Zimbabwe elections are SADC elections and will not be conducted until outstanding issues are settled, MDC secretary general Priscilla Misihairambwi Mushonga has said.
Misihairambwi told journalists at the Harare Quill Club last Wednesday that no single GNU partner should dictate the way things should go because there were outstanding issues that needed to be addressed.
She said SADC made it clear that Zimbabwe must pull its act together. “The election roadmap will have to be fully navigated before elections are held. Should there be any stalemate, SADC would come in to show direction,” said Misihairambwi.
With the backing of SADC, all that the GNU agreed is expected to be fully implemented before elections are held later this year. According to the GNU, Zimbabwe election dates will be as a result of consensus between parties in the ruling coalition government.
Misihairambwi said GNU negotiators from the three parties no longer met and there was a lack of progress as a result.
“Due to lack of political will on the part of some insincere partners, we no longer meet as GNU negotiators and previously agreed issues were not honoured,” she said.
If issues linked to elections are not ironed out within the next two months Zimbabwe risks undesirable presidential decrees as a way forward towards elections.
On practical and legal election dates, Misihairambwi said August 26, 2013 was the earliest possible date. Given the month long August 2013 United Nations World Tourism Organisation Summit to be co-hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe, Misihairambwi said it could be possible that elections would be held after August to give the tourism summit time.
MDC-T deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma said elections could not be held after September and the Zanu (PF) preferred June date was impossible.
Mangoma said before elections are held there must be media reforms, rule of law and the military should have signed or sworn publicly their allegiance to a government chosen by the people through a free and fair ballot.
Security sector reforms were re-emphasised as part of the GPA, which has to remain a prerequisite to elections.
Mangoma said the international community was becoming weary with the Zimbabwe situation. He also indicated that since the international community expressed willingness to support SADC in its efforts to facilitate elections in Zimbabwe, it would make international intervention easier in the interest of democracy.