President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday told thousands of Zanu PF supporters here that elections would be held in July.
The revelation comes amid calls by Zanu PF’s rival and civic organisations for the president to announce the election roadmap that spells out the actual poll dates.
Mnangagwa pleaded with party supporters who thronged Sakubva Stadium for his rally to demonstrate political maturity by shunning violence.
“In elections, which will come in July, we need peace . . . We don’t insult other people, no violence, I plead with you, and it is more important and more powerful to be peaceful. It means we have come of age, it means we are now mature as a party,” he said.
He urged his supporters to resist provocation: “We should not be distracted by small politicians who go around preaching hatred . . . we must allow people to differ.”
Mnangagwa also took a swipe at nurses for their recent industrial action.
“You see, what happened with nurses, some people died in the process . . . that was not good, especially because we had agreed to discuss their grievances, but unfortunately they decided not to treat patients while the discussions were underway. We did not like that.
“If there is a nurse who does not have a job then go and get jobs, if you don’t get your job then come to my ministers,” said the president.
Addressing the same rally, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga challenged Zanu PF to unite ahead of the watershed election.
“If we want to do well in the coming elections we have to unite . . . Yes, we have been fighting among ourselves but there is no home where there are no fights or mudslinging but that phase is over,” Chiwenga said.
He said the president’s credentials as a soldier and liberator were beyond reproach, hence Mnangagwa was the best person to lead the country.
Meanwhile, Mnangagwa officially renamed 3 Infantry Brigade to Herbert Wiltshire Hamandishe Chitepo Barracks at a ceremony held at the barracks yesterday.
He told top military officials, government ministers and the Chitepo family that the renaming was beyond honouring and recognising the country’s heroes as it was meant to implant their memories into living history.
“Today’s ceremony is a continuation of the government’s decision to honour and recognise our departed heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle, beyond having them lie at the national shrines.
“It is encouraging to note that the Zimbabwe Defence Forces has taken the lead in imprinting the memories of our departed heroes into our living history, through the renaming of its various military cantonments after the country’s leading icons and liberators,” Mnangagwa said.
This was the third such ceremony after the renaming of KG VI Barracks to Josiah Magamba Tongogara Barracks with the Zimbabwe National Defence University renamed Rodgers Alfred Nikita Mangena Barracks.