Mugabe calls for peace

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe says he wants Zimbabweans to be tolerant of each other’s views to allow for a free vote in general elections proposed for next March.

Mugabe, officiating yesterday at the state burial of Higher and Tertiary Education minister Stan Mudenge, said political differences must be private and “not expressed in actions” that lead to violence.

He called on Zimbabweans to follow the “virtues and discipline” of academic and veteran diplomat Stan Mudenge, who died on October 4 of heart failure at age 71.

Mugabe, speaking in a mixture of English and Shona, told mourners gathered at the National Heroes’ Acre: “Let the people vote for whoever they want to vote. Nyangwe akada kurasa vote yake muroad, ndezvake (If someone elects to dump their vote in the road, let them).

“We must recognise that everyone is entitled to make their own political choices. We might disagree, but you don’t need to express it in action, if you do that you will be starting violence.

“VeMDC vanofanira kuziva kuti ndiri Zanu PF izere, ivowo vanoda kuti ini ndizivewo kuti maMDC azerewo. It has to be two-way (MDC supporters must know that I’m Zanu PF through and through, and they also want me to know that their beliefs are unshakeable. It has to be two way).”

President Mugabe described the late Mudenge as an astute diplomat and educationist who worked tirelessly in building the country’s foreign relations and the education sector.

“This is a sad loss to us all. He remained a humble servant, friend, colleague, father and husband despite his education. He died on duty. He died in a typical style,” Mugabe said.

“He championed the idea of having state universities in every province as well as students’ welfare through both the grant and cadetship schemes. On the foreign affairs side, he ensured the country was a member of the UN,” Mugabe said at the burial attended by senior MDC-T officials including Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khuphe and party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora.

Mugabe said while Mudenge’s health problems were no longer a secret, his death came as a shock as he appeared to be on the road to recovery.

Mudenge was hospitalised for several weeks in March after being attacked by a bull on his farm in Masvingo. Since the incident, Mudenge never fully recovered and he subsequently missed dozens of Cabinet meetings, Mugabe said. — New Zimbabwe

    Comments (1)

    But Mr president, how can we believe you when we have people from your own party beating up people every election. Is it a mere coincidence or they will be working on instruction? Anyway, like you said... violence should stop.

    london - 9 October 2012

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