ZANU PF has turned its guns on the facilitator of the Zimbabwean mediation, South African President Jacob Zuma, whom the party accuses of bias in favour of the MDCs, following President Robert Mugabe’s humiliation at the just-ended Sadc summit.
REPORT BY NDUDUZO TSHUMA
The party’s deputy secretary for legal affairs, Patrick Chinamasa, claimed Zuma had quoted an MDC-T document and this showed his bias.
“I was also surprised that in the facilitator’s report they attached the Press statement of the Prime Minister, which he gave on Thursday,” he said, indicating that this was credible ground for Zanu PF to resist any extension to the election period.
Mugabe recently proclaimed July 31 as the date for elections, but Sadc advised him to return to the Constitutional Court (Concourt) and seek a two-week extension.
Concourt had directed that he ensure that elections are held by July 31.
Chinamasa, the Justice minister, told New Ziana that he had distributed his party’s position to Sadc ambassadors, but these had not been taken into account and this was enough ground for his party to resist any extension.
“(The) Minister of Foreign Affairs (Simbarashe Mumbengegwi) and I addressed the ambassadors, who included the ambassador of South Africa, which is the facilitating country,” he said.
“We also distributed documents to them explaining the action that we had taken, but our document was not made part of the facilitator’s report and we took note.
“We are going to base our contest against postponement of the election date on that.”
Chinamasa said there was no valid reason to push the elections further than July 31 accusing the MDCs of wanting to use the time to heal divisions within their structures. The Justice minister said instead of Mugabe pushing ahead the poll dates, Zanu PF would petition the Concourt to uphold its ruling
“From here, we as Zanu PF are contesting that there is no need for amendments, whether it’s media reforms or security sector,” he said.
“We can only implement that which we have agreed. We cannot implement disagreements, and they are unimplementable.
“So until we have agreed, we have nothing to implement.”
Zuma’s international affairs advisor Lindiwe Zulu yesterday told Southern Eye that she was not at liberty to comment on the matter.
“The issue has been discussed by Sadc and recommendations were made,” she said. “I will not talk until I have engaged the relevant parties and they raise the issues that you are mentioning.”
Psychology Maziwisa, the Zanu PF deputy director of information, said as far as he was concerned Zimbabwe will hold elections as Mugabe’s proclaimation.
“Any claim that Cde Chinamasa will seek an extension is complete, utter and total nonsense, not least because there has been no material change of circumstances to warrant the court to make a sudden deviation from its earlier ruling,” Maziwisa said.
“We are glad Sadc recognised our sovereignty as a country and the sovereignty of our courts.
“We expect that the MDC-T will respect the rule of law in Zimbabwe. There is only one option available to Zimbabweans right now and it is to go for elections on July 31st – the rest is hogwash,” he said.
Mugabe had made an undertaking that Chinamasa would seek an extension to the July 31 poll deadline in line with Sadc recommendations.