THE MDC formations have blasted Zanu PF for failing to attend a meeting on Friday to discuss ways of solving the political impasse, after President Robert Mugabe unilaterally declared dates for the harmonised elections.
REPORT BY NDAMU SANDU
Mugabe used Presidential Powers to pass into law amendments to the Electoral Act when they were due to be debated in parliament.
MDC-T secretary for International Relations Jameson Timba blasted the no show by Zanu PF representatives, saying the facilitation team of South African President Jacob Zuma was fully briefed on the developments.
“We believe that as leaders we are not landlords of this country but caretakers for future generation,” Timba said. “As responsible parties we believe that Zimbabwe is bigger than individuals within a party or a political party and as such it must come first.”
Timba told The Standard that he was not sure “whether they were genuine reasons arising out of Zanu PF dedicating time to douse flames in their backyard, occasioned by failure to meet self-imposed deadline to have primary elections on Monday [tomorrow] or whether it was a snub”.
Zanu PF pushed primary elections, scheduled to be held tomorrow, to Wednesday as infighting intensifies over the imposition of candidates.
MDC leader Welshman Ncube told The Standard yesterday that he had waited for the President and was told that he was engaged elsewhere.
President Mugabe officiated at the commissioning of the US$16 million motorised graders.
Ncube said as a result of the no-show by Zanu PF, it means the resolutions of the Sadc summit cannot be implemented as the parties are supposed to agree how and when they had to be implemented.
Zanu PF legal representative and Justice minister, Patrick Chinamasa was not answering his phone yesterday.
Representatives of the three political parties — Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC — had met on Wednesday to resolve the crisis with Zanu PF requesting more time to respond to some of the queries raised.
At the order of the principals, the parties were told to meet on Friday to map the way forward but Zanu PF representatives failed to turn up.
Two MDC formations told the principals that the proclamation of the poll date infringed the right of persons to vote in the 30- day period of intense voter registration, as defined by the new Constitution.
They also argued that the right to vote was an inextricable extension of the right to participate freely in politics and to choose leaders of one’s choice as guaranteed by section 67 of the new Constitution.
They also argued that no proclamation could be made before an Electoral Act in conformity with the new constitution had been passed.
Zimbabwe is in a constitutional crisis after Mugabe recently used emergency powers to pass a primary law before it had gone through Parliament. He also used Presidential Powers to pass into law amendments to the Electoral Act.
Mugabe then proclaimed July 31 as the date for the election drawing the ire of his partners in the inclusive who felt that the processes leading to a credible, free and fair poll would not have been completed by July 31.
Sadc recently said Zimbabwe should approach the Constitutional Court to seek an extension of the election date by two weeks.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO CREDIBLE POLLS: TIMBA
Timba said the two MDC formations remain committed to ensuring that the rights and interests of Zimbabweans are protected and safeguarded by taking all necessary legal steps to ensure we have a credible election.
He said that in the event the two MDC formations do not get cooperation from Zanu PF, they would take the necessary legal and political steps to avert the constitutional crisis.
“The facilitation team is fully informed and apprised of the political developments,” he said.