President Emmerson Mnangagwa has told war collaborators to use their mighty to vote peacefully in the coming elections telling them that their vote was so powerful that it will silence all the noise currently taking place in the country.
“If they accost you, do not fight them, calm them down and give them water to drink or roasted maize. Our vote is powerful and will silence everything,” he said.
Zimbabwe is holding elections in 17 days but opposition parties are pressing the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to institute reforms to make the voting more transparent.
They also allege that the electoral body is helping the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front to rig the elections.
Police officers are reported to have started voting yesterday but there was confusion as to whether this was official or not with the elections chief denying that postal voting had started and later confirming it had indeed started.
Some police officers complained that they were being asked to vote in the presence of their seniors which was a form of intimidation.
According to the Herald, Mnangagwa told the war collaborators yesterday that people must not lose sleep over the current demonstrations by the opposition.
Thousands of supporters of Zimbabwe’s opposition parties demonstrated peacefully in Harare against the ZEC and its refusal to allow parties to observe the printing of ballot papers.
“You must not lose sleep over those who are making unnecessary noise. Those who are making noise are already sensing defeat. Demonstrations do not vote. What votes are the people. Those who want to be voted into power go to the people. They do not expend their energy on demonstrations,” Mnangagwa said.
“We were together in the bushes. We are one. We suffered together in the liberation struggle and our liberation war covenant should and indeed will remain intact forever.”
Youth leader Pupurai Togarepi who is also chairman of the Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators assured Mnangagwa of their vote.
“President, we stood with you during the trials and tribulations which saw you being vilified in the last days of former President Robert Mugabe,” he said.
“These are your trusted children. They are patriotic and hold you with high regard. They are rallying behind you. You are guaranteed of their votes.”
The meeting was also attending by ZANU-PF chairman Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri who made her first public appearance after being injured in a grenade blast in Bulawayo on 23 June.
She was airlifted to South Africa for treatment together with Vice-President Kembo Mohadi and is reported to have returned on Wednesday.
Mohadi is still in hospital in South Africa.