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Election Dates Unsettle Zimbabwe Unity Government

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara says they are yet to sit down as principals to decide on the dates for elections

Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara says they are yet to sit down as principals to decide on the dates for elections

The announcement that national elections should be held by June 29 this year has further exposed the unity government as disagreements continue to rock the shaky coalition of President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa on Wednesday said preparations were well under way for the crucial polls.

But one of the unity government principals, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, was quick to shoot Chinamasa’s statement down saying the justice minister was too junior to announce the date of the elections, adding unity government principals were still to agree on a date.

Chinamasa told the state-controlled Herald newspaper from Rome, where he had accompanied President Mugabe to the inauguration of Pope Francis, that the current parliament’s tenure cannot go beyond June 29.

President Mugabe weighed in saying it was impossible to stretch the lifespan of the current parliament, adding that only the executive’s stay in office could be extended.

But speaking from North Carolina in America, Mutambara said President
Mugabe and Mr. Chinamasa were not above the unity government.

Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga says it is impossible for Zimbabwe to hold elections by June 29th.
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