Wrong again Mr President

From where we are all standing, it is practically impossible to hold elections by the end of March 2012. The numerous things that need to be done in order to hold credible and indisputable elections cannot all be done in the next six to seven months.

John Makumbe
John Makumbe

Perhaps the earliest possible month for holding such elections could be June or even July 2012 and not earlier. Copac is still in the process of writing the new constitution and is unlikely to complete this task before the end of this year. Then there will need to be a referendum on the draft constitution. This will take another two to three months.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission will then be able to begin the task of delineating the requisite constituencies throughout the country, assuming that the referendum will result in the adoption of the new constitution. The delineation process will require at least two months.

For the delineation process to be undertaken successfully and accurately requires that the ZEC will have completed registering the voters. The number of voters in each constituency is required for this purpose. If the ZEC begins to register voters now, it will still be at it by the end of this year. As we all know, the ZEC has not yet even begun this crucial exercise.

There does not seem to be adequate resources for this task to be embarked upon. It is fiction for President Mugabe to say elections will be held by March 2012 with or without the new constitution. We all know that the SADC will not accept such child’s play. Mugabe will not be allowed to play the same silly game that he played in vain in June 2008.

He of all people knows that there was not even a single country in the world that recognized the results of that one man race against himself. The days when whatever Mugabe would say would be gospel are long gone. The next elections will only be held after consultations among all the three principles and with the agreement of the SADC. Anything short of this will be an exercise in futility.

Mugabe is well aware of this requirement as stipulated in the GPA. Violating the GPA in this fashion will simply strip Mugabe of the little legitimacy that the document accords him.

Perhaps by making that announcement about elections by March 2012 Mugabe was informing the nation of the date of his retirement from active politics. He knows that his retirement is well over due, and that it will be effected at the next free and fair elections to be held in this country since he is bound to lose that contest to Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC.

There are no two ways about that. In fact, the whole of Zanu (PF) is fully aware of this pending disaster. There is precious little they can do to avert it. Further, Mugabe’s announced date of elections is not consistent with the timelines that the negotiators agreed on for the roadmap to elections in this country. Perhaps this is Mugabe’s way of telling the SADC that he does not accept the roadmap. Why did he not tell the SADC this position of his party at the Luanda summit?

We know that the regional body is currently operating on the basis that the agreed timelines of the roadmap will be adhered to by all the parties concerned. For one party to renege on the agreed timelines for the roadmap will be highly retrogressive and unacceptable to all Zimbabweans and to Sadc. Those who have ears let them hear.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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