Tsvangirai vows to resist Mugabe poll push

2012-02-24 14:36

Harare - Zimbabwe's prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai vowed on Friday to resist a push by President Robert Mugabe to hold new elections this year.

"Only after the necessary reforms have been implemented will the president and I agree on the date of elections," Tsvangirai told a press conference.

"I will not agree to elections without the reforms."

The statement came after Mugabe insisted elections would be held this year, with or without a new constitution agreed to in his power-sharing deal with Tsvangirai, and said he would invoke the current constitution to declare an election date if other parties refused.

Tsvangirai and Mugabe formed a power-sharing government in 2009 to mend an inflation-ravaged economy and avoid a political melt-down after a bloody presidential run-off election.

They agreed to a raft of reforms including amending electoral and media laws and drafting a new constitution to pave the way to fresh polls.

But work on the new charter has run in fits and starts, hindered by attacks on public outreach meetings by supporters of Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

Tsvangirai accused Zanu-PF cabinet ministers of stalling the reforms but said he would not be pushed out of the shaky power-sharing government.

"I want to assure everyone, yes we have had to bear with frustrations but thank goodness we are made of sterner stuff. No one is going to push us out," he said.

Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, was chosen in December by Zanu-PF to stand again as its presidential candidate.

He said in an interview to mark his 88th birthday on Tuesday that he has no plans to retire anytime soon.

Mugabe has repeatedly pushed for elections this year but the 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 possible until next year.

  • Francois - 2012-02-24 14:49

    Firstly, Mbeki speak up! Then Tsvangi, you have already been pushed out. Do you have control of any of the armed forces, do have a say in their deployment? What do you say about the blood diamonds that are being mined? How are you going to resist, by giving back your Mercedes? Wake up, the next round has already started and you are not going to get help from Zuma or South Africa or anybody in SADEC except maybe Botswana, but SA pays its tax via SACU - thus not too much for Bob to fear there. Wake up! Mbeki - what is your African solution for this African problem? More rape, murder, torture and unwillingness to accept the will of the Zimbabwean people to self determine?

      Goodleth Malungana - 2012-02-24 21:55

      Hapana Tshangurai zwangaite nekuti Robat chipoko.

  • msendi - 2012-02-24 14:50

    I don't blame Mugabe this time. There is something wrong with Zanu PF members who chose the old men to stand as a Presidential Candidate at the age of 88 after the damage that he did in that country…

      J-Man - 2012-02-24 14:57

      I don't quite see *why* you don't blame this senile old fool this time?

      msendi - 2012-02-24 15:09

      @J-Man… I always blame the man, but this time he was chosen by members of Zanu PF. How can you choose a man who will be 100 years in 12 years time to stand for elections…

      Francois - 2012-02-24 16:26

      He was always chosen, maybe in a rigged poll at meeting of Zanu PF, but he was always chosen and he wanted to be chosen. He wants to die in that office, simply because he will face humiliation when he is not there either at the hands of his sucessor or in the Hague.

  • Gavin - 2012-02-24 15:45

    Why bother with erections, I mean elections, it's not like Mugarbage is gonna surrender power ? When you go into the voting booth, there will 2 black boxes. If you vote for Bob, you put your ballot in the one box, if you don't you - will be put in the other box !

  • Simon Mtshwene - 2012-02-24 16:04

    My Brothers are complaining about the Mugabe's leadership. They say he must step down they must go home and vote him out, so to speak. #opinion

  • Ron - 2012-02-24 16:30

    All the Zimbabweans in South Africa and other neighbouring countries must return home to vote ZANU-PF into oblivion. Once they are history, then we can start to normalise our society and rebuild our country. Then we need to find a REAL leader!

  • Larry - 2012-02-24 16:45

    How is Morgan going to do this? He spat the dummy when there was to be a run off in the last election, walked away and handed the Presidency to Mugabe without a fight. Now he decides he will fight? Enough now Morgan, you are a damp squib and an embarrassment to those who supported you.

  • Samora Machel Thamsanqa - 2012-02-24 17:37

    Morgan, where is your 23 year old girlfriend? Smh! Give up Morgan, you will never rule Zim!!

      Irene - 2012-02-24 21:41

      Morgan's pretty useless as well but he sure beats the mad dicktator hands down.

  • frank.hartry - 2012-02-25 10:47

    Tsvangarai, MatambarA and the avaricious MDC politicians just want to hang on longer to their fantastic salaries, massive tax free perks, free luxury housing and beefy bodyguards. They are worse than these greedy ANC parasites. The fact is that the Zimbabwean people did NOT give these people a mandate to rule them. Mbeki, Zuma, SADC, Mugabe, Tsvangaria and this jump start Matambara just went ahead without consultation of the very people that count and willy nilly formed a government that could never work. These politicians are a smelly bunch of individuals who like the politician clowns of All political parties in South Africa who are greedy parasites only out to enrich themselves and steal as much taxpayers money as possible.

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-02-26 09:46

    Mugabe can hate the West as much as he likes....all he is doing is isolating himself and more importantly his people from contact with a world that is progressing so fast that Zimbabwe will be left behind. Yes you will say, but the Chinese will be there to offer help,.....well we know what happens when the Chinese flood your country. I wish for the Zimbabwean people that their leader will soon depart (from his illness)and a major change could take place to ensure a rebuild of their nation.It amazes me that the SA govn is not stronger in their disapproval of the atrocities that have and are occuring in Zimbabwe, after all when our neighbours bleed so do we. If the conditions had to improve with Mugabe gone...our population would probably be greatly reduced..with the Zims returning home.Tshangurai might not be strong enough to be the leader when change comes...but we need to appeal to the voters in Zimababwe, if you want change you need to be strong and vote Bob out.

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