Monday, July 08, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Saturday 'doomsday' for MDCs: Mugabe
27/06/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

PARLIAMENT will be automatically dissolved on Saturday as the curtain comes down on the country’s fractious coalition government. Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga, who is not seeking a return to the legislature at the next elections, confirmed the development on Thursday.

“I hope most of the MPs would come back (after elections),” Matinenga told MPs. “For some of us, today’s sitting is the last supper. Parliament will be dissolved by operation of the law by June 29 2013.”

The end of the Seventh Parliament triggers the winding down of the fractious coalition government which came into office after violent elections in 2008.

Although credited with helping ease political tensions and putting nudging an economy that was on its knees back on the path to recovery, the government was riven by bitter policy and other disputes between Zanu PF and the MDC parties.

Still, President Robert Mugabe said he hoped his rivals had gained some insights into governance during the coalition experiment although he vowed not to give them the chance to put into practice whatever they might have learned.

“It (coalition) was a good thing because some of those MDC people who could learn, have learnt something about government, how to govern,” Mugabe said in interview view he gave to a Namibian newspaper this week.

“But the issue is, now, they want to stick, they don’t want to go. It’s so sweet and we said no, it was temporary. This was a temporary thing, don’t make it permanent.”

He also said the unity administration had helped the parties realise that “violence does not pay”.

“It made us work together, it made us actually realise that it doesn’t pay to have violence,” the Zanu PF leader said.
“We may differ, we may belong to different organisations and have different views but that should not make us fight each other.

“We emphasised that, we hope that has been understood but many of the leaders say, yes, they understand that and that this election should be free and fair and free of violence.”

But true to form, the coalition is drawing towards an acrimonious end as the parties have failed to agree on how and when to end the power sharing arrangement in a case set to be heard by the Constitutional Court next Thursday.

The MDCs want the polls delayed to allow further reforms but Mugabe claims they are trying to postpone the inevitable – election defeat.
“They (MDCs) are afraid, they are cowards, cowards, cowards, you know . . . cowards I have never seen,” he said.

Mugabe, who refused to entertain suggestions by his partners that the government could stay in office for a few more months after the end of Parliament, said elections will have to be held after Saturday.

“Doomsday is coming for them on the 29th of June. How many days have we to go? It’s on Saturday . . . and then the life of Parliament comes to an end and this Parliament dies, and they die politically also,” he said.

“Those of them who are MPs … all MPs cease to be MPs and we can’t continue without a Parliament but some of them say we go on and on. Ah! What sort of people are we to suggest that we have elections August next year, or it’s this year I suppose.

“Even this year, a person is completely, completely defiant of the tenet of democracy and is saying it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. We can go on without Parliament as what?
You can’t do that, no, no!

“We never, never went without Parliament, every five years we had Parliament since 1980, you see and I don’t want our nation to be taught that a sitting Government can prolong the term, the life of Parliament, prolong its own life without a mandate from the people.
“That’s wrong, we must seek a mandate from the people. If you lose, you lose.”

Mugabe said he hoped his rivals had learnt something about government during the experiment with coalition politics although he vowed not to give them the chance to put in practice whatever they might have learned.

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