Zanu PF scuttles reforms in poll delay tactic: MDC

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has accused President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party of scuttling electoral reforms to buy time ahead of elections.

Speaking at a public debate on elections organised by the Media Centre in Harare on Tuesday, MDC national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa said there are malcontents in Zanu PF who are pushing for elections without reforms.

Chamisa, however, said elections were only possible in September after “necessary reforms because by operation of the law the executive will have four months within which to complete reforms after the June 29 dissolution of Parliament.”

“Zanu PF is in tatters as evidenced by their failure to come up with guidelines for primary elections,” Chamisa said. “They are not ready for free and fair elections given their situation hence they want to rush things.

“There are malcontents in Zanu PF that want a nicodemus and nocturnal election in which they will kidnap, rape and surrender you where you don’t want to be.

“It should, however, be known that Mugabe is not pushing for a June 29 poll because he knows it is not possible, so it is those who follow blindly and want to protect their interests who want a June 29 poll.

“Moreover, June as a month is associated with political harakiri — a very dark chapter in the history of the country. There is a cockpit disconnect in government.

The MDC’s message has been drowned by our colleagues. Our idea was to stabilise the economy, to make sure reforms are completed and the constitution is just but one of a plethora of reforms among them security, media reforms that should lead to free, fair and credible elections.”

MDC99 president Job Sikhala said Mugabe wants elections after the United Nations World Tourism Organisation conference to be co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia in August this year.

“Mugabe doesn’t want elections in June because he wants to grandstand and hog the limelight along another despot that has emerged in Zambia in the person of Michael Sata (Zambian president),” Sikhala said.

“He wants the global limelight on him then when everybody has left, he will declare war on Zimbabweans on the eve of elections.”

Zanu PF deputy director of information Psychology Maziwisa maintained elections will be held on or before June 29.

“The president will soon declare election dates and he will demand that all other processes (reforms) run concurrently so that we have elections on 29 June,” said Maziwisa.

Maddock Chivasa, spokesperson for National Constitutional Assembly — a pressure group that campaigned for a No vote in the March 16 referendum and lost — said Tsvangirai’s calls for reforms before elections were hollow because he said a new constitution would be the panacea to the country’s problems.

“Elections should be held on 29 June because we have been told by the MDCs that once we have a new constitution everything would be fine,” Chivasa said.

“If we are to believe them, there is no reason why we can’t have free and fair elections now.”

Chamisa, who is also minister of Information Communication Technology in the shaky coalition government, attacked the way government’s indigenisation policy was being implemented by the Zanu PF side.

“As an idea indigenisation is very good but it is the implementation that concerns us,” he said.

“The issue has been hijacked by a parasitic elite who have benefited at the expense of the generality of the populace.” - Mugove Tafirenyika and Richard Chidza

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