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Restrictive measures to stay

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Restrictive measures against President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle must remain in place until there are security sector reforms, a South Africa-based think-tank, the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) has said.

Idasa in a statement this week said “securocrats” were the biggest threat to democracy in Zimbabwe hence the need for the international community to continue fighting for security sector reform.

This came at a time top army officials have vowed they would not recognise any election winner without liberation war credentials, a veiled attack on MDC-T leader, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

“The European Union and the international community must continue to seek security sector reform in Zimbabwe. The security sector, led by the military, remains the most potentially destabilising threat to a credible constitutional referendum, election, and peaceful and democratic transfer of power,” Idasa said.

“Targeted restrictive measures must be kept in place on those individuals who have demonstrated they have the means and willingness to circumvent a democratic process and obstruct the will of the people.”

Security sector reforms have become topical in the coalition government with the army and police top brass openly declaring their support for Mugabe.

The MDC formations have, however, insisted there was need for security sector “realignment” to protect the people’s vote.

Tsvangirai alleged while visiting Australia that although he had won the 2008 presidential election, it was the top army officials that prevented him from occupying State House.

Idasa also said the EU, African Union, Sadc and the international community must work with government to ensure that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission remained impartial and independent.

“Any credible referendum and election in Zimbabwe is highly dependent on this commission,” the think-tank said.

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