HARARE (Zimbabwe Investor) – Five political parties in Zimbabwe today formed a grand coalition and vowed to stop President Robert Mugabe from holding an election before necessary reforms and required time lines.
MDC-T represented by Morgan Tsvangirai, ZAPU represented by Dumiso Dabengwa, MDC represented by Edwin Mushoriwa, MKD represented by Simba Makoni and Zanu-Ndonga represented by Reketai Semwayo declared that they will only participate in a credible, free and fair election after the implementation of the necessary reforms.
The country’s Constitutional Court, on Friday made a ruling that Mugabe should call for a general election no later than 31 July 2013. Seven out of nine constitutional court judges ruled on Friday that Mugabe had violated his constitutional responsibilities by failing to declare polls by 29 June.
“There should be a mandatory minimum 30-day period for voter registration that is yet to start and which will spill into July. Prior to the holding of elections, amendments must be affected to the electoral law and to other laws that have a bearing on elections. Examples of such laws include POSA and AIPPA which impact on free political activity in terms of freedom of association, movement, expression and the media,” the parties said in a statement read by Tsvangirai at a press conference to announce the coming together of the parties.
The parties added that there are necessary such as the issue of media reforms and security sector reform.
“The government of Zimbabwe must ensure and assure citizens that elections will be held in a free and fair environment in keeping with the SADC guidelines and principles for conducting democratic elections and the agreed roadmap to elections,” reads the statement.
The parties said electoral and democratic reforms demanded under the coalition agreement and a new constitution could not be completed by 31 July.
“The leaders expressed reservations about the practicality of the July 31st deadline set by the Court and resolved that they will communicate their position to SADC. The parties therefore look forward to the extra-ordinary SADC summit to affirm previous SADC resolutions and the agreed roadmap to elections.
The parties said that the court action, which is said to have been informed by the desire to safeguard the rights of the individual applicant, had resulted in the infringement of the rights of millions of Zimbabweans, in particular the right of eligible voters to have adequate time to register to vote and elect a government of their choice in a free and fair environment.
However, President Robert Mugabe Sunday told the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation on his recent trip to Japan that he will abide by a court ruling that crucial elections must be held before the end of July, despite objections from his rivals.
ZAPU president Dumiso Dabengwa said they will take the issue further to SADC if Mugabe sticks to the court ruling.
“Well we intend to take the matter further so that SADC is also aware.”
Tsvangirai added saying that the regional and continental bodies are prepared to help Zimbabwe.
“I want to remind you that the GPA, SADC (and) AU are committed to resolve the political crisis in Zimbabwe. That resolution can only come when there is a free and fair legitimate and uncontested outcome,” Tsvangirai said.