Zim not ready for elections - yet

2012-12-07 14:37
Tendai Biti. AFP

Tendai Biti. AFP

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

Harare - Zimbabwe will not be ready for a presidential election until at least June because it needs a new constitution and democratic reforms to ensure a fair and undisputed poll, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said in an interview.

President Robert Mugabe, one of Africa's longest serving rulers and accused of hanging on to power through vote-rigging, has called for a new election in March.

But coalition partners including Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Mugabe's old rival, want a new constitution and electoral and media reforms after a violent and disputed poll in 2008 that was condemned by much of the world.

"Zimbabwe clearly is not ready for an election," Biti told Reuters late on Thursday during a visit to the University of Manchester in northern England.

"It's impossible to have an election in March," he said, arguing that the newly drafted constitution, as well as electoral and media reforms, would need to be introduced first to ensure the result of the poll was "credible, legitimate and sustainable".

Mugabe, 88, has been in power since independence from Britain in 1980, pushing through policies including the seizure of white-owned farms and forcing foreign firms to hand over majority stakes to local blacks.

Endorsement

His party, Zanu-PF, is due to endorse him again as presidential candidate at its annual congress on Friday.

Biti, secretary general of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, said he hoped a referendum on the constitution could be held in the first quarter of 2013, paving the way for an election between June and August.

"We will limp our way to some form of acceptable agreement," he said. "Our people are tired. They want a solution. They want peace. So I think we will reach an agreement because everyone is exhausted."

Biti called on Zimbabwe's neighbours and international partners - starting with South African President Jacob Zuma - to play an active role in ensuring the process goes smoothly and help support the cost of the referendum and election, estimated at between $150 million and $250 million.

Should Zimbabwe have "a decent election", Biti said, growth could reach 7.2%, helped by rising prices of platinum, chrome and gold, all of which Zimbabwe produces. 

Diamonds

Diamond revenues have been a source of conflict within the coalition government. A gem watchdog last month said at least $2bn of diamonds from Zimbabwe's Marange fields - one of the world's largest deposits - had been smuggled by people linked to Mugabe's party.

When asked about the issue, Biti said: "I don't have evidence of that. The evidence I have is that diamonds are being mined and we are not getting the revenue."

Diamond output has more than doubled since 2011 and diamond exports reached $600m in October, but the government only received $41m of diamond revenues this year, Biti said.

"If these were to be accounted openly, we'd at least be entitled to 50% of those $600m. $300m would make a lot of difference in my life as finance minister."

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  jacob zuma  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  robert ­mugabe  |  tendai biti  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
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
21 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

 
 

Men24.com

Best bro movies 2014
Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!
Hottie of the day: Jesselyn

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

Hot festive offers at kalahari.com!

Hurry! Stocks are limited. Don’t miss out. Shop Now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a time....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.