The decision by Sadc to order President Robert Mugabe to go back to the Constitutional Court to ask for an extension of the election date is very reasonable – so reasonable even Mugabe did not attempt to argue against the decision.
It is clear as day that while everybody wants elections held as early as yesterday, Zimbabwe is not yet ready to go for polls. There are several fundamental issues that need to be addressed before we can go for elections.
Mugabe knew the country does not have money to hold elections by July 31, just as he was aware it was not possible to have an acceptable election without proper voter registration and basic electoral reforms.
Even key supporters of his political grandstanding were conspicuous by their silence in the wake of the Concourt ruling, an indication they understood the folly of trying to force premature elections.
Even in Parliament, members of his party asked if it was practical to have elections held in accordance with the court ruling.
It obviously did not come as a surprise to Mugabe then that Sadc decided the way it did. In fact, him too welcomed the Sadc resolution.
He said: “It is a happy outcome for Zimbabwe.” He apparently was crossing his fingers Sadc would come up with the decision that it took. It is not him, but certain dark forces with blind vision in his party that were pushing for this crazy idea – forces that still need to be removed from Zimbabwe’s national politics – forces that are a danger to the nationhood of this country.
Chinamasa, who has been tasked with the job of taking this matter back to the Concourt, had to find something to say in the pretense at disgruntlement over what everybody else found to be a reasonable decision.
Which is why he went on and on about the nitty-gritties of security reforms instead of talking about the clear issues of the insanity of demanding elections without a clear roadmap which addresses fundamental issues of voter registration and other issues that require time.
What Zimbabweans expect now is the political wisdom of utilising the remaining time – up to mid August when legally, the country should be holding elections. The most important thing is to ensure that everybody who has a right to vote and wants to exercise that right is not impeded from doing so.
The biggest task before our politicians is to make sure Tobaiwa Mudede’s attempt to put into his pocket the national Constitution is rejected.
There is reason why the law requires that people are given 30 days within a ward to register and it is definitely not for Mudede to change that – let alone decide to reduce 30 days to three!
Or to pull together people from six wards to a far off venue where they should be given three, instead of 30 days to register as voters.
The extra two weeks that Sadc seeks to provide should therefore be used wisely.
To deal with all the outstanding issue expeditiously so that we do not have people seeking to postpone elections indefinitely.
Zimbabwe needs elections soon to bring normalcy to our economy and livelihood.