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No Zim polls without reforms, says SA

2012-03-05 12:59

Cape Town - Zimbabwe's heavyweight neighbour South Africa on Monday dismissed a push by President Robert Mugabe for new polls without long-delayed reforms required by the country's unity deal.

Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said Pretoria expects the power-sharing pact, known as the global political agreement (GPA), to be fully in place with a new constitution approved by referendum before new elections.

"The GPA envisages that an election in Zimbabwe will only be held following the finalisation of the constitution-making process," Nkoana-Mashabane said in a reply to a parliamentary question, acknowledging delays.

A committee "is drafting a new constitution, after which a referendum and then elections should be held. Our government therefore expect that there would be no deviation from the provisions of the GPA", she added.

Mugabe has repeatedly called for Zimbabwe to go to the polls this year, even if the new charter isn't in place. Reforms to media and the electoral laws are required under the uneasy power-sharing arrangement with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

"We just must have elections. They just must take place with or without a new constitution. If others don't want to have an election then they are free not to participate," he said last month.

South African President Jacob Zuma is tasked by the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc to help Zimbabwe put in place the deal which Pretoria brokered in 2008.

Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, has already been endorsed as his party's candidate for a new vote to end the compromise government formed to stem an economic crisis and political melt-down after blood-stained polls in 2008.

The country's constitution-drafting commission says a referendum on the charter could not be held before August, meaning elections under the new constitution would not likely be until next year.

Comments
  • Boer - 2012-03-05 13:13

    Bob is affraid he might meet an ancESTOR before the elections.

      Peter - 2012-03-05 13:37

      It is not that. It just SA is not wanting to see uncle Bob unseated before they can learn from him how to "reform" SA's lands the proper and eqitable way.

      David - 2012-03-05 13:42

      We can always wish for that...

  • Nigel - 2012-03-05 13:58

    Bob, your student (JM) took Zuma on & look what happened, I recommend that you also try it

  • Trevor - 2012-03-05 14:58

    In the past, USA, Britain and their cronies have taken Mugabe head on.Tony Blair had a rather sad demise. George Bush -well George Bush-no one remembers the loser. Zuma might do well to remember that he is President of SA.. Zimbabweans do not take kindly to an outsider dictating what should be done in Zimbabwe. Mugabe is the only person who will determine when elections are to be called for. Simple and beautifully straight-forward. So lets not waste our breath on this issue. At 88 he still remains potent. Still the same Bob ya all love to hate. Still our hero, and still our President. In the words of his Excellency-Keep your Zuma, we keep our Mugabe

      Fidel - 2012-03-05 16:05

      South Africa is not dictating, it's merely reminding Zanu of its commitments regarding GPA.

      Blessed Ndlovu Maratuza - 2012-03-05 20:02

      Lol, im Zimbabwean, and i've never supported Bob bcoz of wat he did to ndebeles, but my friend u r right, Bob cannot be told by anyone wat to do. He took on Bush and Blair. I dont think Zuma's opinion wil matter to Bob. if he really wanted elections in Zim, then so it is.

  • Joseph - 2012-03-08 14:35

    Tsvangirai has nothing to offer to the Zimbabeans. He campaigned for sunctions against Zim. How is he planning to address this mess.

  • TSEPOD - 2012-03-08 15:09

    send thabo mbheki there!

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