President Robert Mugabe has reportedly circumvented Parliament and gazetted Statutory Instrument 85 of 2013 to proclaim the election date as July 31, 2013 setting a stage for a bruising fight with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Sources said Tsvangirai was only notified of the development this morning, 24 hours after he told civic society organisations that he held the keys to polls.
Tsvangirai had insisted on reforms before polls and he was hoping the Sadc Summit on Zimbabwe, scheduled for this Saturday in Maputo, would deal with the matter since Sadc is the guarantor of the unity government.
According to the Government Gazette, the nomination date is June 28, while elections will be on July 31.
Meanwhile Tsvangirai has called for an urgent press conference this afternoon on the matter.
We will keep you updated of the developments.
Reporting by Tapiwa Zivira/ Moses Matenga