Thank you Sadc

HARARE - We welcome the decision by Sadc leaders meeting in Maputo yesterday, directing President Robert Mugabe and his sidekicks to go back to the Constitutional Court to seek a variation of the July 31 poll.

We agree with Sadc and all progressive forces who fought for the people of Zimbabwe to have a credible election.

Last week, Mugabe unilaterally proclaimed July 31 as election date inviting sharp and angry criticism from the nation, including the two MDC formations led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube.

Despite roping in the likes of discredited lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku, who stole trust funds while still in practice, Mugabe was forced by Sadc, the guarantors to the GPA that he must seek at least a two-week extension.

Madhuku was accredited as a “legal expert” in Maputo but his expertise and that of dozens other advisors on Mugabe’s side were thrown out.

As reported by our sister paper, the Daily News yesterday, Sadc was already convinced that Mugabe wanted to play a cheap political game with them and they were ready for him and his large troop of hangers on who travelled to Maputo for the summit.

We commend Ncube, Tsvangirai and all civic society organisations for putting up a big fight in making sure Mugabe did not have his authoritarian way of ambushing people into elections without reforms.

Ncube in particular, tore Mugabe into pieces yesterday and reminded the 89-year-old Zanu PF presidential candidate that he was the President of Zimbabwe and not Zanu PF.

We totally agree and we have said this before.

In calling for elections by July 31, Mugabe is clearly flouting the new Constitution and this is totally unacceptable. What we do not need in Zimbabwe is another sham election which will result in the people being ruled by unelected people as in the present case.

Sadc should be commended for standing firm even as Mugabe is said to have told the summit that he made the proclamation to abide by the ruling of the highest court in the land.

In proclaiming the election dates, Mugabe did not seek consensus and agreement from his GPA partners as clearly outlined in the agreement.

Mugabe cannot be allowed to bypass Parliament and fast track changes to the Electoral Act at will.

What we want in Zimbabwe is a free and fair election which will bring democracy which we so much cherish and which the real heroes of the liberation struggle died for.

Once again we thank Sadc for standing firm. - Staff Writer

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