Zimbabwe’ s unity government marks two years in power

Posted: 10/02/2011 in Elections, GNU, GPA, MDC, MDC-T, Mugabe, Mutambara, Politics, Tsvangirai, Violence, ZANU-PF

Harare – Zimbabwe ‘s shaky unity government on
Friday marks two years in power but President
Robert Mugabe ‘s call for early polls has sparked
fears of sweeping violence that marred the
2008 presidential vote .
Mugabe’ s arch- rival-turned – premier Morgan
Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic
Change ( MDC) won the 2008 poll, but failed to
get an outright majority which led to a bloody
presidential run- off .
Tsvangirai later withdrew , citing violence against
his supporters , allowing Mugabe to win the
election unopposed and causing a lengthy
political deadlock .
After negotiations mediated by southern African
leaders , a unity government was formed on
February 11 2009 , but it has been fraught by
infighting .
Last year Mugabe – who is accused by critics of
stifling human rights and stalling democracy –
called for elections , saying the uneasy power-
sharing government ” can ‘ t be allowed to
continue” .
” I wish those who want elections could have
them among themselves without involving us
common people,” said Ernest Tsambo , a
villager.

New clashes

” We are living in peace with our neighbours now
but once the election campaigns start , we start
fighting each other and it is not good for the
country ,” he added .
” If we start talking about elections the first thing
that comes to people’s minds is the trauma they
went through in 2008 ,” said Okay Machisa ,
director of Zimbabwe Human Rights Association
which sheltered hundreds of victims of violence .
” We should ( instead ) be talking about reforms in
the security sector , the media and electoral
systems , ” he added .
New clashes between youth supporters of
Mugabe’ s Zanu -PF and Prime Minister
Tsvangirai’ s MDC had been reported in Harare
over the past two weeks, but the violence has
been denounced by both parties.
On the positive side , the new government has
stabilised the economy and curbed
hyperinflation from a peak of 230 million
percent in 2008 to 3. 2 % .
Mugabe, in charge of the country since its 1980
independence from Britain, is pushing for
elections despite the fact that a new
constitution which is supposed to pave the way
for the new polls has not been drawn up .

Voters role

As part of the power-sharing pact , the rival
parties agreed to draft a new constitution and
amend media and electoral laws criticised as
draconian to ensure free and fair polls.
Rindai Chipfunde -Vava , head of the election
monitoring coalition Zimbabwe Election Support
Network ( ZESN ) said any new polls without
reforms would be a farce .
” The voters ‘ roll is in shambles and needs to be
cleansed of dead people and duplicate names ,”
Chipfunde -Vava said .
A report titled Voters Roll Observation Report
released by ZESN in January revealed that
almost a third of the names appearing on
Zimbabwe’s voters roll were of people who had
died .
” We are also calling for free and equal access to
the media by all contesting candidates and the
national healing organ needs to be given more
teeth and attend to the incidents which
happened in 2008 ,” Chipfunde -Vava said .
” Without these minimum conditions we will find
ourselves back to square one , a repeat of what
happened. We feel elections should take us
forward not backwards. “

Elections

Finance Minister and secretary general of the
MDC Tendai Biti said his party wanted elections
only if there was a level playing field .
” The party wants elections , but there has to be
an atmosphere existing for free and fair
election, ” Biti said .
” There has to be security of the person . We are
saying , ‘yes ‘ to elections but ‘no ‘ to bloodbath . “
Takura Zhangazha , a Harare- based independent
political analyst , said free and fair elections were
impossible at this stage .
” There has been no redress of political violence
issues. There is no confidence in the
Zimbabwean citizen that their vote counts as far
as they can see at the moment , said Zhangazha .
– AFP

2011-02 -10 11 : 20
http://www.news24.com

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Comments
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cuthbert Tembo, thisjustinzim. thisjustinzim said: Zimbabwe' s unity government marks two years in power http://wp.me/p1jadG-4S #zimbabwe […]

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