President Robert Mugabe insists Zimbabwe will hold what he calls “harmonized” elections in March next year under a new constitution.
Officially opening the 5th
and last session of the 7th
parliament, Mr. Mugabe said the holding of elections is now the main objective of the inclusive government.
This is contrary to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s statement on Monday that the unity government principals have not yet agreed on the poll dates.
Mr. Mugabe also maintained that the principals will have final say on the new constitution, with others saying that crafting the constitution is largely the task of parliament.
He called for peace and calm as the country prepares for the referendum and elections.
The draft constitution will be debated during this session before it is taken to a referendum.
Mr. Mugabe explains that the Attorney General’s Amendment Bill will be among other bills that will be discussed by parliament.
Other bills that will come for discussion are the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill that seeks to split civil aviation into two entities, a regulatory authority and an airports management company, the Diamonds Bill and the State Enterprises Management Bill that will provide for the privatization of parastatals.
Mr. Mugabe also reiterated calls for the unconditional lifting of sanctions, which he said are hurting the economy.
Meanwhile, parliament adjourned to 15 November when the finance minister will present the 2013 national budget.
At the same time, the Youth Assembly of the Movement for Democratic Change formation, led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, has demanded that the party reserves at least twenty five percent of all contested seats in parliament and local authorities for candidates aged between 18 and 35.