LOSING independent presidential election candidate Simba Makoni has proposed that the MDC, Zanu PF and other political stakeholders form a five-year transitional government to end the crisis in the country.
Makoni told journalists in the capital yesterday that the country could not afford a run-off given the flagging economy and that an election alone could not resolve the conflict in Zimbabwe.
“The country cannot afford another election at this time,” Makoni said. “The national fiscus cannot finance another election, indeed could not finance the last one.”
He said due to budgetary constraints, government functions were paralysed since January this year when the March 29 elections campaign commenced.
“The people have been under immense political pressure since the beginning of the year, which is now pressured by the violence and the talk of a presidential run-off,” Makoni said.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) is reportedly seeking US$60 million to finance the proposed run-off between President Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC to be held on June 27.
Makoni said a run-off could be best avoided through establishing “a national authority” that would take care of governance until a solution was found.
However, he said, his movement preferred a five-year term in which the transitional government would be in power followed by elections run “by a credible electoral body”.
“We need to establish an authority that will take care of business up until we are able to run an election with a sound body that has respect from all the political players as well as civic society,” the former Finance minister said. “That authority should be allowed to run for five years before the elections are held. We believe that by then, things will be in their rightful order.”
Makoni said at the moment it was important that all Zimbabweans direct their energies towards national healing following the post-election violence which the opposition said has since claimed 50 lives.
He emphasised that Zimbabwe does not need to go through the Kenyan situation where there was serious blood-shedding before a settlement was found.
Over 1 500 people were killed in violent clashes that rocked Kenya as tribal tensions rocked the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, as well as other surrounding areas.
“In Kenya, leaders agreed to come to negotiations only after more than a thousand people had been reported killed. Soon after the March 29 polling, some of us started canvassing that leaders immediately engage each other in accommodation. We pleaded that we should not wait until there were bodies to bury,” Makoni said. “Regrettably, we are already too late, for bodies have been buried and more are still being buried.”
He denied reports that he was eyeing leading the “national authority” he was proposing, saying he was not looking for a job at the moment.
Makoni added his voice to the growing condemnation of the manner in which ZEC administered the March 29 general election.
“On March 27, we, alongside the MDC, raised issue with some glaring points on ZECâ€™s preparations for the elections. Those shortcomings were not addressed. They spilled onto March 29, and continue to be with us up to today,” he said.
“Given the foregoing, I believe ZEC did not do a good job. They conducted an irrelevant election, and I, together with my colleagues in the Mavambo movement, believe that ZEC is not competent enough to conduct a run-off or any election that the people of Zimbabwe will participate in given its current constitution.”
He revealed there were plans to transform his Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn movement into a fully-fledged political party expected to contest upcoming elections.
He said several steering committees had been put in place to conduct consultations throughout the country on the issues of structures of the party as well as other “important issues”.
Sources within the movement said sticking issues at the moment include the name of the party, its leadership, constitution, as well as the setting up of a proper national consultative assembly.
“As of 18 April we have been engaged in a process where we have been going around the country consulting people on how we can transform this Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn movement into a fully-fletched political party,” said Makoni. “These are the steering committees that will guide the process of forming this political party that I am talking about.”
He said although they were pursuing the party formation, the issue was not an urgent one as they were keen on ensuring they came up with a party fully representative of Zimbabweans.