According to the transcript of a Parliamentary Question and Answer session featuring Mutambara, the Deputy Premier listed seven reform processes that must be completed before elections. These included constitutional, media, political, economic, electoral, national healing, and ‘security sector alignment’ reforms.
“What we want to do next time around is to make sure that when we go into elections, those elections will be respected by the winners and losers. The winners will be able to form a legitimate democratic Government and the losers are able to congratulate the winners. For us to do that, we must go through these reforms very carefully,” Mutambara is quoted as saying.
“We cannot go beyond March 2013. In March 2013 this Parliament expires, in March 2013 Mugabe’s presidency expires. Consequently, this current Cabinet expires in March 2013. So, if you ask me about the ultimate deadline, the ultimate deadline is March 2013 … we cannot possibly go beyond March 2013. March 2013 is the end of the road,” he added.
Veritas, who monitor legal and parliamentary issues in Zimbabwe, disagreed with Mutambara’s submission arguing that “March 2013 is not the use-by-date of this Government – the correct position under the present constitutional provisions is that unless earlier dissolved by the President, Parliament will expire on 28th June 2013, at midnight.”
Veritas said: “Any reform legislation would have to be passed by the 28th June. We can only be four months without a Parliament, so elections would have to be by 28th October 2013 at the latest. President Mugabe’s current term could continue until election results come in, early November 2013.”
The group however acknowledged that Mutambara might have been talking about the inclusive government, since “Questions Without Notice” in Parliament is reserved for Ministers to explain Government policy to MPs.
Sw Radio Africa NewsPost published in: News