HARARE – Yesterday, we woke up to disturbing news that President Robert Mugabe used the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act to proclaim dates for elections insisting that polls will be held on July 31, well before all necessary reforms are implemented.
Mugabe is simply committing political suicide because what is clear is that by July 31, the nation will not be ready for elections in any way.
Mugabe argues that by proclaiming the election dates, he is upholding the rule of law in terms of the doctrine of separation of powers.
He argues that he is respecting the Constitutional Court judgment which ruled that Mugabe must ensure that elections are held by July 31, 2013.
While we respect the courts and their rulings, Mugabe must remember that he is a politician who must make political decisions which affect the everyday lives of the people of Zimbabwe.
Mr President, don’t jump into a swimming pool without water.
This is not about individuals or Zanu PF, it’s about a whole nation waiting for free and fair elections after suffering many years of misrule, bad governance and human rights abuses.
We tend to agree with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that in proclaiming July 31 as the date for elections, Mugabe is in breach of the new Constitution of Zimbabwe. As stated by Tsvangirai, Mugabe in calling for an election when the electoral law has not been passed in Parliament is unconstitutional.
Where is the hurry Mr President? Now that dates for elections have been proclaimed, what happens to the 30-day voter registration exercise which is enshrined in the constitution? What about inspection of the voters’ roll?
What about the Sadc guidelines to elections and what about clearing the path for free and fair elections so that we are led by people elected by the people not the current status where the leaders of the country are unelected.
Mugabe must not forget that he is president because of negotiation after a sham election, certainly not because of his so-called victory in the blood-soaked one-man run-off election in June 2008.
We don’t want another sham election, it is an embarrassment Mr President to have a repeat of the 2008 fiasco.
We all know that what Mugabe and every other politician wants is political legitimacy.
How will our elections be politically legitimate when Mugabe issues decrees without consulting his partners in the coalition government as agreed in the Sadc agreement?
We call upon Sadc to immediately intervene to stop this circus when the regional leaders meet in Maputo today to discuss the Zimbabwe crisis. – Staff Writer