President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba insists elections are on next year, despite slow paced reforms and resistance by coalition partners. Charamba said elections will take place next year even though they are not provided for in the 2012 budget presented to Parliament by Finance minister Tendai Biti last month.
“The fact that money was not allocated to elections does not mean elections won’t take place next year. Budget has unallocated reserves so it is very easy to hold elections,” Charamba told the Daily News in an interview. “Elections will definitely take place provided we finish the referendum on time,” he said. Charamba spoke as his boss prepared to formalise the 2012 poll demand by way of a resolution at the ongoing Zanu PF conference in Bulawayo.
A resolution by Zanu PF at last year’s conference in Mutare for elections to be held in 2011 suffered after Mugabe later admitted that gone were the days when he could unilaterally call an election. Mugabe and coalition partners Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and a fractured breakaway MDC faction have agreed that elections can only be held after the adoption of a new constitution.
Tsvangirai is also insisting on reforms in the media and security sector as a condition to participating in elections. A timetable presented by officials handling the constitution making process this week indicated that the referendum will be held in June at the earliest.
Biti recently said although he had not directly budgeted for elections, he could source for the money if Mugabe and Tsvangirai agreed on a date. He said the issue is more political than budgetary as political processes have to be agreed on first before an election is held.
“If Tsvangirai and Mugabe want elections by hook or crook they will have them. But we are not fools. Are they going to be sustainable? Business people have been brutalised. This is an unfortunate country. We need healing as a country. It’s not about resources, whether I have budgeted for them or not. It’s about commitments that the principals themselves have agreed on,” Biti reportedly said.
Full Article: Mugabe man insists on elections.