Zanu-PF Will Hand Over Power If Defeated In 2018 Elections: President Mnangagwa
President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared that his party the ruling Zanu-PF was going to hand over power to another political party in the event that it loses the 2018 harmonised elections. In a one-on-one interview with Mishal Hussein at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday, Mnangagwa said that the winner of the election regardless of who it is will proceed to take the reigns of power.
The president went on to illustrate how Zanu-PF had accepted the result despite the fact that it was defeated in the constitutional referendum vote in the year 2000. However, the interviewer did not take the opportunity to follow up with questions on the 2002 presidential elections in which the Zimbabwe Defence and Security Services Chiefs vowed that they would never salute Morgan Tsvangirai if he won the poll ahead of Mugabe. Neither did Hussein ask about the 2008 Election where the results were delayed for 6 weeks. When the results were finally announced sitting president Robert Mugabe had been defeated by Tsvangirai leading to electoral violence and atrocities ahead of the June 28 run-off presidential election. Said Mnangagwa
You remember we had a constitutional referendum where Zanu-PF lost. And immediately when the results were out we said we abide by the results. We are very clear. The purpose of an election is to have the electorate select a team of persons, a party who they think addresses their challenges and their needs.
If we lose elections that is it. Whichever party wins the election will proceed to take the reigns of power
When asked about the issue of political intimidation and violence, Mnangagwa said that he will continue advocating for peace although he refused to guarantee that they will be no violence. The president said that sometimes perpetrators of violence used their own initiative and gave the example of people who willfully break the 10 Commandments.
So far the leaders of my party and the opposition leaders that are there, we are all agreed that we need a non-violent general election. But I don’t think [that] those who commit violence make an application first that they are going to commit, or assault somebody. But we as political party leaders, we must preach peace, peace, non-violence, all of us as political parties and that is what we are going to do.
….for instance, I am sure you are a person too. The Bible has ten commandments. Many people know about the ten commandments but they still commit some of the crimes which are forbidden by the 10 commandments.
When asked if election observers will have free and unfettered access to go where they want and to look at what they want, Mnangagwa was not unequivocal saying:
I am not an English expert but I thought when we say they will be transparent it means they have access. Unless the meaning of transparent is different. This is how I understand it, that we are going to have transparent elections, free and fair.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that he is willing to have observers from the European Union to come and observe the election alongside with those from Sadc and the African Union (AU), something which was unheard of under former President Robert Mugabe