SA ready to assist with Zimbabwe vote

2013-05-14 16:59
Ebrahim Ebrahim (Picture: GCIS)

Ebrahim Ebrahim (Picture: GCIS)

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

Pretoria - South Africa will provide financial assistance to cash-strapped Zimbabwe to hold elections, International Relations Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said on Tuesday.

It was the responsibility of not only South Africa, but the Southern Africa Development Community to ensure free elections were held in Zimbabwe, Ebrahim told reporters in Pretoria.

"There is the question of Zimbabwe having enough funding to hold a successful election. If South Africa is requested to assist in whatever way, we will definitely assist," he said.

"[We will assist] either through funding part of the election or through some logistical assistance. It is in our interest and [that of] the region to see a free and fair election taking place."

Draft constitution

Last week, Zimbabwe's lower house of Parliament approved a draft constitution which was endorsed in a March referendum, paving the way for new elections.

The charter is expected to be rubber-stamped by the senate when it is presented on Tuesday, before being passed to President Robert Mugabe, 89, for his assent.

It removes the president's immunity after leaving office, bolsters the power of the courts, and sets up a peace and reconciliation commission tasked with post-conflict justice and healing.

It also limits a president's tenure to two five-year terms, curtails presidential powers and abolishes the post of prime minister.

Regarding the contentious election date, Ebrahim said there was need for appropriate reforms to be implemented before the polls.

"I think the opposition has a legitimate argument to say there should be proper progression for the election," he said.

"There have to be certain reforms that need to be speeded up. If Zanu PF says they [polls] should be held in June or July, that is probably playing politics. All parties should agree that the time is ripe for an election."

Ebrahim said a regional election monitoring group should be deployed to Zimbabwe before the elections.

"There may be a little bit of intimidation here and there, knowing the history of Zimbabwe. The election results should reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe," he said.

Presidential elections will end the shaky unity government formed between Mugabe and his rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai following disputed polls in 2008.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  ebrahim ebrahim  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.