News / Africa

Zimbabwe Leader Wants Elections in March Next Year

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (R) and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in Harare, April 18, 2011. Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (R) and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in Harare, April 18, 2011.
x
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (R) and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in Harare, April 18, 2011.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (R) and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in Harare, April 18, 2011.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe wants to hold a general election next March, ruling out by-elections ordered by courts earlier this year.  Mugabe's coalition goverment partner, Morgan Tsvangirai, is not happy with President Mugabe's election timetable and wants a new constitution and reforms before a general election is held.

Court papers show President Mugabe says Zimbabwe cannot afford to  hold court ordered by-elections to fill at least 26 vacant seats in parliament.   He just wants a general election the last week of March, 2013.  

Zimbabwe Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa in an interview said it is just not possible to follow a Supreme Court order to hold the by-elections.  

"It is nonsensical anyway to have by-elections three months before harmonized [general] elections. For that reason we are applying for an extension which would [have] the by-elections would be subsumed into the harmonized which are anticipated in March next year," said Chinamasa.

Chinamasa said President Mugabe has filed a new application to the country's Supreme Court to just hold the general election in March and not hold a seperate by-election.

Earlier this year, a judge dismissed being broke as a reason for deferring those elections.

Douglas Mwonzora, a spokesman for Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party says the election dates proposed by President Mugabe in the court papers are not feasible.

The last elections in Zimbabwe were held in 2008 and many regional leaders nullified the results citing violence targeting the MDC party of Mr. Mugabe's coalition partner Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.  

Rindai Chipfunde-Vava from the Zimbabwe Support Network (ZESN) believes no elections should be held until Zimbabwe has reforms in place.

“We are also looking at issues to do with the cleansing of the voters roll; we feel that it needs to be revisited…deleting dead people. There are other issues which look at technical aspects to do with ((election)) results management as you know that it took over a month to announce [the] last presidential election result. So we feel that those issues need to be ironed out before the next election," said Vava.

A referendum on a new constitution for Zimbabwe is set for November.

Meanwhile Zimbabwean parties are failing to agree on the contents of the new draft constitution.

The new constitution is one of the benchmarks set by the Southern African Development Community to have a free and fair election. But now issues of homosexuals’ rights, presidential powers and dual citizenship have delayed the process of building a constitution.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid