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Mugabe's Absence Stalls Zimbabwe Electoral Reforms

  • Blessing  Zulu

President Robert Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe’s trip to Singapore for a “routine medical checkup” has caused serious concern among his rivals who had been advocating for reforms ahead of elections expected next month.

Mr. Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, told the national broadcaster ZBC that Mr. Mugabe is expected back in the country over the weekend.

The president has dismissed reports that he has received treatment for prostate cancer saying his visits to the far-east are to treat eye cataracts. But by the time Mr. Mugabe returns parliament would have dissolved.

Parliament is to be legally dissolved June 29 but business ends Friday, June 28.
Industry Minister, Welshman Ncube, who is the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change formation, said Zanu PF through delaying tactics has managed to stall reforms.

The same sentiments were echoed by Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga of the MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who said their only hope was in the Constitutional Court but because of the delays in hearing the cases “there is no room for optimism.

Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said those calling for reforms are afraid of elections. Sources in all three parties told Studio 7 that with Mr. Mugabe out of the country, there will be no progress in talks to institute reforms ahead of the general election.

The Southern African Development Community in its resolutions in Maputo, Mozambique, urged Harare to align laws such as Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Public Order and Security Act, Broadcasting Services Act, Defence Act and Police Act.

Attempts to discuss these outstanding issues at State House collapsed last week Friday. International Crisis Group researcher Trevor Maisiri said Zimbabwe is headed for another disputed election.
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