MDC: Mugabe planning a state of emergency

HARARE – Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Monday accused Zanu-PF president Robert Mugabe's government of planning to institute a state of emergency as an excuse to disregard the rule of law.

MDC secretary general Tendai Biti said the ZANU-PF was recording forced confessions from 15 MDC supporters it had abducted since October to use as fodder for implementing a state of emergency.

"We have no doubt as a party that they are going to declare a state of emergency. We are aware of a document which runs into tens of pages," Biti told a news conference in the capital, Harare.

"If they declare a state of emergency, let them do it, they should do it but don’t create fiction against the MDC."

He said Zanu-PF already had three DVDs of "purported confessions" by the abducted MDC supporters.

"In a state of emergency there is no recourse to lawyers; the Constitution is suspended."

Mugabe has threatened to call fresh elections if rival parties failed to reach agreement on a unity government accord signed three months ago.

Biti reiterated the MDCs stance that it would welcome fresh elections, however, it would only take part if the polls were under international supervision.

"Zanu-PF cannot threaten us with an election. Bring on an election but not under Zanu-PF terms. It would have to be under international terms. Elections must be held under international supervision," said Biti.

He added that if elections were held a caretaker government must be installed. — Sapa-AFP