Economy would be Mugabe’s focus, ‘indigenisation’ stays

2013-07-31 14:24

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If Zanu-PF wins the polls, the party would focus on resuscitating the economy, President Robert Mugabe has said.

“We will really try to get our economy back on speed. Much work will be done in the mining and agricultural sectors, which I think will prop up the others. The controversial indigenisation policies will stay put for now.”

He said indigenisation was here to stay.

“Indigenisation, we cannot escape that, that’s the reality of the situation. We are Zimbabweans and we are a sovereign country and the resources of the country are ours. The use of the term indigenisation is to explain to our people what we are doing, that the resources belong to them,” he said.

Speaking to a contingent of journalists at the Mhofu Primary School in Highfields, Mugabe said he had no reason to believe the elections would not be free and fair.

“I’m sure people will vote freely and fairly.”

Mugabe arrived at the school in a modest Range Rover Vogue with his wife, Grace, and some Zanu-PF bigwigs.

He was escorted by the army and the police.

Scores of residents waited at the gate of the school to greet his convoy. They sang and danced for him.

Mugabe poured cold water on suggestions that he would not finish his term because of his age, should Zanu-PF win the elections. “Why not? Why must I offer myself as a candidate if it is to cheat the people (in) resigning afterwards?”

Being in a government of national unity with the MDC-T was much harder than he had thought, Mugabe said.

“Naturally, it was harder. We had to wait. We had to go through a torturous route to get to the new Constitution. When you are with other parties in government, it is bound to be difficult. But we have managed together,” he said, adding that it was a good experience. However, he said the people would now decide the fate of the country.

Elsewhere in Harare, the elections continue with few or no glitches.

In Mbare, just outside Harare, five polling stations drew thousands upon thousands of voters. By lunchtime more than 20 000 people were queuing to vote. Thousands more had already cast their votes since polling stations opened up at 7am.

An observer who spoke to City Press on condition of anonymity said all was well.

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