Mugabe tries to justify his brutalities with Zambian elections violence

HARARE – The beleaguered Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has tried to justify his killings and brutal torture of MDC supporters saying Zimbabwe is not different from Zambia in terms of elections and violence.\r\n

This comes after the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, which is chaired by President Rupiah Banda last Thursday night called for an end to political violence in Zimbabwe.

President Mugabe, who was addressing the 84th Ordinary Session of the Zanu-PF Central Committee in Harare, was quoted by the state-owned The Herald Newspaper to have stated that if people rejected a draft constitution currently being worked on, Zimbabwe would still have elections under the Lancaster House constitution.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) – Tsvangirai faction has attempted to push elections to May next year citing claims of political violence in the country.

But President Mugabe dismissed the claims as flimsy and urged Zanu-PF members to organise party structures in preparation for general elections.

"We have a new constitution being formulated. The process is slow, but we would want to see at the end of the day whether the draft constitution is going to be accepted by the people. If accepted, well, then we proceed to elections and if people reject it, we then go to elections on the basis of the old constitution,” President Mugabe was quoted. “We should be ready for the outcome, but being ready for the outcome is another story and preparing for it is another story. We should not be found wanting, let’s organise the party so that by the time elections come we will be ready. “Tsvangirai complained to SADC about elections and violence . . . I asked them which country is free of that conflict. Zambia here, we are the same. In any third world or developing country, there are always conflicts but you don’t judge them on that.”

He stated that Zimbabwe was a sovereign state and should determine its decisions with foreigners only coming in as friends.

President Mugabe was further quoted to have stated that the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security or any other organisation could not dictate how Zimbabwe should run its internal affairs.

"Any organisation, body or group of persons that is established by the Troika or SADC should not prescribe to us what to do. A facilitator is a facilitator and should facilitate dialogue between Zimbabweans by way of persuasion. That is the best he can do. He cannot prescribe that we do A, B, C, D. We prescribe to ourselves to do A, B, C, D in accordance with our own laws,” President Mugabe stated. "MDC-T think that SADC or AU can tell us how we can do our business or how to implement what we have agreed. We are a sovereign State and as a sovereign State we don’t accept any interference and even our neighbours should not tell us what to do."

President Mugabe stated that once the constitution-making process was concluded there would be no reason why Zimbabwe could not go to general elections this year.

Last week during it’s meeting in Livingstone, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ on Politics, Defence and Security cooperation summit on Thursday night called for an end to political violence in Zimbabwe.

Members of SADC troika on Politics, Defence and Security that include President Rupiah Banda as chairperson, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, who is deputy chairperson and facilitator in Zimbabwe, Mozambique’s Armando Guebuza received a report from Zuma about the political situation in Zimbabwe.