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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
In pursuit of an electoral 'Made in Zimbabwe' solution
Khadija Patel, Daily Maverick
June 11, 2013
View this article on
the Daily Maverick website
On Monday, Zimbabwe
new voters as officials prepared to meet a Constitutional
Court order to hold presidential and parliamentary elections
by 31 July. With the deadline fast approaching, Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe says he will comply with the court order. His chief
nemesis, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), has vowed to fight the court order.
The prospects for a free
and fair election depend heavily on proper monitoring by Zimbabwe’s
neighbours. But first, the 15-country regional bloc, the Southern
African Development Community (SADC), must raise money for the elections.
Analysts believe that
as the SADC prepares to bankroll the election, it is also up to
the regional body to prepare the ground for a credible electoral
process. It is up to the SADC, then, to ensure election process
conforms to the new constitution.
main political parties supported the proposed constitution and the
constitutional referendum was held in a relatively peaceful environment,
there are concerns that the political stakes will be higher in the
forthcoming elections and that this could result in violence,”
Gwinyayi Dzinesa, a senior researcher in the Conflict Prevention
and Risk Analysis Division at the Institute for Security Studies
in Pretoria, wrote recently.
for Regional Integration and International Cooperation, Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, points to the survival of the Zimbabwean
government of national unity as proof that such fears are unfounded.
between different political parties holding divergent ideologies
has led to fears among the international community concerning the
capability of the government,” she said. “However, the
survival of the government and the move towards democratic elections
indicates the opposite and proves that the [government of national
unity] is not a marriage of convenience.”
She credits the Zimbabwean
government for reaching the apex of a fresh round of elections independently,
but acknowledges as well that the assistance received from transnational
institutions has aided this process. “[SADC] observers have
remained in the country, and the international community has worked
with the SADC,” she said during a Chatham House discussion
on Zimbabwe in March. “SADC has helped establish clear standards
that will ensure that Zimbabwe’s elections are fully free
and fair; otherwise the country’s membership in the group
will be jeopardised.”
Last Friday the Minister
of International Relations and Co-operation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane,
was upbeat about SADC’s efforts.
“We are working
together as a SADC member country, with the chair of SADC - Mozambique,
and the Chair of the Troika - with South Africa as a facilitator
- for the final preparations for elections in Zimbabwe,” she
According to Nkoana-Mashabane,
at its next summit, SADC members will receive a formal report on
the roadmap towards elections in Zimbabwe “which is very much
in line with the final elements of the conclusion of the implementation
of the global political agreement in Zimbabwe”.
“What needs to
happen now is that we need to continue working with the people of
Zimbabwe, supporting a Zimbabwean, a ‘Made in Zimbabwe’,
leading process that gives the roadmap towards free, fair, credible
elections in Zimbabwe,” she explained.
The SADC summit was originally
scheduled to take place over the weekend of 8-9 June in Maputo.
It was cancelled with little explanation. Reports then circulated
that the summit would take place on Tuesday 11 June instead, but
proved not to be true. With nothing emerging to officially explain
the postponement, reports of SADC’s efforts being thwarted
by a defiant Mugabe have proliferated.
According to Reuters,
a story headlined "Hang in there, the President is busy",
in the official Sunday Mail newspaper said Mugabe had not snubbed
the meeting but would attend only after all legal requirements for
an election by 31 July were in place.
the meeting taking place, the answer is yes, the date, they are
still trying to find a date that is most suitable for majority of
the leaders to be present in particular the chair of the heads of
states, SADC, Mozambique, the chair of the Troika- Tanzania, the
country whose report will be received - Zimbabwe, the president
who’s leading the facilitation team on Zimbabwe - President
Zuma, and all other heads of states of SADC,” Nkoana-Mashabane
She is confident that
there should be no obstacle to the meeting.
around the meeting have taken place; what they looking for is a
convenient date for all the leaders, and they are busy consolidating
For now, though, we wait
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