As the brutal dictator Mugabe, plans to run for another term in office, Zimbabwe’s articulate Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, has said that the country should invite international observers and a peacekeeping force to help ensure that the next national general election is free and fair. Mr. Tsvangirai who was addressing a party rally just outside Harare, told his supporters that Zimbabwe could guarantee that violence which has marred previous parliamentary and presidential elections is avoided by accepting observers and a peacekeeping force. He said “Let’s bring in foreign observers for the next elections, we can use the African Union and SADC forces for peacekeeping during the election period.”
During the 2008 elections which Mugabe rigged, there was no peace keeping force in place. Mugabe allowed elections observers from SADC and the AU but refused those from Western countries, accusing them of being biased against his ZANU-PF party. Tsvangirai reiterated “We want a peacekeeping force so that we can have a free and fair election.” According to the Prime Minister, the dictator Mugabe who is now 86, and in power since Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain in 1980, has remained in office by using violence and rigging elections, including the 2008 presidential run-off which the MDC boycotted over violence.
The political agreement that brought together Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and Tsvangirai’s MDC party into a power-sharing government, stipulates that Zimbabwe must free the media sector and write up a new constitution and hold elections in two years, but the whole process is running months behind schedule as a result of Mugabe’s deliberate attempt to stifle progress. Mugabe has recently said he would stand for re-election if his party nominated him, brushing aside calls for him to make way for a younger successor after 30 years in power.
According to Tsvangirai, the MDC was fed up with Mugabe’s party over endless talks on disputes in the unity government, including the sharing of executive power and the appointment of various senior state officials. The Prime Minister told his supporters “We are sick and tired of endless talks. We shall take measures so that there will be no more dialogue for dialogue’s sake.” Tsvangirai also reminded his audience that despite his frustrations with ZANU-PF tactics, there is currently no alternative to the current power-sharing deal.
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