PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s consistent calls for elections in March 2013 with or without reforms shows the veteran leader’s disregard of a new constitution, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn) has said.
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In its September to October Ballot Update, Zesn said calling for an election before conclusion of the constitution is a “denial of the political issues confronting the country”.
“During the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference, President Mugabe declared that elections will definitely be conducted in March 2013,” read part of the update.
“This call comes at a time when the constitution-making process has not been concluded and is still to be taken to a referendum.
“The call for elections while the constitution-making process is still in progress shows the disregard for a new constitution.”
Mugabe recently told a Zanu PF central committee meeting in Harare that elections were set for March next year, whether his rivals wanted them or not, saying he wondered if they needed a “caterpillar” to level the playing field.
“While elections are critical given the government of national unity’s lifetime is about to expire and elections are pertinent,” Zesn said. “Zesn is concerned with the manner in which the President has asked other political parties if they want the electoral ground to be levelled by a caterpillar.
“This shows denial of the political issues that confront the country as they relate to electoral issues such as the non-reform of State institutions.
“Reforms are more critical now given that a number of provisions in the Global Political Agreement have not been implemented.”
Zesn said political tension remained a challenge in many constituencies around the country though there seemed to be stability.