Parliamentarians from across the political divide do not want early elections in sharp contrast to President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, as they believe polls will prematurely end their term.
This follows President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara’s meeting on Monday in the aftermath of violence that had rocked Chitungwiza.
They agreed elections were the best way out of the crisis in the inclusive government. The Global Political Agreement principals have, however, not agreed on a date.
In interviews with NewsDay, the legislators said they do not want their terms to be cut for the second consecutive time while some argued conditions for free and fair elections have not been achieved.
Chief whips from the parties in the wobbly inclusive government confirmed the development in separate interviews.
“Across the political divide, there is no legislator who wants elections. Believe me, I talk to them, I sit with them and the general sentiment from all the parties is the same,” said MDC chief whip Edward Mkhosi.
“They don’t want elections because of the continuation of violence which is going on and also because they do not want their terms reduced for the second time.
The terms were reduced when we went for harmonised elections because some people wanted MPs to be part of the process so they could work hard for them.
The logic should have been for those vying for the presidency to fight it out.”
Zanu PF chief whip Joram Gumbo said House of Assembly representatives were not worried by talk of early elections because they know polls were far away given reforms that need to be carried out.
“Parliamentarians are guided by the GPA and their parties, but it’s clear that the election will be guided by the pace of the constitution-making process.
Whatever noise is made, we know that the constitution first has to be drafted, go through Parliament and a referendum before polls can be called,” he said.
“Funds for the elections have to be passed through the Budget, the delimitation commission has to do its work, and a number of laws such as AIPPA (Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act), Posa (Public Order and Security Act), and electoral reforms have to be made before elections.
Once all these things are done, we can then predict when elections can be held and only then can we start worrying.”
MDC-T chief whip Innocent Gonese said MPs from his party would only accept elections when all provisions of the GPA and election roadmap have been met.
“We are not concerned about the time and dates. We are concerned about the processes. We are concerned about constituting necessary reforms which will make the environment conducive for elections,” he said.
“When you consider the reforms that have to take place, you can conclude certain dates being peddled by some parties are unrealistic.”