president.pngThe Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe, says Zimbabwe will go for elections with or without a new constitution as the supreme law of the land is not a pre-condition for the harmonised polls.

President Mugabe was speaking at the official opening of the Annual National Chiefs Conference in Bulawayo where he expressed concern over the delays in the conclusion of the constitution by COPAC.

He noted that this will not stop the country from holding elections.

Cde Mugabe emphasised that the essence of the Global Political Agreement was never about making a new constitution, but was meant to stop the alleged violence that characterised the 2008 harmonised elections.

“The GPA was never meant to go for more than two years. The quarrel that led to this agreement was not that we didn’t have a constitution; it was about alleged violence during the 2008 elections.

“So the GPA was to have another election without violence, not to have another constitution as no body was questioning any aspect of the previous constitution,” said President Mugabe.

Recently, the principals directed that the management committee of COPAC to conclude the constitution-making process within the two weeks, as well as to submit a draft by the 15th of this month.

The concern came amid reports that the delays in the constitution making process were meant to stop the country for conducting polls this year.

President Mugabe also spoke on the need for maximum productivity on the land as well as the indigenisation and economic empowerment programme where he said the government will press on with the programme which obliges all foreign-owned firms to cede a 51% stake in their equity to local blacks so that the people of Zimbabwe are in total control of their natural resources.

He said the community share ownership trusts which were launched in Mhondoro-Ngezi, Shurugwi and Zvishavane are a clear demonstration that government is committed to ensuring that chiefs as custodians of the country’s natural resources are in total control of the mineral wealth.

“The community share ownership schemes have enabled communities to be custodians of their natural resources. Let those succeed,” he said.

Cde Mugabe noted that even the 51-49% ratio is still not adequate as Zimbabweans should have total control of their natural resources.

He also updated the traditional leaders on the changing geo-political forces where he said Zimbabweans should remain vigilant as the Western machinations to recolonise Africa are real, citing examples of the overthrow of legitimately elected governments in Libya and Egypt.

Cde Mugabe saying it is unfortunate that some African leaders are working with the enemy in all these developments.

 

He also said Zimbabweans will never accept aid based on a precondition of accepting homosexuality.

The annual chiefs’ conference was unique in that the wives of traditional leaders were also in attendance and President Mugabe congratulated them on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, saying their role in society is appreciated.

The conference is running under the theme, ‘Traditional Leaders: Realigning Tradition and Culture Towards Dynamic Community Development and Empowerment.’

It was attended by Vice President John Nkomo, former Governor for the Midlands Province, Cde Cephas Msipa, Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara, chiefs from Namibia and Kenya, provincial governors, cabinet ministers and traditional leaders from the country’s eight provinces.