HARARE – Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, leader of the smaller faction of the MDC, has once again dismissed suggestions that fresh elections will be held next year, the Daily News reports. This report follows a ZimEye feature last year in which the Vice Prime Minister revealed that elections had been postponed idefinitely.
“People are not in an election mode. If we have elections after two years we’ll be campaigning and not working. We need to give this government time to work. Stability is guaranteed for five years, or forever,” Arthur Mutambara said last year detailing in his own words that
“A lot of questions are being asked about the lifespan of this government. I can assure you that stability is guaranteed for five years. The agreement (to form what was to be a transitional government) is silent on the duration of the government. After the constitution is concluded and there’s a referendum we’ll sit down and decide whether to carry on or go for elections.”
Below is the full report by the Daily News:
Mutambara says the three political parties in the coalition government should concentrate on reviving the economy. Mutambara’s party is part of government by default, having lost the March 2008 elections heavily.
Speculation is widespread that Mutambara is mortified by the prospect of a dismal performance in any future election.
He said statements from Zanu-PF and the mainstream MDC, led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, calling for fresh polls next year, were political gimmicks.
He told The Daily News Tuesday that people should not waste time talking about an election.
“Please dismiss and disregard this notion (elections next year),” said Mutambara. “I have heard talk of elections from my colleagues in government, Zanu-PF and MDC -T.
“Spread this word – there will not be an election in Zimbabwe next year.
“People and politicians should be talking about economic plans that will revive our economy and increased levels of investment. We are not ready for election.
South African President Jacob Zuma is reportedly pushing for elections as early as April 2011. ”
An early election, analysts say, would be suicidal for Zanu-PF because President Robert Mugabe’s party may never regain absolute power after losing the parliamentary majority in 2008.
Tsvangirai’s MDC insists on a new people-driven constitution and sweeping democratic reforms that create security for the population, the freedom to campaign, equal access to the media and an even political playing field before Zimbabwe can hold elections that are credible, free and fair.
Zimbabweans want a guarantee that there will not be a repeat of the June 27, 2008 period, during which more than 300 MDC supporters were allegedly killed, thousands tortured, injured or displaced by state security agents, Zanu-PF militia and war veterans.
Some still insist on justice on the perpetrators of the violence while others say the government should set up a truth and reconciliation commission so that offenders may make public confessions.
The organ on national healing, established by the coalition government, has been largely dismissed as a tame solution to a culture of violence with impunity.
According to a report titled Fighting for a New Constitution: Human Rights Violations Experienced by Female Members of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) launched last week in Harare, 90 percent of the women interviewed said a truth and reconciliation commission should be established.
Ninety eight percent were of the opinion that people who committed violence against women should be prosecuted.
While the situation has improved following the Global Political Agreement (GPA), Zimbabweans argue that elections should be held after achieving national healing.
Legislators interviewed by The Daily News agreed that national healing should be prioritised before elections are held.
The legislators said Zimbabweans were concerned about bread and butter issues and would prefer to see the economy improve first before elections are held. (Source:http://www.thedailynewszw.com/)