Elections to be held end of 2012 – Tsvangirai stamps his authority

HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said elections could possibly be held end of 2012 if the Sadc led-elections roadmap is implemented, pouring cold water on President Robert Mugabe’s assertions that polls will proceed early next year.

He said this while addressing investors at a conference in Victoria Falls. Tsvangirai assured investors that the Sadc roadmap will be fully implemented to ensure a free and fair election.

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“Given the processes this (elections) will definitely not be possible this year but maybe the later part of 2012 if the roadmap is adhered to,” said Tsvangirai, who is trapped in a dysfunctional coalition with bitter rival Mugabe.

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“Only a legitimately elected government and not a coalition can develop and implement a common vision and programmes that will deal with the massive unemployment and poverty that we are currently facing. It is only such a government that can guarantee the consistency and predictability of policies which is a key imperative in your business models,” said the former trade unionist.

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He said the security of business will be guaranteed once this was done.

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“My interactions with business people have taught me that political stability is a key factor influencing business and investment decisions. Our investment situation has been worsened by the mixed messages coming from the same government especially on the issue of indigenisation,” Tsvangirai said.

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Both Tsvangirai and Mugabe agree that they want out of their constantly quarreling coalition, but differ on election timing.

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A weekend meeting of Sadc leaders, who are the midwives to the coalition government, insisted on the implementation of a roadmap to a free and fair election.

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The roadmap includes a new constitution and a raft of other reforms that the coalition parties are still negotiating