Zimbabwe

SADC calls on Mugabe to delay vote

2013-06-15 22:24
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. (File, AP)AP

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. (File, AP)AP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Maputo - The 15-country Southern Africa Development Community on Saturday called on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to delay elections scheduled for 31 July.

"There is a need for the government of Zimbabwe to engage the constitutional court to request more time beyond the 31st of July," SADC secretary General Tomaz Salomao said at the close of a summit of regional leaders.

The top Zimbabwean court had ruled that elections must take place before that date, despite concerns that there is not enough time to enact reforms that would ensure the polls are free and fair.

Mugabe's decision to press ahead with the election has plunged Zimbabwe into political crisis.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said he would veto any election date that comes before media, security and electoral reforms are made.

SADC leaders who represent countries like Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia appear to have heeded that call, asking Mugabe to seek a delay.

Shaky power-sharing agreement

Mugabe's decision was seen as a stern test for SADC, which has guided a process aimed at ending years of political violence.

The much-awaited vote in Zimbabwe aims to end the shaky power-sharing government between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, formed four years ago as part of a plan to end political bloodshed.

"This is really a test case to prove... if SADC has emerged as a strong regional bloc for enforcing democratic principles," Harare-based political analyst Ernest Mudzengi said ahead of the meeting.

The meeting initially planned for Maputo last weekend was postponed after Mugabe said he was "unavailable" to attend.

Both Tsvangirai and Mugabe were present at this event.

In their communiqué SADC leaders "acknowledged the ruling of the constitutional court of Zimbabwe on the elections date" but nevertheless "agreed on the need for the government of Zimbabwe to engage the constitutional court to seek more time beyond 31 July 2013 deadline".

DRC crisis

Salomao explained SADC was obliged to "recognise the rule of law". "Rulings are rulings," he said, but that "the government of Zimbabwe was asked to make that submission to the constitutional court".

He said SADC had not given Mugabe a specific deadline to do so.

Although SADC had been expected to consider a $132m funding proposal, Salomao said the issue had not been debated at the summit.

The Maputo meeting also touched on the crises in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar.

Regarding Congo, where attacks by M23 rebels have destabilised the eastern part of the country, the regional bloc noted "continuing progress on the deployment of the SADC intervention brigade" and called on Rwanda and Uganda to "consider engaging all the negative forces in an effort to find a lasting political solution in the Great Lakes region".

Turning to Madagascar SADC "reiterated its earlier decision not to recognise the outcome of any election results which would include the candidates who presented their candidatures in violation of the constitution".

The group also "urged the international community to continue to exert political and diplomatic pressure on the three illegitimate presidential candidates to withdraw... for the sake of peace and stability in Madagascar".

The SADC is composed of Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Madagascar is suspended.

- AFP

NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
81 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Bellville - 11:09 AM
    Road name: N1 Outbound
    ACCIDENT on the side of the carriageway before the Durban Road exit - DELAYS from Jip De Jager Drive
  • Friday Montague Gardens - 10:22 AM
    Road name: Montague Drive Northbound
    SLOW TRAFFIC between Bosmansdam Road and Racecourse Road due to roadworks
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R4300.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be putting too much effort into someone or something. You are doing it out of love and compassion but there is a chance...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.