|Political parties ready for elections|
|Saturday, 02 June 2012 22:30|
POLITICAL parties in Zimbabwe are gearing up for possible elections this year or early next year after the Sadc Troika on Defence, Politics and Security Co-operation declared that elections should be held within the next 12 months with spokespersons of Zanu-PF, MDC-T and MDC confident of victory.Attempts to speak to Zapu officials were unsuccessful.
Zanu-PF national spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo said elections would be held this year and his party was ready.
“We have been preparing for elections for a long time now that is why we insist on having elections this year. We have seven months before the year comes to an end. Within those seven months it is very much possible to find common ground on the remaining contentious issues. The constitution-making process can be concluded this year and elections can be held.
“Zanu-PF is a party of choice for the people of Zimbabwe compared to other parties. Elections this year would be good for us and the country. We have done our homework, we are ready to rule again,’’ said Cde Gumbo.
Cde Gumbo, however, declined to be drawn into revealing when Zanu-PF would hold primary elections to choose candidates who would be fielded in the harmonised Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
He said: “I cannot tell you when we will have our primaries. We will get back to you on that one but I can tell you that we will have them sooner rather later.’’
Mr Gorden Moyo, the Bulawayo Province chairperson of the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC-T said his party had always been ready for elections but is concerned about the “volatile political environment’’.
He said: “We are always winning elections in this country and that will not change so our readiness or lack of it is not an issue. But we have a problem with the environment in which the elections are held. We are worried about the political landscape.
“The last time we had elections a number of Zimbabweans lost their lives and we want to avoid a repeat of that. We want the local, regional and international political leadership to guarantee free, fair and non-violent elections; elections that will see our path to power without obstacles.’’
Mr Moyo said primary elections were an internal process that has no relevance to the holding of elections.
“The issue of primary elections is not a problem with us. They are an internal process that the will be dealt with within our party structures. We are concerned about the external process because it is the one that has always denied us certain victory,’’ he said.
Mr Nhlanhla Dube, the national spokesperson of the Professor Welshman Ncube-led MDC said they had already put their campaign plans in motion by putting up party structures nationwide.
“We have been on a campaign trail since our congress last year. We have hit the ground running. We have restructured the party for elections and we have got ourselves into shape. We have already embarked on a nationwide mobilisation drive and whenever elections will be held we will be ready.
“But I would also like to add that Sadc has just confirmed what we have always been saying that elections can only be held after we have a level playing field. I believe that is possible if we push elections to early next year. We need time to implement the GPA provisions that will ensure free and fair elections,’’ said Mr Dube.
Mr Dube said his party was not in a rush to go for primary elections as it expects elections to be held next year.
“We will not turn our attention to primary elections until such a time that the contentious issues have been resolved. We cannot tackle two things at once but I can assure you that when the election road map is clear we will have the primaries but that time is not now,’’ he said.