Election This Year Will Be A Disaster: Raftopolous, Petras

Pretoria,- Director of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Irene Petras and leading human rights defender and accomplished academic, Professor Brian Raftopolous have described as ‘disaster’ the prospects of having harmonised elections this year.

“The political environment is not favorable for holding of free and fair elections as intimidation, harassment and selective application of law is still widespread in the country”, said Petras who was addressing a South African Liaison Office meeting here.

Raftopolous added to Petras’s remarks stating that the  Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was likely to win the much anticipated elections though the current environment does not guarantee smooth transfer of power.

“Zanu PF does not derive its legitimacy from electoral contestation but rather from its self-claimed contribution in the liberation struggle”, commented Raftopolous.

The Harare administration is yet to implement all outstanding issues stipulated in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that was signed by Zanu (PF) and the MDC formations in 2008 following disputed June run-off elections.

Raftopolous also added that political leadership in Zimbabwe has not been negotiating in good faith but rather has been negotiating from deeply entrenched and polarised positions.

“The GPA was not about real transformation but about new elections hence this has stalled democratic progress” lamented Raftopolous.

Petras urged the region and international community to renew investment and pressure in the process of ensuring that there is democracy in Zimbabwe. – Radio VOP