MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has dismissed claims by Zanu PF and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara that Sadc comments on the Constitutional Court (Concourt) judgment to declare an election date by July 31 amount to interfering with the country’s sovereignty.
REPORT BY NDUDUZO TSHUMA
Mutambara, along with Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo, recently said the Concourt’s judgment was final and any attempt by either Sadc or the African Union (AU) to reverse the ruling was tantamount to overstepping into Zimbabwe’s territorial integrity.
The two professors were responding to reports that South Africa wanted “the comfort of having a clear roadmap to the elections, with timelines agreed upon by the parties themselves”.
“Contrary to certain opinions I have seen in the media about sovereignty, we surrendered part of our sovereignty when we allowed South Africa to be the facilitator, when we allowed Sadc and the AU to be the guarantors of managing this process,” Tsvangirai said at a meeting with leaders of civic organisation in Bulawayo yesterday.
“To stand up and say South Africa has no right to interfere, it’s not interfering; you invited them to be the facilitator, so Sadc is as important a stakeholder in this process as us Zimbabweans. No amount of shouting is going to make them bystanders; I just want to correct that.
It can’t be a consensus position to say that South Africa is interfering, it’s not, because they are part and parcel of the process that they were appointed by Sadc to be facilitator.”
Tsvangirai said until there was a clear roadmap to an election date, Zimbabwe could optimistically hold polls at the end of October.
“Again, contrary to other opinions that an Executive cannot function without Parliament, the Executive will continue to run government. Parliament is the legislature and by June 29 the necessary legislative amendments would have been completed,” Tsvangirai said.
“If you look at the Constitution 19th Amendment, it says the Executive authority of this transition is vested on the President, Prime Minister and government and they are the ones who will execute government decisions until the end of October. I do not see why there is a contradiction.
“When Parliament is in recess, does the Executive cease to exist? I think it’s a lame excuse. We have to make sure that we carry out a credible, free and fair election according to the Constitution before the end of October — it must guarantee that that outcome is not contested.”