Ignore election call – MDC

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says President Robert Mugabe's call for elections should be ignored as cheap politicking.

In a press statement, Tsvangirai insists elections cannot be held as there are still outstanding issues that make the environment for elections not conducive.

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“South Africa, working with local negotiators the SADC and the AU, has agreed that no election is possible this year as the conditions are still very far from ideal. The view is even shared by the majority inside Zanu-PF, including Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, though for a different reason.”

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The talk within Zanu-PF about the party’s readiness for elections has been mixed in the past two weeks.

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One of the party’s negotiators in the GPA, Patrick Chinamasa, appeared in the state-run press, confirming that elections were impossible this year. However, his opinion landed him in trouble with Mugabe, who directed the politburo to uphold a decision that the elections must go ahead, even without the MDC.

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A week later one of Mugabe’s trusted lieutenants, one of the sources of unresolved issues in the GPA, Gono, told the Sunday Mail that elections were bad for business this year because the economy is not yet ready for elections.

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“In deciding when and whether or not to hold elections, a fine balance may need to be struck between the twin objectives of politics and the economy,” he told the Sunday Mail.

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Tsvangirai believes the ideal time for elections should be in 2012 when the constitutional process is fully completed.

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“Depending on the pace at which the plan is implemented, Zimbabweans could have a credible election in the second quarter of 2012. Any other talk of short-circuiting the process will neither be legitimate nor acceptable,” he said.

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Zanu-PF, however, even though calling for elections, claims that it has not yet started its campaign.

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“We have not put any posters for campaigning yet. All that we are doing is work in the government,” said the Minister of Indigenisation Saviour Kasukuwere at a business gathering in Bulawayo recently.

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Some analysts say Tsvangirai seems to be scared of elections because his party is embroiled in infighting.

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But Tsvangirai claims his party is ready for elections any time, but his party’s decision is in the interest of national development.

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“The MDC is ready for an election challenge at any time, having humiliated Zanu-PF on March 292008 and forced the party out of total control of Zimbabwe.”

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He added that Zanu-PF is not prepared; its only trump card is violence.

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“Today Zanu-PF is a scattered, ragtag organisation, totally dependent on rogue elements within the security sector, which relies on violence as its sole campaign tool.

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“When SADC intervened in 2008, Zanu-PF was in total disarray – only kept together by its leader under the grip of an insecure military junta.

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“A temporary regime was born out of an agreement brokered by the SADC to oversee the stabilisation of the economy, the crafting of a new constitution and, in the eyes of the MDC, to manage residual merchants of violence, chaos and murder.

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“The government of national unity has, despite all odds, survived, and work is still in progress to clear the way for far-reaching institutional reforms, a new voters’ roll and a civilian order qualified to run a dispute-free election and to assist the nation in working on a new constitution.” – TimesLive