President Mugabe has labeled his former finance minister Dr Simba
Makoni a “political prostitute”. Dr Makoni, early this month cut ties with Zanu PF to challenge Mr Mugabe in the March 29 polls.
from our correspondent in Harare
Speaking during a televised interview last night the veteran leader said Dr Makoni’s ways of landing the presidency was “absolutely disgraceful” because he neither has a party nor the support of the people. Said Mr Mugabe “What has happened now is absolutely disgraceful. I didn’t
think that Makoni after all the experience could behave in the naïve way he did. Simba Makoni has no party, he says I am like a magnet, come to me and I am there to lead you.’.
“So I have compared him to a prostitute, a prostitute could have stood also to say I have my own people in MDC and some in Zanu PF so am standing as a presidential candidate. But you see a prostitute could have done better than Makoni because she has clients,” said Mr Mugabe.
Mr Mugabe was commenting for the first time on Dr Makoni’s move.
Dr Simba Makoni was expelled from Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF last week after registering to run as an independent in March 29 presidential, parliamentary and council elections.
Dr Makoni, Morgan Tsvangirai and a lesser known Langton Toungana, are challenging Mr Mugabe. However, despite deriding his former ally, Mr Mugabe said people were free to leave Zanu-PF if their views were not in tandem with those of the majority, because the party gives priority to the wishes of the majority. “We had even the Makonis for so many years, the Jonathans (Moyo). After being with us and having absorbed our own experience as a party and surely a bit of our history, then they decide to part ways with us, some of them who became deviant.
For the first time since 1980, Mr Mugabe is facing a strong challenge and he could be forced into a second round of voting. This depends on how the veteran nationalist responds between now and March 29 to the threat posed by his two opponents, Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Makoni.
According to amendments to the Electoral Act made in 2002, a candidate needs a clear majority, or at least 51 percent of the total vote, to be declared the winner. Should no candidate garner this required majority, a run-off would be held within 21 days. In the event of a stalemate remaining after this, Parliament, sitting as an electoral college, will vote to elect a President.
It is widely held that Mr Mugabe is unlikely to win 51% of the vote, a
situation that would force him to enter into a risky run-off with either Dr Makoni or main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Mr Tsvangirai. If Mr Mugabe is forced into a run-off, it would almost certainly give his rival unstoppable momentum.
Before the 2002 amendments, a candidate only needed a simple majority to be declared the winner. Mr Mugabe, who routinely organises rallies and public marches by supporters to showcase his popularity, has promised a landslide victory in March to once again prove he has the backing of ordinary Zimbabweans.