REGIONAL leaders have insisted on the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) before Zimbabwe holds harmonised elections in a move that is set to complicate President Robert Mugabe’s plans to call for elections by March next year.
EVERSON MUSHAVA/FELUNA NLEYA
Mugabe at the weekend repeated his threats to call for elections without the reforms, that include a new constitution, during Zanu PF’s annual conference in Gweru.
But Southern African Development Community (Sadc) leaders at an extraordinary summit in Tanzania at the weekend reiterated their position that the inclusive government must first implement the GPA.
“Summit urged the political stakeholders in Zimbabwe to fully implement the GPA,” read part of the Sadc communiqué.
“Summit also urged the political stakeholders to finalise the constitution-making process, including a referendum, before the holding of the elections in 2013.”
The resolutions were made after South African President Jacob Zuma presented a report on his mediation in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe did not attend the summit that also tackled problems in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar.
Zimbabwe was represented by Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi.
The regional leaders also expressed satisfaction with the work Zuma is doing in trying to ensure that the country holds credible elections.
Sadc’s forthright resolutions came amid revelations that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) last week tabled a number of demands to Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that need to be addressed before the polls.
Zec asked for a 90-day notice before elections could be organised, a development analysts say made Mugabe’s proposed March election dates even more difficult.
Mugabe at the weekend gave Copac until December 25 to conclude the constitution-making process failure of which he would dissolve Parliament and call for elections using the current constitution.
Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga yesterday accused Zanu PF of using delaying tactics in the constitution-making process.
“They are the ones in a better position to tell us. As far as I am concerned, we are still working on the process, but if Zanu PF wants the process to be concluded by Christmas, they should make it possible for it to be concluded,” he said.
The MDC-T has repeatedly accused Zanu PF of throwing spanners in the works by continuously shifting goalposts.
Some of the outstanding GPA issues include media and security sector reforms, reform of the youth training programme and operationalisation of a number of commissions.