News 24, March 9, 2012
Cape Town — Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has taken a swipe at the South African government for “failing to empower black nationals through land reform and indigenisation”, Radio VOP reported on Friday.
Addressing Zimbabwean chiefs at a conference in Bulawayo, Mugabe said poverty was rampant among the black population in South Africa, “yet that country is reported rich”.
“People of Soweto are still poor. We do not know when their lives will improve. Poverty in Soweto will never be alleviated through getting jobs. It will only be alleviated through land and empowerment.
“They [blacks] do not have land because their country’s Constitution did not give them the right to land like our constitution. We included the issue of land in our constitution in 1980.”
Turning to his country, Mugabe said Zimbabwe’s Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed in 2008 was never about writing a new constitution but about holding fresh elections without violence before 2011, Radio VOP reported on Friday.
According to the report, the ageing leader said his party was ready to pull out of the inclusive government and hold fresh elections using an old government charter.
“The GPA was never meant to be more than two years. The GPA was about ending violence and holding fresh elections without violence and not holding new elections with a new constitution.
“It was never about a new constitution. The main issue was about violence and fresh elections without that violence,” Mugabe said.
This comes a few days after South African Foreign Affairs Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane insisted that Zimbabwe could only hold elections after the completion of the constitution- making process.