Polls could be moved forward

Itai Dzamara

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe could bring forward the parliamentary election to October this year after the Zanu PF politburo recently concluded the party was ready to beat the Movement for Democratic

Change (MDC).


Officials from the Registrar General (RG)’s office have already been deployed around the country for an intensive voter registration exercise.


Sources from the RG’s office said this week registrar-general, Tobaiwa Mudede, had announced that the voter registration exercise had to be completed by the end of July because “elections could be held any time from then”.


Constitutional law expert, Lovemore Madhuku, said this week that Mugabe was allowed by the constitution to bring the general election forward to this year.


“Under the constitution it is possible. All he has to do is dissolve parliament,” said Madhuku. “Under Section 63 of the constitution Mugabe can dissolve parliament at any time and order an election within four months. The rest of the proceedings will be governed by the electoral system and again he has the power to manipulate it. His only concern would be political challenges and not legal issues.”


Zanu PF’s political commissar, Elliot Manyika, said the party was confident of victory any time and would welcome an early election.


“Our recent victories obviously give us confidence and we are ready for the general election any time,” said Manyika. “We will be happy to have the general election brought forward.”


Zanu PF sources said recent politburo discussions attributed the March Zengeza by-election victory to the “momentum currently enjoyed by the ruling party, which will secure it Lupane as well”.


The Lupane by-election will be held next weekend and the ruling party has already deployed a “high-powered team” to campaign in the constituency.

Government sources said Mugabe had indicated that the Delimitation Commission should start preparing for the general election next month and complete the exercise in three months.


The ruling party is on the prowl using an anti-corruption blitz to remedy its image ahead of the crucial general election.


Mugabe himself has said “the MDC is ready for burial” and that the ruling party should leave no stone unturned in its quest for victory.


The MDC shocked Zanu PF in 2000, barely a year after its formation, by winning almost half of the contested seats.