Zanu PF declares bloody June 27
Zanu PF yesterday declared it would go it alone June 27 2008-style, if other political parties refuse to participate in elections wanted by the former ruling party this year.
In June 2008 President Robert Mugabe was the sole candidate in the presidential election run-off after losing the first round to MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai in the March 2008 harmonised polls.
Tsvangirai had failed to garner enough votes to be declared the winner, resulting in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission calling for a rerun of the election three months later.
The run-off was characterised by widespread violence, with MDC-T supporters both in rural and urban areas being forced to Zanu PF campaign bases where they were allegedly brutalised and forced to chant Zanu PF slogans.
Many people died in the run-up and after the June 27 one-man polls.
Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo yesterday said there was no going back on elections, whether his party “runs alone or not”.
“If they don’t want (elections), that’s their problem, but elections are going on this year,” he said. “If need be, we will run alone, why not? It’s entirely up to them (other parties) to participate or not, because elections are definitely on.
We are just waiting for the President to proclaim the election date and once he does that there is no going back.”
He went on: “The inclusive government has had its life and elections should now be held.”
Zanu PF’s supreme decision-making body outside congress, the politburo, last week declared harmonised polls would go ahead this year in line with the resolutions made at its congress in Mutare last year.
Zanu PF’s declaration is, however, not in sync with aspects of the election roadmap agreed by the negotiators of the parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA), which gave birth to Zimbabwe’s inclusive government.
The negotiators — Zanu PF’s Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche, MDC-T’s Elton Mangoma and Tendai Biti as well as MDC-N’s Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Moses Mzila-Ndlovu — have agreed on most aspects of the roadmap which spells out that the country will hold elections after completion of the constitution-making exercise among other reforms.
If the agreed reforms were to be implemented, the country is likely to hold elections next year or in 2013, and Zanu PF chief negotiator Chinamasa had pointed out that reality, landing himself into deep trouble with hardliners in his party who want elections this year.
At last week’s politburo meeting, President Mugabe reportedly insisted the party should honour its Mutare resolutions, resulting in the indaba agreeing to press ahead with polls.
The MDC formations have since declared they will not participate in elections unless the provisions of the GPA were fulfilled and the election roadmap was in place.
The South African facilitation team, which is keen to have undisputed elections, has also announced that it was impractical to hold elections in Zimbabwe this year because it was impossible to fulfil the provisions of the election roadmap this year.