Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is currently addressing a Press Conference after President Mugabe reportedly circumvented Parliament and gazetted Statutory Instrument 85 of 2013 to proclaim the election date as July 31, 2013.
Tsvangirai had insisted on reforms before polls and he was hoping the Sadc Summit on Zimbabwe, scheduled for Maputo this Saturday, would deal with the matter since Sadc is the guarantor of the unity government.
Below are the live updates from the Press Conference.
By Tapiwa Zivira Online Reporter
1:10pm The Press Conference ends with Tsvangirai having rejected Mugabe’s proclamation, setting the stage for a bruising fight with Mugabe at the Sadc Summit.
1:05- Tsvangirai says the earliest date for nomination court to sit- all provisions followed- is 24 July 2013.
Asked if Sadc leaders consent with Mugabe and let elections go ahead on July 31 for the sake of progress in the troubled unity government, Tsvangirai said:”I am not suicidal and Sadc is not stupid to be derailed.”
Video courtesy of Media Centre- Zimbabwe
12:56: Tsvangirai says he stakes his hope on the wisdom of the Sadc leadership to reign in Mugabe in view of the unilateral election date proclamation.
Asked if he will not participate in the election, Tsvangirai said if there is a stalemate between him and Mugabe Sadc has the responsibility to call Mugabe to order.
12:52- Tsvangirai says he will inform the Sadc leaders accordingly and advise them of the poll-unfriendly situation in Zimbabwe.
12:46 -Tsvangirai says Mugabe’s actions are disrespectful of the efforts by the Sadc leaders, and says he will approach the courts to overturn Mugabe’s proclamation.
“I have instructed my attorneys to file an urgent application against this fraudulent action, I call upon all peace loving Zimbabweans to remain calm” he says.
Tsvangirai insists there are reforms that need to be done first,media, security sector, electoral & voters roll and government is yet to acquire funds for for elections
“Without that, Zimbabwe may be headed for another June 27,” he says, “as the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, I will not allow Zimbabweans to be frog marched to another contested election, another 27 June”
12:42: Tsvangirai says Mugabe actions are a deliberate and unnecessary precipitation of a constitutional crisis.He says Mugabe is breaching the provisions of the new constitution by circumventing parliament in passing Statutory Instrument 85.
12:35- Tsvangirai says the ‘unilateral proclamation of July 31 as election date by President Mugabe is ‘an act of denying Zimbabweans the opportunity to register as voters.’
Zimbabweans are still struggling to register as voters amid revelations that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is yet to secure enough funds for the process.
12:30 Tsvangirai says he only received the information about the gazetting of July 31 as election date this morning.
Calls it a ” a unilateral and flagrant breach of the constitution & will not agree to it.”
Below is a copy of President Robert Mugabe’s proclamation addressed to Prime Minister Tsvangirai.