MDC leader Welshman Ncube has described as “nonsensical” claims that President Robert Mugabe is bound by law to call for elections by June 29.
Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba at the weekend claimed delaying the polls beyond the end of June would be an act of “constitutional indiscipline”.
Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa had also claimed that harmonised elections were due by June 29 since the life of the current Parliament could not be extended.
But Ncube, a constitutional expert, told SW Radio that the statements were part of Zanu PF propaganda meant to confuse people.
“You know the tragedy of this country is that even now we can be arguing nonsensical positions about something which is in black and white in the Constitution of Zimbabwe, because Zanu PF has mastered the art of deceiving people in the media,” he said.
“Robert Mugabe was sworn in as President on the 29th of June in 2008. The Constitution says that the life of Parliament starts to run from that date when the President was sworn in. Therefore, this Parliament is for five years which starts from June 29, 2008 to June 29, 2013.
“The Constitution goes further to say if Parliament is not dissolved sooner than 29 June, it shall automatically stand dissolved on 29 June 2013.
“It goes further in black and white to say an election must then be held no later than 90 days from the date of dissolution of Parliament.”
Ncube said an election must then be held no later than 90 days from June 29.
“If you calculate the 90 days from June 29, it takes you up to September 27. It is, therefore, clear that an election must be held no later than 27 September.”
He said the Constitution allowed for the President and MPs to remain in office until a new President was sworn in.
“In other words, the Cabinet will remain as is until that date,” Ncube said.
The MDC formations in the inclusive government accuse Zanu PF of trying to avoid media and security reforms by rushing into an election.