PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said a special Southern African Development Community (Sadc) summit to be held soon on Zimbabwe will ensure the forthcoming elections are free and fair.
REPORT BY EVERSON MUSHAVA/MOSES MATENGA
The MDC-T leader told civic society leaders he met in Harare for a briefing on the draft constitution that he expected the polls to be held in July.
“We will have a special summit on Zimbabwe on conditions for free and fair elections with Sadc,” he said.
“We will not allow a repeat of the culture of violence and abuse like what happened in 2008. I do not want to be part of a war against the people.”
Sadc is the guarantor of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed after the 2008 polls that were marred by an orgy of violence mainly targeted at MDC-T supporters.
Tsvangirai had beaten President Robert Mugabe in the first round of the presidential elections in March before he was forced to withdraw from the June 27 runoff by the violence.
Mugabe was forced to form an inclusive government with the MDC formations after the international community rejected his “victory” in the runoff.
The government of national unity (GNU) marked its fourth anniversary yesterday.
“Four years of this GNU have been a torture and I do not wish for another GNU,” Tsvangirai said. “I am very bullish about the way towards elections. We need reforms which include mindset change.”
He said he also hoped the forthcoming elections would not produce a hung Parliament like the previous ones.
“There will be a referendum in March, I doubt any Zimbabwean without an opinion (on the draft constitution) now will change even if given five months,” Tsvangirai said. “Let’s ask, however, if there has been enough education on the draft (constitution).”
The new constitution is one of the many reforms that have to be implemented before the elections.
Meanwhile, the resignation of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairman Simpson Mutambanengwe on Monday is likely to reignite a fresh war in the inclusive government amid indications the MDC-T and Zanu PF differ on the choice of his successor.
Tsvangirai yesterday confirmed the GPA leaders would meet on Monday to discuss the Zec top post vacancy. The MDC-T leader reportedly prefers retired Supreme Court judge Wilson Sandura.
“On Monday we will appoint a new Zec chairman,” Tsvangirai told civil society leaders.
“We need one that will add legitimacy to the election . . . with any transition, there are those who fear what will happen to them.”
According to sources, numerous names are being thrown around to replace Mutambanengwe.
“There are names that are coming out like that of Wilson Sandura and Moses Chinhengo (former judge) and obviously Reginald Austin (former Human Rights Commission chairperson),” one of the sources said. “Remember the Constitution also allows for people who are serving judges to be seconded to that position.”
Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba refused to comment on the matter, saying Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa had already spoken about Mutambanengwe’s resignation and the process that would follow to choose his successor. The former judge cited poor health for his decision to quit.