Sadc wasting time: Zanu PF

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF has issued a blistering attack on Sadc saying the regional bloc had no business in sticking its nose in matters that affect Zimbabwe.

Zanu PF officials said this yesterday as the Sadc summit, which was expected to discuss the Zimbabwe political crisis, was postponed amid unconfirmed reports that President Robert Mugabe was not available.

The summit is now expected to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa next week where Zimbabwe’s election crisis is high on the agenda.

Despite the fact that Sadc are the guarantors of the coalition government formed in 2009, the former ruling party says the regional body should not interfere in local electoral processes.

Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo told the Daily News yesterday that the political process in Zimbabwe should be resolved by Zimbabweans.

“Sadc cannot decide on the fate and future of Zimbabwe, we did the Constitution and what more do they want,” said Gumbo.

Asked on President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team’s call to implement the necessary reforms before elections, Gumbo lashed out at the South African facilitation team and particularly Zuma’s international relations advisor, Lindiwe Zulu.

“Lindiwe Zulu is a mad woman, she doesn’t know what she is doing.”

The polls will pit 89-year-old President Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980, against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC.

Sadc also came under attack at a public meeting organised by Crisis Coalition in Zimbabwe on Wednesday where Paul Mangwana, who led the Zanu PF constitution-making team, said Sadc cannot give Zimbabwe orders.

“Sadc is not a court, it has no right to give an order, and it is only the court that can give an order.
Zimbabwe is not a colony of Sadc. We are a sovereign country that is independent and has its own institutions and we will comply with those institutions,” said Mangwana.

With Sadc now set to meet next week, the stage has been set for a potentially explosive summit as the regional body is eager to ensure that chaotic scenes that characterised the 2008 elections will not be repeated.

Sadc as guarantors of the GPA view the full implementation of an election roadmap as prerequisite to holding credible elections.

A group of political parties ganged up against the Constitutional Court ruling on Wednesday where they resolved to take up their grievances to Sadc. But Zanu PF secretary for administration, Didymus Mutasa poured scorn at the position taken by the MDC formations in the unity government and other opposition parties.

In a rare show of unity, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai leader of the mainstream MDC formation, Welshman Ncube leader of the smaller faction of the MDC and former Zanu PF heavyweights Simba Makoni and Dumiso Dabengwa, who now lead Mavambo and a resurgent Zapu respectively, on Wednesday took a public stance and vowed not to participate in an electoral process without the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which is the basis of the unity government.

Mutasa yesterday told the Daily News that Tsvangirai, Ncube, Dabengwa and Makoni should grow up and brace for elections which he said cannot be further delayed.

“They (the political parties) have ganged against Zanu PF in the past and what have they achieved? We are not afraid that they will be united at the summit and we are going to elections. Why didn’t they demand reforms in 1980 from Ian Smith,” said Mutasa.

Controversy is still swirling around the Constitutional Court ruling that Zimbabwe will have to go for elections before July 31, with Zanu PF’s coalition partners saying they will use the Sadc summit to demand electoral reforms that would ensure free and fair elections.

Zanu PF took over the reins of power from the Smith regime in 1980 and since then, the country has been ruled under the negotiated Lancaster House Constitution.

After three decades of amending the Lancaster House Constitution, coalition government partners in March this year finally passed a Parliamentary-driven Constitution that is widely regarded as a better supreme governing document.

Having passed the new Constitution, Zanu PF now says it has done enough to facilitate the holding of a credible poll.

“They are afraid of losing and that is why they are rushing to Sadc but that will not stop us to go for elections. They think the army is for defending political parties. We have an inclusive defence system and it is non partisan. Tell Tsvangirai, Dabengwa and Makoni to grow up,” said Mutasa.

On Friday last week, the Constitutional Court ruled that elections should be held before the July 31, a verdict that triggered anger in some circles.

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