Zimbabwe Zanu-PF holds crucial convention

2011-12-06 21:25

Harare - Loyalists of the Zimbabwe president's party are gathering in the nation's west to chart the path toward elections to end the nation's fragile 30-month coalition.

Rugare Gumbo, spokesperson for President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, said the five-day convention which launches on Wednesday will be a time for "introspection" and preparation for polling next year.

Mugabe, travelling to the second city of Bulawayo for the gathering of some 3 000 delegates has described the coalition brokered by regional leaders as "unconstitutional and illegal," having surpassed its original two-year lifespan.

The coalition followed disputed and violent elections in 2008. Rights groups accuse Mugabe's party, facing its own internal splits, of already starting a campaign of violence and intimidation to sway polling.