Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa reportedly told the country’s war collaborators this week that they “should not lose sleep” over demonstrations by opposition parties, whom he claimed were already sensing defeat in the forthcoming polls”.
According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Mnangagwa said this while addressing members of the Zimbabwe Liberation War Collaborators (Ziliwaco).
The war collaborators had met with the president in the capital Harare to hand over their grievances.
“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 was quoted as saying.
Free and fair election
The president’s remarks came after the country’s opposition parties took to the streets on Wednesday to demand fair elections following alleged irregularities in the electoral roll ahead of the elections, according to AFP.
Zimbabweans were expected to go to the polls to chose their next president on July 30.
The Movement for Democratic Change -Alliance claimed that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was biased towards Zanu-PF, with its presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa saying that the electoral body was losing its credibility.
Mnangagwa, a longtime ally of former president Robert Mugabe until he was fired as a result of a ruling party feud, was under pressure to deliver a free and fair election as a key step in lifting years of international sanctions.
Zimbabwe’s past elections had been marked by accusations of violence and fraud. Mugabe banned Western election observers but Mnangagwa has welcomed them for the first time in almost two decades.