Sunday, May 12, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Election dates: Mugabe vows to go it alone
10/05/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe vowed Friday to unilaterally announce dates for new elections, apparently ditching a Cabinet committee he established with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai which was charged with fashioning a “road-map” to the polls.

Tsvangirai last month announced that he had agreed with Mugabe that a committee comprising Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu PF) and his Constitutional Affairs counterpart Eric Matinenga (MDC-T) would work out a programme leading to the new polls.

The move infuriated MDC leader Welshman Ncube who accused his rivals of violating the GPA agreement and warned Tsvangirai that he was being led down the garden path by Mugabe.

On Friday the Zanu PF leader told a meeting with traditional leaders and local government officials in Mutare that Chinamasa now had sole charge of the process of drawing up the so-called road-map.

“I was hoping to meet Chinamasa here in Mutare, but he did not come. He is now the person in charge. It’s no longer the Ministry of Constitutional (and Parliamentary) Affairs,” he said.

The coalition parties remain divided on the timing of the polls. Mugabe wants the vote to immediately follow the end of the current Parliament on June 29 while the MDC parties are insisting on a delay to allow implementation of further reforms.

Speaking to reporters in South Africa where he was attending the World Economic Forum on Africa Tsvangirai said a June election was not possible and insisted that media and security reforms must be implemented first.

“Violence has always characterized our elections,” the MDC-T leader said in an interview today with Bloomberg TV. “If we can contain that, it will be ready any time after June.”

But Mugabe said the election dates would become clearer next week after the Senate completes its deliberations on the new Constitution.

“We will see from next week what the date can be,” he said. “We now await the decision of the Senate. Only when it is passed shall we be able to have a roadmap for elections.”

He also ruled an extending Parliament and reiterated calls for peaceful campaigns ahead of the elections.
“Parliament dies on 29 June,” he said. “MPs, all of them, would have lost their legislative power.”

“As in any contest, there are some whose tempers may flare and others with raging emotions, to all of them, the country’s appeal is for peace, peace, peace! Violence should not have any place nor footprint in our elections.”

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