ZIMBABWE: Mugabe says opposition victory leads to war

13 06 2008

Robert Mugabe says he will not let the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) take over power.

Here’s why.

Read full article below.

By Lebo Nkatazo
Last updated: 06/13/2008 08:12:40
ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe said Thursday that he would not let the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) take over power, saying that would be “tantamount to giving back the country to the former colonial master and insulting the virtues of the liberation struggle”.

Mugabe revealed he had to dissuade war veterans from “going back to war” after the March 29 general elections in which his Zanu PF party lost its parliamentary majority. He came second to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the presidential race, but Tsvangirai could not be declared the outright winner because he failed to get a clear majority of at least 50+ percent.

As Mugabe spoke to supporters at Murehwa Business Centre, Tsvangirai, his chief nemesis for the last eight years, was twice detained by police on the campaign trail in Kwekwe and Gweru.

The MDC’s secretary general Tendai Biti was arrested at the Harare International Airport and charged with treason as he arrived back from South Africa. In Chegutu, the MDC said its MP Takalani Matibe, who was visited by Tsvangirai earlier Thursday, had been arrested, and his house looted and “destroyed” by alleged Zanu PF supporters.

The MDC says at least 65 of its supporters have been killed as Mugabe goes for broke ahead of a second round of voting in the presidential elections on June 27.

Mugabe, dismissing the MDC as a “British party that was created and funded by the British”, said an MDC victory would put the country on a war footing – echoing similar sentiments expressed by his deputy, Joseph Msika, on Wednesday.

Mugabe said: “Vakomana (war veterans) vakanga vatouya apo takabva kunovhota. Vakauya kuoffice kwangu vakati zvino tobata pfuti here? Vakati nyika ino takaitora nepfuti saka zvino tosiya ichienda nepenzura? Kuti munhu anongo nyora ka ‘X’ nyika yotoenda here?

“Takataura navo tikati hatisi kuda kudzokera kusango. Asi imi mese muripano, mungasiye nyika ichidzokera makatarisa shuwa?”

At another stop in Chikomba, Mugabe said he would not surrender power – even if the MDC won the election. He said an MDC victory would be a trigger for WAR.

“Izvozvo hazvimbofa zvakaitika, kuti ivhu redu ratakarwira ritorwe neMDC, iyo yozopa ivhu redu kuvachena vaimbova vakatidzvinyirira. Mungavhotera kuti tiende zvakare kuhondo kunorwira nyika yatakasunungura,” the 84-year-old leader said.

Mugabe, in power since 1980, is accused of using violence to hang onto power.

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