, deceitful, insidious and deceptive activities on Zimbabwe. They should keep quiet about us, they should stop telling lies about our bilateral dispute which is over the land issue.

“The land issue has been the case even during the Lancaster Conference where they (British) promised to pay compensation for the land we would take from their sons.
“While we have always been prepared to talk about the issue, they have refused during the (Tony) Blair era and even now with the nonsensical (Gordon) Brown who is much more idiotic. We however feel pity to (George) Bush for supporting the British.”
He said the British should come out and admit that they were wrong on the land issue.
“They should come out and say we did wrong on the land issue. We will never go back on the land issue. Never, never, never. Win or lose we will not go back on the land issue and that is where we differ with our colleagues in the MDC who think they would give the land back to the whites and that would be calling for war.”
President Mugabe said a ZanuPF victory would not mean the death of opposition politics in the country.
“A ZanuPF win does not mean we would push opposition parties into oblivion. The MDC has won a considerable number of seats in Parliament, there is a role they would play in Parliament.
“We are not going to make a Kenya in Zimbabwe. Kenya is Kenya, Zimbabwe is Zimbabwe and nothing forbids us from doing what we want in our country.
“Victory by us does not mean the death of MDC or any other party that wants to participate in our electoral process,” he said.
He reiterated ZanuPF’s willingness to hold talks with both MDC factions in the interest of the nation.
“We want our brothers in the MDC to come to us to discuss our problems but the MDC should be totally local, they should respect our sovereignty and tell us to work together as Zimbabweans.”
He said some MDCT leaders were committing treason by some utterances they make.
“It is treason to call for war in Zimbabwe, they should do away with such utterances and stop writing irresponsible documents. If they mean well then we are open to discussion.
“We are not going to be arrogant, we would rather be magnanimous and they are free to talk to us as fellow Zimbabweans.”
President Mugabe said the country was holding the presidential runoff today because there was no winner on March 29 during the first round held jointly with parliamentary and council polls.
“We held our elections in March and there was no winner, although the MDC led in those elections it did not get the required percentage poll of above 50 percent and in accordance to the laws of the country, the two leading candidates would go for a runoff.
“We decided as Zimbabwe to reorganise the second phase of the election, a presidential runoff. The MDC did not want the runoff, sure, they (MDCT) led in the March election but our electoral laws have it that we hold the runoff.”
President Mugabe called on for peace during the runoff.
“There has been violence in the country after the March 29 elections and that violence from all parties must come to an end, no retribution and we must look to the future.”
He said the elections were in the people’s hands expressing hope that there would be jubilation for ZanuPF after the election.

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