MDC-T dismiss threat of elections without new charter

Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross

By Tererai Karimakwenda
20 December, 2012

Bulawayo South MP Eddie Cross, who is the MDC-T director for policy research, has dismissed a report in the state run Herald newspaper Thursday suggesting that Robert Mugabe would call for elections under the current Constitution if the reform exercise was not completed by Christmas.

The report said the Cabinet committee set up by the government principals to break the current deadlock has made no progress so far, apparently because they are failing to meet to discuss the 30 unresolved issues that ZANU PF wants to be changed in the new draft charter.

According to the Herald, the delay is now threatening an election without a new constitution and election dates determined unilaterally by Robert Mugabe.

The paper quoted Munyaradzi Mangwana, the COPAC co-chairperson from ZANU PF, who blamed the lack of progress on the MDC-T, saying their representatives had failed to turn up for meetings on three occasions this week.

The Constitutional Affairs Minister Eric Matinenga, who also chairs the committee, said they had failed to raise a quorum each time because “either representatives from one of the political parties would be absent”. He said they would probably meet next Monday.

But Eddie Cross, the MDC-T director for policy research, sent a more positive signal on Thursday. He dismissed the Herald story, saying there is no chance Zimbabwe will hold elections without a new constitution.

Speaking on our Crisis Analysis programme, Cross said: “I saw Minister Tendai Biti and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa this morning and they are both of the mind that these differences were relatively minor now and they were going to be dealt with,” Cross explained.

He added: “Our position in the MDC is the one that will prevail. And our position from the start has been that we are not prepared under any circumstances to accept further changes to the draft constitution, which have not been adopted by the COPAC process.”

Cross stressed that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has been extremely busy meeting with officials from key institutions, to ensure that all the reforms that need to be in place to hold a credible, free and fair election will be implemented.

He said SADC was tired of the crisis dragging on and were fully behind the GPA process agreed to by the political parties.

However, some independent observers have said there is no sense of urgency to resolve Zimbabwe’s political crisis.

The facilitation team representing President Jacob Zuma met with the political parties in Harare last month and returned to inform him of the persistent differences. There has been no word from Zuma, the SADC appointed chief negotiator, since then.

In addition, a SADC Troika team appointed to assist the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC), never got to do their job. The team was reduced from three members to two, then left the country without meeting with JOMIC, because they were said to be too busy working on the constitution.

6 Responsesto “MDC-T dismiss threat of elections without new charter”

  1. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    In the absence of a new constitution, the old constitution prevails in Zimbabwe. Mugabe has the constitutional right to call for elections when they fall due. Of course, Eddie Cross a well known supporter of the former Rhodesia Front and now a senior leader in the MDC camp is ignorant of the laws of the country. Nothing will stop the Head of State and Government to call for elections early next year. The people of Zimbabwe want elections now but early next will just be fine.

    • Ndini says:

      Hooo shuwa here? let’s wait and see if what you are saying will happen.

    • solly says:

      Irrespective of which constitution Zanu PF wants to go forward with for the next general election sometime next year, we all know so do you that Zanu PF will rig this. It will be business as usual for Zanu PF taking Zimbabwe into a deeper hole. Guys like you in Zanu PF do not care a damn for millions of blacks who will be in the same ugly position for years to come.

      You are being rather stupid infatuating yourself with the past particularly of a white man called Eddie Cross. So what if he belonged to the Rhodesian Front better the evil we knew than the scourge of Zanu PF who like you have fucked this country to death.

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        Why don’t you accept the truth that Eddie Cross served under the Ian Smith government as a senior official within the Rhodesia Front, a purely white political organisation that served only the interests of white thugs in my country of birth. And when we attained independence, Eddie Cross quickly changed sides and became a senior official in the government led by Robert Mugabe. Today Eddie (Caddie) Cross is a senior leader in the MDC camp. Quite clearly, Caddie is a waverer who goes with the wind and can not be trusted. Caddie is simply an old man of no principles or morals and can’t preach to anyone about when and how elections in Zimbabwe can be conducted and gets an audience. Nobody will listen to a rhodie in Zimbabwe, for your information.

        It is well known that Eddie Cross is a political prostitute and no true Zimbabwean if you are one, can dispute it because it is a fact which is well documented. You can not fool the world because Zimbabwe is in this hellhole caused by people like you who invaded my country but still continue to punish it by imposing economic sanctions. You can stand on high moral ground because you have caused too much suffering to my people. You should be ashamed of the crimes you committed against the people of Zimbabwe.

        • david taylor says:

          You are absolutely correct – Zimbabwe is in a hell hole! And the Rhodesians (and Eddie Cross) are totally responsible for the mess. Thanks for enlightening us.

  2. david taylor says:

    So what are the two MDC parties going to do if Mugabe does go ahead and call elections before a new constitution?