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Tsvangirai Dismisses Mugabe's March Election Plan

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has rejected President Robert Mugabe’s plan for national elections in March next year insisting the Zanu PF leader has to agree with his ruling partners first before proclaiming a date for the polls.

Mr. Tsvangirai said President Mugabe cannot unilaterally determine the timing of new polls. He was addressing a New Zimbabwe lecture series in Harare Thursday night.

“There is no March date for an election, of course our colleagues in Zanu PF wanted an election in 2011 even earlier on in 2010 but because they know that they cannot force their way of declaring an election without the agreement of the other parties they know what the GPA says,” he said.

He said: “Mugabe has no sole power to declare an election. That is a constitutional position. The president agrees with me that there is no need for ambush. Why should we ambush each other?

“We have worked together for the past four years. Why should we come up with such an ambush as if one person has the monopoly to declare date?”

The prime minister also took aim at Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa saying an unconstitutional change of government in Harare would not be tolerated by the African Union, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Zimbabweans.

Chinamasa and Zanu PF parliamentary chief whip Joram Gumbo recently said the military would not accept a Tsvangirai-led government if he won the country's next presidential poll.

Mr. Tsvangirai this week called a meeting of his party’s top officials where a decision was made to take the matter up with the AU and SADC, guarantors of the Global Political Agreement that led to the formation of the unity government.

“I have news for Chinamasa that there are soldiers with our file and rank who will not join the Chinamasa coup … SADC and the African Union will not allow an unconstitutional government. The next elections should have an uncontested outcome,” he said.

Mr. Tsvangirai also said he was confident that a smooth transition would be possible in the event he won the new elections.