Poll sets Mugabe panicking

arthur_mutambaraTsvangirai, still peoples favourite
HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and Zanu (PF) have reportedly developed cold feet over holding early elections after a recent poll showed that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai would win by a whopping 88 percent. (Pictur

Mugabe’s fears were highlighted in a recent speech by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

Mutambara, also leader of the smaller faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said: “A recent survey I saw said Tsvangirai will win by 88 percent if elections are held next year. So, do you think Mugabe will go into elections knowing that he will lose?”

Mugabe announced in February that Zimbabwe will have elections in 2011, with or without a new constitution.

Political observers said they believed the date was still feasible despite numerous delays in coming up with a new supreme law, caused mainly by Zanu (PF)’s fears of losing power.

A shadowy pro-Mugabe outfit calling itself the Zimbabwe Movement for Peace, Reconciliation and Unity last Friday published another of its long-running full-page advertisements, under the headline: “No to early elections”.

Through a mixture of threats that Zanu (PF) will resort to violence if defeated to wild claims that countries like China and Russia, seen as favourable to Mugabe, would not accept a Tsvangirai victory, the group made a tenuous case for an extension of the life of the GNU (Government of National Unity).

Tsvangirai has refused a poll before a new constitution is put in place. He recently told the Americans, during his visit to that country, to receive a human rights award that he was optimistic a referendum for the new constitution would be held next year.

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