Tuesday, July 16, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Zimbabwe can pull out of SADC: Mugabe
SADC warning ... Mutasa, Mujuru and President Mugabe during campaign launch on Friday
05/07/2013 00:00:00
by Nkosana Dlamini

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe warned Friday that Zimbabwe could pull out of SADC, accusing the regional bloc of trying to arm-twist his government into disobey a Constitutional Court ruling compellingd him to call for elections not later than July 31 this year.

Mugabe was addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters in a televised launch of his party’s election manifesto in Harare. He insisted he had the final say on when polls must held and described South Africa’s Lindiwe Zulu as “an idiotic street women”.

Zulu, a member of SADC facilitator President Jacob Zuma’s backroom staff, recently said the regional grouping would have preferred the elections to be delayed by a month to allow the full implementation of key electoral reforms.

The Constitutional Court ordered Mugabe to proclaim an election date before the end of the month, which he did, but the SADC asked the government to seek a two-week following appeals by the MDC parties.

The Court rejected the appeals on Thursday and ordered that elections must go ahead on July 31.
But Mugabe was adamant he was not going to go against the Concourt ruling.

The veteran leader, who was decked out in his party’s regalia, attacked his coalition partners for seeking SADC intervention while seeking a push to the election date.
“They thought they could go outside our country and appeal against the decision of our court,” he said.

“Even lawyers, professors who know better that the judgement of our Supreme Court is final and must be obeyed, still wanted, for some reason or the other, to get outsiders to intervene.

No outsider is allowed to intervention in our situation where our courts would have given a ruling. That’s final and we are the people to decide what to do.
“Do we obey or disobey? We dare not disobey and that’s why l obeyed and complied with that ruling or command of the court.”

Mugabe, who predicted a 90 percent victory for his party, said the courts directed him as president to proclaim an election date and did not make mention of Prime Minister Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara.
The two MDCs were agitating for the postponement of the elections.

“Others still said ‘ah Mugabe did not consult”. Did l have to consult them? I am given the authority to make proclamations,” he declared.

“l don’t have to consult anyone on that matter; on other administrative matters where l had to make some decisions but this was a matter where the court said the president has to give a ruling.

“lt (the court) did not say the president and Tsvangirai and Mutambara so l made that proclamation but still they ran with that proclamation to a SADC meeting in Maputo thinking that SADC had the power.

“SADC has no power to command us to do that which our courts said cannot be done.”
Mugabe, who was accompanied by his wife Grace, threatened a pull-out from SADC.

“Let it be known that we are in SADC voluntarily. If SADC decides to do stupid things we can move out and withdraw from SADC but for now we have had a SADC which has had good sense although from some quarters and l dare to say unfortunately these were not quarters of authority,” he said.

“They were just utterances by some stupid idiotic woman perhaps in South Africa saying ‘no, elections cannot be held on the 31st of July’ even against the ruling of our court and just an ordinary street woman says no.

“Ah! And really it’s interesting. Did such persons ever think that we as an independent country could take heed of these street utterances which were stupid and idiotic.”

Mugabe, who spoke for nearly an hour and a half, described the impending watershed polls as “do or die” elections and “a battle for survival” for his party.
He appealed to his party candidates to restore his party’s yesteryear political dominance in the country.

The Zanu PF star rally, which was held at the Zimbabwe Grounds in Harare’s Machipisa high density suburb, was also aimed at launching the party’s election campaign and to parade party candidates for this month’s harmonized polls.

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