SOUTH AFRICAN President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team on Tuesday met negotiators from the three political parties in the inclusive government to check the country’s readiness for the referendum on the new constitution next week.
Zuma’s international relations advisor Lindiwe Zulu and Charles Nqakula met negotiators from Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC separately.
MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti said the team “wanted to know the state of our readiness on the referendum and elections”.
Biti said they told the South Africans that although the country was ready for the referendum, the time was not ripe for fresh elections.
“We pointed out that the security situation was deteriorating, giving the death of Christpowers Maisiri as an example,” Biti said.
MDC secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said her party had told the team they were not happy with the recent appointments of chairpersons to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC).
“We told them the environment leading to elections is worrying with cases of violence being recorded and an onslaught on civil society by the police,” she said.
“We also registered our displeasure in the way President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are unilaterally appointing heads of commissions.”
Last month, Mugabe and Tsvangirai announced they had appointed former Zanu PF official Jacob Mudenda to lead the ZHRC while Judicial Service Commission (JSC) acting secretary Rita Makarau will take over as the new Zec chairperson.