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Mugabe must rethink future

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The decision by the Sadc troika meeting to prevent Zimbabwe from holding elections this year until the coalition partners implement all agreed political, electoral, security and media reforms over the next 12 months is set to stabilise the country politically, socially and economically.

The indaba last Friday could be the most important post-GNU summit as the regional body made it clear that new elections in Zimbabwe could not be held without reforms.

This decision could help stabilise the treacherous Zimbabwean political landscape as President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF were itching to drag the country into a hurried election this year without the necessary reforms.

If the regional blocs troika had acceded to President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PFs demands to hold the elections this year, that would have undermined the peoples aspirations.

Zanu PF had already upped its campaigns, terrorising supporters of other political parties. Zanu PF supporters killed MDC-T district chairperson for Mudzi Cephas Magura at a rally police had approved.

Zanu PF MPs were fingered as being behind the disruption of MDC-T gatherings and violence towards other political parties supporters. We applaud the Sadc decision as this will at least slow down the violence by Zanu PF MPs and aspiring parliamentarians.

But Sadc facilitator South Africa President Jacob Zuma needs to be more visible as the GNU parties move towards carrying out the reforms because Zanu PF has the tendency of disregarding advice from its regional friends.

We were wondering why Zanu PF was rushing to the polls, when it is clear the party is ill-prepared and facing disintegration as party stalwarts are jockeying to replace the aging 88-year-old Mugabe. These moves have destabilised the former ruling party ahead of elections.

Now what this decision has done is to take Zanu PF back to the drawing board as Mugabe is unlikely to represent the party in the elections next year. The fact that Zanu PF is threatened with disintegration if Mugabe does not represent his party in the elections must not necessarily push the country into an ill-timed election.

Clearly the Zanu PF decision to hold elections this year had no interest for the welfare of the people in the first place, but was meant to entrench personal interests by the political elite in the faltering former ruling party.

It is imperative to note that the parties to the GNU travelled to Angola last week divided over the timing of new elections although they broadly agreed that policy and other divisions have rendered the unity administration unworkable.

Mugabe had hoped Sadc would endorse his push for new elections to go ahead this year even if political reforms that include the writing of a new constitution were not completed in time.

The troika also dismissed Mugabes argument that Parliament cannot constitutionally remain in office beyond March next year saying the legislative bodys current term only expires in June 2013, meaning elections would have to be held within four months of its dissolution.

There is no doubt that Mugabe has played his part for Zimbabwe hence there is no reason why he should continue to be unnecessarily pushed left, right and centre for the love of power.

The outcome of the troika meeting should spur a rethink over whether Mugabe should remain Zanu PF candidate for the next election or back off in support of a younger generation candidate if his party is to remain relevant to the countrys political discourse.

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