Monday, June 17, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Mugabe says ‘happy’ with summit outcome
15/06/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe said Saturday that he was “happy” with the outcome of SADC’s extra-ordinary summit in Maputo which urged him to seek a two-week delay to the court ruling ordering elections to be held before July 31.

Last Thursday Mugabe angered the MDC parties after declaring elections would be held at the end of the next month, arguing he was merely complying with a Constitutional Court order following an application by a Harare-based political activist.

Regional leaders however, urged him to return to the same court to seek a two week delay.
The Zanu PF leader said the resolution was a "happy outcome" for Zimbabwe adding Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa would appeal the Constitutional Court ruling.

“It is a happy outcome for Zimbabwe... the final decision was that perhaps we should appeal to the court to examine the reasons for the arguments that have been made by others for giving people a little longer time,” Mugabe said just before returning home after the meeting.

“Our Ministry of Justice is going to do that to appeal to the court and the decision of the court then will be binding on us.

"But if the Court says okay go beyond July 31st by a week or two, I hope it will satisfy the others who want a little more time.”

The MDC-T – which insists more reforms must be implemented before the elections can be held - appeared to be elated, with party secretary general and Finance Minister Tendai Biti saying Mugabe’s advisers had "embarrassed (him) before an entire SADC summit."

"SADC has saved the nation by adopting fully the recommendations made by facilitator President Jacob Zuma and therefore nullifying the proclamation. Now Zimbabweans have an opportunity for a free and fair election," told reporters.

According to SADC secretary general, Tomaz Salomao, the summit also endorsed a report presented by South Africa President Jacob Zuma, the regional grouping’s point-man on Zimbabwe, on the need for media reform and the "upholding of the rule of law and the validity of electoral regulations" and consensus on an election date ahead of voting.

However, Mugabe said accused his rivals of using the demand for reforms to mask the fact that they did not want to go for elections.

“The other parties do not want elections, they are afraid of elections; they know they are going to lose and it’s a sure case that they are going to lose,’’ he said.

“These past five years have exposed all of us and exposed us in terms of what we are. Our sense of honesty or lack of it, our purposefulness or lack of it, and naturally the serious intent with which we have to govern.’’

Chinamasa also warned the MDC formations that any further reforms must be agreed with his Zanu PF party.

“As Zanu PF we are of course contesting the idea that there is any need for reforms whether its media reforms, whether it’s Posa, whether it’s Aippa, we are contesting and we made it clear in the summit that the MDCs are accustomed to making generalised calls for reforms," he said.

“In particular I made a point that in 2011, July 2011 they were making these generalised calls and I specifically asked them to make their proposals specific and to table them with the forum of negotiators but up to now since 2011, no specific proposals to Posa or Aippa or to any of the pieces of legislation they complain about have been tabled for our consideration.

“As recent as last week, when the facilitation team was in the country, they again made those generalised calls for reform and for changes, again I asked them to make specific proposals but as I speak now, they have not done so.”

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