HomeLocal NewsEarly elections bloody: Tsvangirai

Early elections bloody: Tsvangirai


Premature elections will likely be bloodier than the 2008 polls which saw hundreds of people killed or maimed and thousands displaced, Prime Minister (PM) Morgan Tsvangirai has said.

The PM told journalists in Harare yesterday that given the new cases of political violence already reported this year, electoral violence was likely to escalate if Zimbabwe went to elections without the necessary pre-electoral reforms.

Tsvangirai said President Robert Mugabe could not unilaterally announce the election date but only in consultation and with his consent.

“We are not keen to embrace a date unilaterally announced by President Mugabe,” Tsvangirai said. “He and I will agree upon a date in accordance with the law.

“This election is not about cheap rhetoric, misleading people and firing cheap broadsides at the region and the facilitators (of the GPA) simply because one wants to placate the hardliners in their political party. This election is about respecting regional efforts of putting in place mechanisms to ensure we have credible polls.

“If he (Mugabe) proceeds unilaterally, we will take action and that will depend on the circumstances prevailing at that time.”

Tsvangirai said his party would insist on electoral reforms adopted by Sadc and would urge the regional body to insist on those conditions.

He said incidents of violence had risen from 365 in January to 413 in February this year.

“We have cases of a terror group called Chipangano who have threatened Marondera MP Ian James Kay because of his race, and violence is continuing to take place, especially in Mbare,” he said.

“We need the draft constitution and other key reforms before elections. Some political parties might claim to want elections without the new constitution, but there is no such thing in government. Elections should be done after the completion of the constitution-making process and the effecting of those reforms we agreed upon.”

The PM said government could not fund a constitution that they were not keen to use and said his party expected President Mugabe to respect the Constitution, the law of the land and the roadmap that Sadc outlined for elections.

Tsvangirai said the clause on the age limit in the new constitution was never designed to deter President Mugabe from contesting.

“I do not see any reason why there was panic about this clause because the constitution is not written for individuals, but is written for posterity. It did not target President Mugabe, but was targeted at future presidents and it is not going to affect him.” the Premier said.

He said if there was no money for elections, there had to be a way to raise money for them.

“Certainly, they are not going to be funded because President Mugabe said so. There are other issues that need funding like the voters’ roll, the census, the referendum and all these require funds.

“If there are no funds, it is an important factor to consider whether we are going to have elections or not,” Tsvangirai said.

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