The ANC has offered to help Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe’s party to win elections, according to weekend reports.
The Sunday Times reported that ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told delegates at a Zanu-PF national conference on Thursday that his party would assist Zimbabwe’s ruling party retain power at the next elections.
“We are willing to assist in coming up with election messages and strategies that would deliver victory. You should now start sending the materials to us so that we could work on them and [we] add something to it,” Mantashe said.
Secretaries general of Southern Africa’s former liberation movements were invited to address the conference.
While all former liberation movements pledge solidarity with Zanu-PF, only the ANC offered to give assistance during elections.
Mantashe said: “The ANC wishes to affirm her commitment to being a good and trustworthy neighbour to fellow liberation movement.”
‘I’m not going anywhere’
Meanwhile, Mugabe said on Saturday he has no intention of retiring, adding that doing so would be an act of “cowardice.”
“Sometimes the call [to retire] comes. It will be wrong, completely wrong when the West is keeping us under sanctions. It would be an act of cowardice. I am not a coward, no matter what the West might say,” Mugabe told over 4 000 Zanu-PF supporters as he closed the ruling party’s annual conference.
“I am lucky that God has given me longer years than others to be with you. I will not let you down,” he added.
Mugabe — who has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980 — bemoaned factionalism in his Zanu-PF party, calling on his supporters to unite to win elections next year.
“All the provinces have factions, there is none without factions. I don’t want to mention names here,” he said.
Mugabe again called for elections in 2012, saying his current coalition government with his rival Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister is unworkable.
“That is why we are saying that that this creature [unity government], this inclusive government must now see its death. It must come to an end, and we must dig its grave,” Mugabe said.
“Let us now start preparing for elections.”
The veteran leader, who will turn 88 next year, thanked his supporters for endorsing him as their candidate for the upcoming election, for which no date has been set.
“I will try my best to continue to work as vigorously as I have done,” he assured them. — Sapa, AFP