News / Africa

SADC Meeting on Zimbabwe Elections Postponed

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe signs Zimbabwe's new constitution into law in Harare,  May 22, 2013.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe signs Zimbabwe's new constitution into law in Harare, May 22, 2013.

A meeting by southern African leaders to discuss ground rules for the coming Zimbabwean elections has been postponed at the instigation of President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party.


The meeting by the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders was originally set this weekend for Maputo, the Mozambican capital. But now it is expected to take place in South Africa.


Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti explains.


"The ZANU-PF through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote a letter saying President Mugabe... a letter saying he needs time to study the constitutional judgment. But he will be available from the 10th [of June], from Monday onwards. We might yell or bark, and so forth, we are all going to SADC. We are all going to be bide by SADC," Biti said.


The constitutional judgment Biti refers to is the ruling from Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court saying elections must be held by July 31. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his supporters oppose holding the elections that soon, saying reforms of the electoral laws and security forces must be done first to ensure the elections are free and fair.


Human Rights Watch said this week that security forces loyal to President Mugabe have been beating, intimidating and abusing people they see as critical of the government ahead of the polls.


Another problem is money; Biti has said Zimbabwe does not have the funds to hold the elections.


Biti said Friday that ZANU-PF pushed for postponement of the SADC meeting because it feared losing the polls.


But ZANU-PF Rugare Gumbo spokesman flatly denied that notion.


"We have always said we are ready. ZANU-PF is a well-oiled machine. It will meet an emergency or an issue that might arise. So we are ready," Gumbo said.

In Zimbabwe’s 2008 elections, ZANU-PF lost its majority in parliament for the first time since 1980 to Tsvangirai's MDC party.


The term of the parliament ends this month.


Mugabe, 89-years-old, is seeking another five-year term after 33 years in power. The elections will be held under a new constitution which was signed into law by Mugabe last month.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid