Zanu (PF) Insists On Having Elections This Year

The party’s spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, told journalists after the marathon meeting at the party’s headquarters in Harare that it had resolved that elections will take place later this year as decided at its last congress held in Mutare.

“We will have elections this year and nothing has changed from what was decided at our congress and we stand by that,” said Gumbo.

The announcement set the stage for a bruising fight with Southern African Development Community (SADC) facilitators who together with the Global Political Agreement (GPA) parties, of which Zanu (PF) is included, have been working on a roadmap for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe to avoid the political violence of 2008, which killed close to 300 people belonging to the Movement Democratic Change (MDC).

SADC has in recent days taken a hard-line stance on Zimbabwe saying Zimbabwe needs to implement necessary reforms as set out in the GPA and complete a crucial roadmap before elections can be held.

Gumbo said the Wednesday meeting also discussed the report on the GPA and electoral roadmap. “We received a report on the roadmap and the GPA,” Gumbo said.

Turning onto the constitution making process whose progress was stalled on Wednesday after Zanu (PF) and the (MDC) failed to agree on the methodology to use in interpreting people’s views, Gumbo vowed that his party will go ahead with the process with or without the MDC’s participation.

A Harare based analyst who preferred to remain anonymous told Radio VOP on Wednesday evening: “This means Zanu (PF) is no longer keen in SADC having a further role in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs.”

“It also wants to raise the stakes and put SADC to the test particularly Zuma as the facilitator and more so it also trying to buy time so that MDC can also be brought to book on issues it considers dear particularly the sanctions issue.”

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma is the mediator of the Zimbabwe crisis.

The Zanu (PF) politburo also resolved not to allow SADC to help reform the security sector.

A source told Radio VOP that the meeting was of the opinion that calls to reform the security sector were against the country’s sovereignty. “We will not allow the foreigners to dictate how our security sector should be like,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

The source also said it will make a decision on Friday on what to do with the anti-sanctions petition forms signed by over two million people countrywide.

“We will convene another big event like we did at the launch of the programme.”

The stalling of the constitution making process comes at a time when the South African facilitation team member, mac Maharaj is expected to make his way in the country anytime this week to ensure that the three parties implement all the agreed issues.

Maharaj is expected to make the three parties further discuss on the security sector review subject which they failed to agree on at the Cape Town meeting last week.

The MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has called for the reform of the security sector saying the military was being used to beat up people by Zanu (PF).