News / Africa

Zimbabwe's Mugabe Says Rivals Scared of 'Sure' Defeat

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe signs the country's new constitution into law in the capital Harare, replacing a 33-year-old document forged in the dying days of British colonial rule and paving the way for elections later this year, May 22, 2013.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe signs the country's new constitution into law in the capital Harare, replacing a 33-year-old document forged in the dying days of British colonial rule and paving the way for elections later this year, May 22, 2013.
Reuters
President Robert Mugabe accused political rivals of seeking to delay elections in Zimbabwe because they fear defeat, after regional leaders urged his ruling coalition to ask the courts to extend a July 31 deadline for holding the vote.
    
His rivals said reforms to restrictive media and security laws were essential for any fair election to be held and that it was Mugabe's party that was not ready to go the polls.
    
Mugabe, Africa's oldest leader at 89, last week used a presidential decree to bypass parliament and fast-track changes to election laws and declare the voting date, drawing a sharp rebuke from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
    
In a clear sign that Mugabe's ZANU-PF party would not give ground on reforms, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa denied any need for either media or security reforms demanded by the MDC party of Tsvangirai, the president's arch-rival.
    
Tsvangirai has previously said Mugabe should approach the courts to extend the election deadline. Mugabe told the Sunday Mail the government would do so through the justice minister but accused his opponents of running scared of elections.
    
"The other parties do not want elections, they are afraid of elections. They know they are going to lose and it's a sure case that they are going to lose," Mugabe told the state-owned Sunday Mail newspaper. His spokesman was not available for comment.
    
Finance Minister Tendai Biti, the MDC secretary general, countered that it was ZANU-PF that was not ready for elections as factional fighting over who should succeed Mugabe preoccupies the party.
    
Biti said he expected parliament to change restrictive media and security laws and for the military to sign a code of conduct pledging not to interfere with the election process.
    
"We will attend to those amendments of the media, security and reform the security sector. This is the hard message coming from SADC and Chinamasa must stop misleading people," he said.
    
Leaders of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) who met in Mozambique on Saturday fear that a hurried election in Zimbabwe would increase the chances of a disputed result and violence.
    
Chinamasa said he would approach the Constitutional Court seeking an extension to the July 31 deadline but that the court could just as well refuse that request. The country would then go to the polls under the current conditions, he said.
    
"As ZANU-PF, we are contesting the idea that there is any need for reforms, whether its media reforms. We made it clear in the summit [in Mozambique]," Chinamasa told the Sunday Mail.
    
In 2008 hundreds of Zimbabweans, mostly Tsvangirai's supporters, were beaten and killed in the run-up to elections by war veterans, soldiers and other backers of Mugabe, creating a flood of refugees into neighboring countries.
    
Mugabe has been in power since Zimbabwe's independence from Britain in 1980.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukraine PM Warns Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid