Zanu-PF’s fist symbol not violent - Bob

Harare, Zimbabwe -

Zimbabwe's president says his party's symbol of a raised fist was used to fight colonial-era white rule and is not a gesture of violence toward fellow Zimbabweans.

File photo - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Credit: AFP

President Robert Mugabe said on Monday that the power of the fist symbol helped the party defeat colonial oppression and urged the nation to prepare peacefully for a referendum on a new constitution and elections afterward.

Brandishing his trade-mark clenched fist salute at a ceremony honouring guerrillas who died in the bush war that ended white rule in 1980, Mugabe described it as “the punch that knocked them down.”

He said: “It was not for violence against our own kind.”

The last disputed elections in 2008 were marred by violence blamed mainly on Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and led to a power sharing coalition with the former opposition brokered by regional leaders. - Sapa-AP