Monday, April 07, 2008
By Kingsley Kaswende in Harare and Lambwe Kachali in Lusaka
Monday April 07, 2008 [17:30]
THE ruling ZANU-PF has rejected calls by opposition MDC to form a government of national unity, insisting on going for a re-run. ZANU-PF secretary for administration Patrick Chinamasa, who is also former legal affairs minister, said the party would not listen to any advances from MDC to create such a government, because the two parties should go for a run-off. He said ZANU-PF and MDC would never collaborate at any level given their difference in ideology.
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who believes he has won the election without the need for a re-run, has rejected the second round election and called on President Robert Mugabe to concede defeat and step down. Tsvangirai said he had already embarked on a process of consultation to form a government of national unity.
"Approaches were made by MDC-Tsvangirai to form a government of national unity ... ZANU-PF rejected the approaches," Chinamasa said in an interview.
Chinamasa said although the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was yet to release the presidential election results, statistics obtained by the party pointed to an imminent re-run of the poll.
In terms of the law, if more than two presidential aspirants contest and none garners more than 50 plus one per cent of the votes cast, a second election should be held between the two highest scoring candidates.
"Our figures, based on polling station returns, clearly show that there is need for a run-off of the presidential election. A run-off cannot be avoided. We must allow that process to be completed," Chinamasa said.
He said ZANU-PF was sure that it would win the run-off. "We are going to win this run-off, and this is what has prompted the opposition to seek this arrangement of government of national unity," said Chinamasa.
And Patriotic Front leader Michael Sata yesterday said President Mugabe's ZANU-PF party should be bold enough to engage ZEC to announce the election results so that Zimbabwe could move forward.
Sata said from Zambia's political experience, it was difficult for a government of national unity to yield desired results for Zimbabwe.
He said there was too much hatred and animosity in Zimbabwe and that a government of national unity would not work out.
"It is very difficult because there is no final word from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. The Constitution of Zimbabwe differs from the Constitution of Zambia. The Constitution of Zimbabwe has a provision for re-run. The opposition is very comfortable from what we have heard from the Western media.
The government is uncomfortable for reasons best known to themselves. Why can't they go for a re-run? Because when you are talking of a government of national unity in Africa, let's take Kenya for example, has that government of national unity succeeded?" Sata asked.
"There are still several laws which they have to amend for that government to function. So, even in Zimbabwe they have to amend several laws because the conditions that Morgan is putting are that Mugabe should step down. But with the amount of greediness and based on Zambian experience, there is nothing like government of national unity. They can only form a coalition government."
Sata said the animosity between the two political parties was so grave to an extent that it was impossible for them to come together or reconcile. He said it was important that ZEC released the results so that Zimbabweans could know where the country was headed.aded.