President Robert Mugabe on Monday insisted elections to choose a new government will be held in March next year, despite fears the country is not yet ready for another poll.
From our top partner SW Radio Africa
Addressing delegates to the COPAC, second all-stakeholders conference that opened in Harare, Mugabe said a peaceful conference that agrees upon a new constitution will help pave the way for national elections, in March.
He urged participants at the conference to "shame our detractors who say Zimbabweans cannot solve their problems without violence."
The previous all-stakeholders conference on constitutional reform was abandoned in 2009 after violent disruptions by ZANU PF militants, led by war vets leader Joseph Chinotimba.
"There will certainly be elections in March next year, hatinyangire vanhu ['we will not ambush people']. Even when we go for elections our campaigns must be clean," said Mugabe.
Tsvangirai, in his address, said the success of the conference will mean the remaining stages of creating a new constitution will be completed successfully, starting with the debate in Parliament right through to the referendum.
"In all this, I would like Zimbabweans to be tolerant of each other’s views and to work towards the good of the nation. We should remember that the important national process of constitution-making is about the future of our country," he said.
"We do not want a repeat of the scenes of the first All Stakeholders Conference. We have certainly matured politically and I hope that this maturity will be exhibited during this conference. It is important to see beyond our differences to build a better Zimbabwe for all."
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