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Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF says to launch run-off campaign when ZEC sets date
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08:50, May 15, 2008

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Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu PF party announced Wednesday that it will launch its campaign for the presidential election run-off as soon as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) sets the date for the poll.

The party's information and publicity sub-committee chairman Patrick Chinamasa told journalists ZANU-PF had put in place the necessary strategies and was confident of winning, according to local media New Ziana.

The campaign would be held under the theme "100 percent empowerment: Total Independence."

"This is the statement of Zanu-PF and its founding belief in the Zimbabwean people. As a party we believe in the people of Zimbabwe, their capacity to overcome challenges and their capacity to sustain the struggle," he said.

Chinamasa said Zanu-PF was a wholly Zimbabwean party which continued to fight for the emancipation of the people.

"We are not going to be a pawn or a proxy party which basically minds the interests of foreign powers," he said. Zimbabweans, he said, had entitlement to unfettered sovereignty and decisive control over their resources.

Economic, social and cultural independence could only be attained through empowering the people, Chinamasa said.

"We want Zimbabwean people not just to own the flag and the anthem while our former colonizers retain control of our economy," he said.

"In those circumstances Zimbabwe cannot be regarded as a free country and it will make a mockery of the sacrifices that those who shed blood for our independence met," said Chinamasa.

He said the people had to continue to make sacrifices such as enduring current economic hardships so as to gain total freedom and empowerment.

Economic independence was not going to be attained overnight but would only be achieved over a period of time, he said.

Chinamasa said Zanu-PF was against the creation of a dependency syndrome by Western powers.

He said friendly countries were always welcome to partner the party in any initiative to move the country forward.

Zimbabweans must be in control of the economy, he said, adding that it is local investors who must look for foreign investment and partners and not vice versa.

"The system that we want to change is to move away from 100percent foreign ownership of everything. That will not be overnight but will be a journey," he said.

Chinamasa said foreign promises of aid were not on a silver platter but came with a price.

"The aid is meant to mortgage us and not to empower us. The aid is not what it is on the surface," he said.

Commenting on political violence, Chinamasa said there was need for Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to form a joint team to deal with the problem.

He said law enforcement agents and the judiciary must deal with cases of political violence without fear or favor.

Chinamasa said the party did not condone violence, adding that at the end of the day all the people were Zimbabweans who are a responsibility of the government.

Meanwhile, the Zanu-PF politburo met Wednesday to discuss the impending run-off election, among other issues.

Chairperson of the mobilization committee, Eliot Manyika, said the party was geared and was going into the election to win.

Zanu-PF presidential candidate President Robert Mugabe is set to battle it out with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the presidential election run-off, the date for which is yet to be announced.


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