Tsvangirai hints at election boycott
MDC-T leader and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai warned Thursday that his
party would consider boycotting the next elections if media and security
sector reforms are not implemented before the key vote.
The MDC-T leader was speaking in Bulawayo during a visit which officials
said was aimed at assessing “the impact of challenges faced by the community
and clear grey areas on the party’s position on the resuscitation of the
Tsvangirai – who has been pressing for the elections to be delayed to allow
implementation of the reforms – slammed a Constitutional Court ruling last
Friday ordering the polls to be held by July 31.
And in an address to local leaders civic organisations in Bulawayo the MDC-T
chief insisted that credible elections were not feasible before October.
“We are worried about some individuals manipulating the courts on the issue
of elections,” he said.
“In responding to an individual applicant you want to marginalise and
undermine the rights of millions of Zimbabweans because you have not
fulfilled certain constitutional positions required by the constitution
before holding an election.
“We need media reforms, we want a partial and non-partisan State media and a
security sector which is professional and that does not campaign for any
“We want a voter registration for anyone who wants to vote in the election
and therefore voters must not be disenfranchised whether an alien or first
time voter, they must be allowed to vote in terms of the constitution.
“The old constitution is very clear as far as Amendment Number 19 is
concerned. It says the President and Prime Minister shall decide and consult
each other and I was not consulted.”
He said if President Robert Mugabe insisted on complying with the court
order, the MDC-T would consider boycotting the vote.
“President Mugabe says he is going to comply with the court ruling but it is
not practical if the outcome is not going to be contested,” he said.
“We might consider boycotting in the absence of media and security sector
reforms. We can only have a free and fair credible election by end of
October not within six weeks.”
However, Zanu PF spokesman, Rugare Gumbo, said an MDC-T boycott would not
stop the elections.
“We are not going to postpone the elections because the decision by the
court is final. If Tsvangirai says he wants to boycott he can go ahead,”
gumbo told state media.
“As far as Zanu PF is concerned we are going ahead with the elections. We
will not allow outside forces to dictate to us on how and when we should
hold our own elections.”
Tsvangirai met other party leaders in Harare this week to discuss the court
ruling and they agreed to take their reservations to a meeting of the
regional SADC groping which was set to be held in Maputo, Mozambique on
However, the meeting, called to discuss the elections as well as their
financing, was called-off.
“It won’t take place on (Sunday). I cannot give you reasons but it won’t
take place on the 9th. That’s all I can tell you,” said an official from
SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomao’s office.