In a rare show of unity, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T and the MDC party led by Welshman Ncube yesterday joined hands with other political parties outside the Global Political Agreement (GPA) to resist President Robert Mugabe’s bid to stampede them into elections without reforms.
REPORT BY EVERSON MUSHAVA
Tsvangirai, MDC deputy president Edwin Mushoriwa, Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa, Mavambo president Simba Makoni and Reketai Semwayo of Zanu Ndonga, met in Harare and agreed to push Sadc, the guarantor to Zimbabwe’s political talks, to stop Mugabe from forcing a snap poll without following a constitutional roadmap. “The leaders expressed reservations about the practicality of the July 31 deadline set by the Constitutional Court and resolved that they will communicate their position to Sadc,” Tsvangirai told journalists after the meeting.
“The parties, therefore, look forward to the extraordinary Sadc summit to affirm previous Sadc resolutions and the agreed roadmap to elections.”
The coalition is in response to a ruling by the Constitutional Court last Friday ordering Mugabe to hold elections by July 31, a verdict that the veteran ruler and his party welcomed.
Mugabe has already announced that he will abide by the court ruling and promised to announce the poll dates upon his return from Japan, probably tomorrow.
A special summit to deal with the Zimbabwean crisis is set for this Sunday in Maputo, Mozambique.
The summit will among other issues review progress in the implementation of the GPA and funding of elections. Tsvangirai said there should be a mandatory minimum 30-day voter registration exercise that will spill into July before any poll date could be announced, while amendment to the electoral laws and repealing of pieces of legislation that had an influence on the holding of free and fair polls should take place.
“Examples of such laws include the Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which impact on freedom of association, movement, expression and the media,” he said.
Tsvangirai slammed Mugabe for his alleged pledge to uphold the rule of law, describing him as dishonest.
He castigated the selective application of the law saying if Mugabe was sincere in his pledge to uphold the rule of law, the courts should have long resolved the MDC-T’s 2002 poll challenge.
The MDC-T leader said the Constitutional Court was ironically safeguarding the interests of one individual while prejudicing millions of the population eligible to vote by denying them the right to register to vote.
Mushoriwa said it was possible for Mugabe to approach the Constitutional Court to seek an extension of the poll deadline in the same manner he did when he was challenged to declare dates for by-elections in three contested constituencies last year.
Makoni said political parties would continue to unite for the good of Zimbabweans when such need arose, but ruled out forming a grand coalition against Mugabe ahead of polls.