Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai enters presidential election with heavy heart

By Janet Shoko

Posted on Monday, 8 July 2013 09:47

Addressing party supporters in the Marondera, 200km east of the capital Harare, Tsvangirai bemoaned the lack of critical reforms to ensure free and fair elections, but he said he was ready to govern.

Zimbabweans go to the polls in just over three weeks in a vote to end the unity government between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, who were forced to share power after deadly clashes in the aftermath of the 2008 elections.

“We are faced with an election without reforms and against a leopard that has remained faithful to its spots, but our faith in God and our collective desire for real transformation will make us triumph over the setbacks, which are temporary,” Tsvangirai told the capacity crowd.

”Our faith and our unshakeable belief in liberty will drive us to usher in a new era for our country, even as we participate in these polls with a heavy heart.”

The Prime Minister is hoping to tap into widespread discontent over unemployment, which is estimated to be as high as 90 percent. 

The manifesto promises to create 1 million jobs over five years, free primary education and free maternity healthcare within three months of office.

The premier said in the first 100 days after winning elections, he will convene an international conference to mobilise financial support for economic reconstruction and establishing a transparent process of revenue collection from diamonds and other natural resources.

However, on Friday, Mugabe also launched his campaign, saying the country is sitting on idle assets that have the potential to generate a massive $8 trillion.

Mugabe promised a do-or-die fight to win polls.

The election pledges hinge on a black empowerment.

“There is no alternative (to indigenisation and economic empowerment),” he said, “Therefore, Zanu PF will unapologetically intensify the implementation of this programme over the next five years in order to meet the goals of the people.”

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