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not possible in June - Analysts
Patrice Makova, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
March 31, 2013
President Robert Mugabe’s plans to hold elections by June
29 continue to draw suspicion with analysts saying the dates are
not tenable as long as critical political and other reforms have
not been implemented.
But other analysts said
implementation of reforms should be speeded up as it would be impossible
to do that after June 29 when Parliament is automatically dissolved
in accordance with the Constitution.
week indicated in an urgent High Court chamber application that
following the adoption
of a new draft constitution in the recent referendum, harmonised
elections will be held by June 29.
on Thursday gazetted the draft charter as a constitutional bill
paving the way for its tabling in Parliament
on May 7.
of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, Shakespeare Hamauswa
said there was no reason for holding polls in June other than intimidating
Zanu PF opponents who still feared the violence which characterised
the June 27 2008 Presidential election run-off.
He said most people still
remembered the month of June with “disheartening memories”.
“If it is true
that the MDC-T lost some of its 200 supporters, then it is not only
the month that will be significant to Zanu PF, but also the date
 because of it being closer to 27,” said Hamauswa.
He said the process of
adopting the new constitution also required a lot of time, making
it impossible to hold elections in June.
“If all parties
are in agreement that they are in the course of building the nation
and laying down fundamental democratic principles, then why should
people be rushed into elections which can recklessly plunge the
country into a definite crisis?,” asked Hamauswa.
“But for political
expedience and other motives beyond what an ordinary person can
see, the holding of elections in June will only make sense for politicians.”
Political analyst, Alois
Masepe said it was now practically impossible to come up with a
clean voters roll and properly register people before the June 29
He said elections and
reforms were not about the characters of Mugabe and Zanu PF or Prime
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC-T, but about the people and the
future of the country.
Masepe said people wanted
free and fair elections at the “appropriate” time.
a rushed job,” he said. “Nobody is holding a gun at
us. We need to do these things in the correct manner; so that the
world can say we have done a good job for the country.”
Masepe accused parties
of playing political games and gambling with the lives of people
for expediency purposes.
He said rather than rushing
to holding elections, the inclusive government should work to ensure
that progress and stability is achieved in a country with an over
80% unemployment rate and experiencing massive infrastructural decay.
“Our leaders must
act like true statesmen and rescue our motherland and not this feja
feja [gambling] and wapusa wapusa [you snooze, you lose] politics.
Zimbabwe is now an embarrassment to Sadc because of such kind of
behaviour,” Masepe said.
He said Zanu PF was rushing
to hold elections in the hope of regaining total control of the
Dr Ibbo Mandaza said a June election was not desirable as the democratisation
process was still to be completed.
He said while Mugabe
wanted to hold elections before June 29 to adhere to the Constitution,
such a move could not be reconciled with the reality on the ground.
“But hurried elections
will on the other hand lead to an unconstitutional outcome,”
said Mandaza. “There is a requirement that a voter registration
exercise has to be done in a stipulated time frame. If this process
is not done then elections become a farce.”
He said the issue of the voters roll has been contentious for the
past four to five elections.
But another political
analyst, Phillan Zamchiya was of the view that it was not the date
which mattered, but the political will to implement the necessary
reforms within the shortest period of time.
He said as Parliament
would automatically dissolve on June 29, there would be no legislative
arm of government to institute reforms being called for such as
the repealing of the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and the
Public Order and
Security Act (POSA).
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