News / Africa

Many Zimbabweans Believe Country Not Ready for New Elections

Movement for Democratic Change Secretary-General Tendai Biti said Wednesday that three outstanding issues from the political agreement with ZANU-PF two years ago will be implemented within a month.  The Southern African Development Community and South African President Jacob Zuma are guarantors of the political agreement which brought the unity government to power in February last year.  The information Biti revealed at a press conference was not made public at this week's SADC summit in Windhoek.

Tendai Biti, who is also MDC finance minister in the inclusive government, said there is a road map for Zimbabwe towards fresh elections.

He said the most significant outstanding issues of the political agreement were President Robert Mugabe's appointment of a ZANU-PF attorney general, after the political agreement was signed. He said another was Mr. Mugabe's close associate, central bank governor Gideon Gono who remains in office. He said the third was Mr. Mugabe's failure to swear MDC treasurer, Roy Bennett into office as deputy agriculture minister.

Bennett was recently acquitted of what the MDC says were trumped up treason charges.

Biti said there was no clear time table for fresh elections as much preparation was needed, such as a new voters' role and fresh and independent boundaries for voting areas.

He said the constitution writing progress had to be concluded and it had only seriously started recently with meetings of ordinary people around the country. The MDC says some of these meetings have been disrupted by Mr. Mugabe's supporters.

Biti said that Mr. Zuma and SADC continued to guarantee that Zimbabwe would move ahead towards fresh, free and fair elections.

Most people in Harare do not know what went on at the SADC summit this week as Mr. Zuma did not speak in public about this latest road map for Zimbabwe's political progress.

People on the street say they believe Mr. Zuma's report will commit Zimbabwe to a new election next year.

Misheck Chimusipu is a rapporteur with the constitutional outreach program and he says, in the current state of things, it would be impossible for Zimbabwe to hold free and fair elections.

"We still believe there is no political  tolerance among our peoplem," he said.  "The organ on reconciliation has not done much to the most affected people who were affected in  past elections,  and also if there is no reconciliation I don't think we will be able to have a free and fair election."

Others on the street say memories are still fresh of elections of 2008, and the violence which forced MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who beat Mr. Mugabe in the first round of the presidential poll, to pull out of the run-off in June, 2008 citing violence against his supporters.

Isaac Mufumi, a shopkeeper in Harare says the inclusive government has not done enough to ensure the next polls will be peaceful.

He also says Mr. Mugabe will use continuing western travel and financial sanctions against the ZANU-PF leadership and some companies the party controls, as an excuse to commit political violence in any upcoming elections.

"Zimbabwe is not ready for elections any time now or anytime soon, The inclusive government hasn't done anything,  nothing has been done on the ground," he said.  "Zimbabwe needs to reconcile its people. Not this rhetoric that Mugabe is always talking about."  

The SADC summit decided to defer any action against Zimbabwe for refusing to recognize a judgment by the SADC  Tribunal which ruled, more than two years ago, that a group of evicted white Zimbabwean farmers had been unfairly targeted because of their race. Mr. Mugabe says  the formation of the SADC Tribunal was not properly constituted.  SADC leaders at the summit agreed that they will revisit the controversy over the Tribunal in the next six months after a justice committee has concluded its analysis of the formation of the Tribunal.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More