HomeOpinionGPA only meant to end violence –– Mugabe

GPA only meant to end violence –– Mugabe

Mugabe told the ongoing Zimbabwe Council of Chiefs conference in Bulawayo that the GPA, signed on September 15 2008 by himself, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, was promoted by Sadc leaders to end escalating inter-party political violence.

Mugabe even asked Mutambara, who was on the podium with him at the chiefs’ indaba if he was not being honest that the GPA was merely meant to usher in a transitional period leading to fresh elections. Mutambara nodded in agreement with Mugabe’s pronouncement.  

Mugabe said if the new constitution was delayed, he would be forced to use the current one to call for fresh elections since the Zanu PF national conference resolved to have polls before the end of this year.

“We agreed with the MDCs that we were going to use the Kariba Draft constitution when we signed the GPA,” said Mugabe. “So the issue wasn’t about a constitution; the question was about violence that had taken place in 2008,” he said.

The constitution-making process was supposed to take 18 months but it has dragged for over three years because of bickering between Zanu PF and the MDC formations.

Mugabe said there were several irrelevant issues raised in the draft constitution which he  vowed to outrightly reject.

There has been a storm over proposals on two presidential terms and 70-year age limits which Mugabe and his loyalists have rejected.

Mugabe, who has been endorsed as Zanu PF’s presidential candidate by his party and chiefs,  is agitating for  fresh elections this year with or without a new constitution.

He has repeatedly expressed frustration at the functions of the inclusive government and demanded early elections to collapse it, but he has been blocked by Sadc which is lobbying for democratic reforms before any poll.

“If parties drag their feet on the constitution, we can revert to the old constitution and we call for elections. We wonder why people are also bringing up irrelevant issues in the constitution,” said Mugabe.

He also castigated gays, repeating that they were worse than pigs at his farm, and lambasted African leaders who have allowed same-sex marriages in their countries.

This was in apparent reference to South Africa, which is the only country in the region to have legalised same sex marriages.

“Homosexuality is for those who are sick in the mind. But we have very few people who are mad,” Mugabe said.

Mugabe also threatened to seize under-utilised farms from beneficiaries of his government’s failed land reform programme, adding that a land audit would be instituted soon, without elaborating.

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