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Parties gang up against Mugabe

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PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T and the MDC formation led by Welshman Ncube have ganged up with other political parties outside the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in a rare coalition to resist President Robert Mugabe’s bid to stampede elections without reforms.

Report by Everson Mushava

Tsvangirai, MDC deputy president Edwin Mushoriwa, Zapu president Dumiso Dabengwa, Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn president Simba Makoni and Reketai Semwayo of Zanu Ndonga met in Harare yesterday and agreed to push Sadc, the guarantor of the GPA, to stop Mugabe from forcing a snap poll without following the constitutional roadmap.

“The leaders expressed reservations about the practicality of the July 31 deadline set by the Constitutional Court and resolved that they will communicate their position to Sadc,” Tsvangirai told journalists after the meeting.

“The parties, therefore, look forward to the Extraordinary Sadc Summit to affirm previous Sadc resolutions and the agreed roadmap to elections.”

The coalition is in response to a ruling by the Constitutional Court last Friday ordering Mugabe to hold elections by July 31, a verdict that Mugabe and his Zanu PF party welcomed.

Mugabe has already announced that he will abide by the court ruling and promised to announce the poll dates upon his return from Japan, probably tomorrow.

A special summit to deal with the Zimbabwe crisis is set for this Sunday in Maputo, Mozambique. The summit will, among other issues, review progress in the implementation of the GPA and funding of elections.

Tsvangirai said there should be a mandatory minimum 30-day voter registration period that would spill into July before any poll date could be announced, while amendment of the electoral laws and repealing of pieces of legislation that had a bearing on the holding of free and fair polls should take place.

“Examples of such laws include Posa (Public Order and Security Act) and Aippa (Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act) which impact activity in terms of freedom of association, movement, expression and the media,” he said.

Tsvangirai slammed Mugabe for his alleged pledge to uphold the rule of law, describing him as dishonest. He castigated selective application of the law, saying if Mugabe was sincere in his pledge to uphold the rule of law, the courts should have long resolved the MDC-T’s 2002 poll challenge.

The MDC-T leader said the Constitutional Court was ironically safeguarding the interests of one individual while prejudicing millions of the population eligible to vote by denying them the right to register to vote.

Mushoriwa said it was possible for Mugabe to approach the Constitutional Court to seek an extension of the poll deadline in the same manner he did when he was challenged to declare dates for by-elections in three contested constituencies last year.

Makoni said the political parties would continue to unite for the good of Zimbabweans when such need arose, but ruled out forming a grand coalition against Mugabe ahead of polls.

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