Zanu (PF) spokesman Rugare Gumbo told journalists after the party politburo on Wednesday that the MDC formations were stalling the constitution-making process in order to delay fresh elections President Robert Mugabe wants held this year contrary to the advice of South African president Jacob Zuma, the SADC-appointed facilitator in the Zimbabwe crisis.
But Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s party said it was the only legitimate party in the country, with a genuine mandate to lead the people of Zimbabwe to a new, democratic and prosperous Zimbabwe.
“The People’s Party of Excellence dismisses claims made on Wednesday by the Zanu (PF) politburo that the MDC is not ready for elections,” read part of a statement released to the media by the party’s information and publicity department late on Thursday.
“For the record the MDC is ever ready for elections anytime, anywhere. However, unlike the unpopular Zanu (PF), the MDC, the people of Zimbabwe, SADC and the AU agree that there should be a clear roadmap to holding of free, fair and uncontested elections,” it said.
The MDC-T charged that the holding of elections in Zimbabwe has to be determined by the pace and process of fully implementing the provisions of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), which led to the formation of the inclusive government in 2008.
“It is not up to the unpopular and rejected Zanu (PF) to declare when Zimbabwe can hold its elections without the approval and agreement of the other parties to the GPA, and SADC,” it added.
Prime Minister Tsvagirai’s party noted that at its Third National Congress in Bulawayo, the MDC acknowledged the strategic importance of the GPA and the transitional government and called for the holding of a credible, legitimate and free election only in terms of a roadmap guaranteed by SADC and the African Union.
The MDC-T said it would never renege on the need for an election in Zimbabwe, saying it was the only way to ensure legitimate people lead the nation.
“But as a party we do not approve of violence as a means to garner votes. Zanu (PF) should not attempt to score cheap political points over issues that are very clear. The MDC calls upon the people of Zimbabwe not to be anxious about being ambushed with an election that has no pre-conditions and not in line with the dictates of the GPA. The people of Zimbabwe need change; they need a people – centered, real government with credible leaders,” it said.
There is a general consensus that President Mugabe and Zanu (PF) are shooting themselves in the foot by clamouring for elections this year against the advice of SADC and the national mood.