Tuesday, March 6, 2012



Published: March 6, 2012
South African blocks Mugabe’s 2012 Election plan thumbnailA stalemate has erupted after continental powerhouse, South Africa, who have been facilitating Zimbabwe’s political negotiations, blocked Robert Mugabe from going ahead with his plan for elections in 2012.
This is the fourth time and is the latest stroke on Robert Mugabe who has in the past ten months been calling for urgent elections to end the current unity government between his party ZANU PF and the two MDC formations.
South Africa has however dismissed all plans by Robert Mugabe to hold elections this year.
The nation’s Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane stated that Pretoria requires that the power-sharing pact – the global political agreement (GPA), should be fully in place with a new constitution approved by referendum before any new elections are held.
“The GPA envisages that an election in Zimbabwe will only be held following the finalisation of the constitution-making process,” Nkoana-Mashabane said in a reply to a parliamentary question.
A committee “is drafting a new constitution, after which a referendum and then elections should be held. Our government therefore expect that there would be no deviation from the provisions of the GPA”, she added.
Mugabe has repeatedly called for Zimbabwe to go to the polls this year, even if the new charter isn’t in place. Reforms to media and the electoral laws are required under the uneasy power-sharing arrangement with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
“We just must have elections. They just must take place with or without a new constitution. If others don’t want to have an election then they are free not to participate,” he said last month.
President Jacob Zuma is tasked by the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc to help Zimbabwe put in place the deal which Pretoria brokered in 2008.
Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, has already been endorsed as his party’s candidate for a new vote to end the compromise government formed to stem an economic crisis and political melt-down after blood-stained polls in 2008.

Backlash from ZANU PF
South Africa’s latest action attracted a backlash from Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party who have already labelled the move as outrageous. On Monday, Zanu PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo laid into Nkoana-Mashabane, insisting that President Jacob Zuma was mandated to mediate in Zimbabwe as an individual.
“The South African government is not a GPA facilitator, this woman as an official of the South African government has no business whatsoever commenting on this thing. Zimbabwe has never been a province of South Africa, is not a province of South Africa and will never be a province of South Africa,” Moyo told New Zimbabwe.com by telephone from Harare.
“It is outrageous that you have someone using her national institution [parliament] and using her ministerial portfolio to comment on Zimbabwe saying ‘our government’ to refer to a SADC process. It’s provocative and insulting. She knows very well she has no business meddling in Zimbabwe’s affairs, she can only say that and get away with it if she believed Zimbabwe is a province of South Africa, but even Rhodies [Rhodesians] rejected that even as they were getting help from Boers. It’s preposterous.” (AFP/Agencies)