by Gilbert Nyambabvu
MAVAMBO Kusile Dawn (MKD) leader Simba Makoni has threated to make “the country ungovernable” if President Robert Mugabe forces an election this year without political reforms opposition parties insist are needed to ensure a credible vote.
In a statement Tuesday, Makoni said: “(We are) strongly warning President Mugabe not to go ahead with the holding of elections before instituting all necessary reforms which guarantee a free and fair result.”
The MKD leader – a former Finance Minister and senior Zanu PF official before bailing out ahead of the disputed 2008 elections -- said much needed to be done before the country could hope to have an election whose outcome is not disputed.
[The MDC would have to win, before they would stop disputing the outcome. - MrK]
“The people of Zimbabwe want a clean voters’ roll,” he said. “The issue of dual citizenship should be addressed so that nationals in the Diaspora are (also) allowed to vote. All political parties should be allowed to campaign freely without harassment from opponents.
“Elections (are not like) ritual ceremonies, where (the) lives of innocent people are sacrificed … For the record, we are not afraid of elections. MKD has no problem if elections are held tomorrow, the day after or in a week’s time, as long as the electoral environment is conducive.”
President Mugabe wants new polls held this year to end the coalition government and has warned his rivals he could name an election date before on-going constitutional reforms are completed.
“We just have to go for elections this year. We have to have elections this year and leave next year clear,” the Zanu PF leader told state media over the weekend.
However, Makoni warned his ex-boss that he has another thing coming if he thinks he can force elections under conditions that allow him to manipulate the vote.
“We will not dance to the whims and caprices of President Mugabe …We will not allow President Mugabe to tamper with the people’s will this time around. This is no idle threat but a promise,” he said.
[Well I can tell you one thing right now, the people's will is not a return to ESAP and austerity. Or a fire sale of the nation's mines. Or a reversal of land reform. - MrK]
“M.K.D leadership will not speculate on the course of action to take, since it is the people that will decide. One thing for certain is that in the event of President Mugabe tampering with the peoples’ wishes, we will make this country ungovernable.”
Mugabe and his coalition partners agree they can no longer work together and that new elections are needed to choose a substantive government but the parties differ of the timing of the new ballot.
MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai recently said new elections were only possible in March 2013.
"It's just not possible to hold elections this year, there is no constitution and no referendum has been held," he said.
"Elections will be held at the outer limit; that is in March 2013 when the current term of the lawmakers would have constitutionally expired."