ZANU PF warns of elections if MDCs insist on a deadlock
By Tererai Karimakwenda
A warning has been issued to the MDC formations by ZANU PF, who insisted on
Wednesday that any call of a deadlock over the draft Constitution is a call
for immediate general elections, under the current Constitution.
The warning came from ZANU PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo, after facilitators
representing South African President Jacob Zuma met with negotiators from
all three political parties.
The facilitation team had arrived Tuesday in an attempt to revive the
stalled Constitutional reform exercise. But with Robert Mugabe in Iran for
the Non-Aligned Movement summit, no decisions were being made. Vice
President Joice Mujuru is currently the acting president.
Addressing journalists in Harare Wednesday night, Gumbo warned: “Once a
deadlock is declared, then elections will be inevitable. But if they are
inclined to have a deadlock, so be it, we resort to the Lancaster House
With the MDC formations rejecting ZANU PF demands for an amended draft
charter, and ZANU PF insisting their amendments are “final and
non-negotiable”, the facilitators advised the MDC formations to write to
Mugabe about the deadlock.
Negotiator Elton Mangoma of the MDC-T said: “We told the facilitation team
that we are not going to discuss not even one page of that ZANU PF document.
We told them we are declaring a deadlock and the SADC facilitator should now
be involved,” Mangoma explained.
He added: “This is a sign that ZANU PF wants to hold elections without
implementing the reforms that we all agreed to. There are a number of GPA
things that have not been implemented as well and we are calling on SADC to
make sure ZANU PF does what it has agreed to.”
Mangoma said the MDC-T have already written to Robert Mugabe and copied in
the facilitator, President Zuma, declaring a deadlock.
“If ZANU PF believes the people’s views have been ignored then they should
campaign for a NO vote in the referendum and let Zimbabweans decide,”
Responding to Gumbo’s threats of an election, Mangoma said the MDC-T would
not participate in any election before GPA reforms are implemented. “We will
not be party to any election without reforms first. We will not give up and
we have enough strength to insist they do what they agreed to,” Mangoma
Madock Chivasa from the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), blamed the
current crisis on both the MDC formations and SADC, saying they agreed to
participate in a process that was flawed to begin with.
“Article 6 of the GPA sets out the process that is allowing ZANU PF to pull
out of the agreement they made with their partners. We as NCA said from the
beginning this was flawed because it did not involve all the relevant
stakeholders,” Chivasa explained.
He said the deadlock now exists because the constitutional reforms were
being led by the same politicians who will be governed by the law. This
meant they were only interested in making sure their views were represented,
ignoring other stakeholders.
According to the state’s Herald newspaper, the facilitation team returned to
South Africa on Wednesday night. Lindiwe Zulu, spokesperson for the
facilitators, confirmed that no agreement had been reached. She revealed no
other information, saying she needed to brief President Zuma first.
Some observers have said this deadlock is a test of SADC’s resolve to
enforce agreements made by Zimbabwe’s political parties. As the guarantors
of the GPA, SADC should now pressure ZANU PF to abide by their word.
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