By Paidamoyo Muzulu
MDC–M secretary-general and the man expected to take over as party president at its third congress which gets underway tomorrow, Welshman Ncube, has called for elections to be held in 2013 when they are constitutionally due because no meaningful electoral, media or security reforms have been put in place to date.
In an exclusive interview with the Zimbabwe Independent at his Harare home yesterday, Ncube said that the holding of elections should follow the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), which stipulates that a new constitution must be in place and calls for the establishment of independent commissions and electoral and media reforms that create a conducive environment for holding of free and fair polls.
“Clearly as things stand now in 2011 those conditions do not exist,” he said. “There is unanimity that those conditions do not exist. It is pointless to have them (elections) in 2011. Let’s use 2011 to implement those things and have elections in 2012 but if not the best thing to do is to have the elections when they are due, that is in 2013,” Ncube said.
His statement is in sharp contrast to Zanu PF which resolved at its December 2010 conference in Mutare to hold elections this year.
Ncube said contrary to assertions that the inclusive government ends after two years, the GPA calls for a review of the working of the government to measure if it has created a conducive environment to hold elections and the result will determine if elections should be held.
The secretary-general is on the brink of the party presidency after securing 11 out of 12 of the party’s provincial nominations for the post. Only Masvingo failed to hold a provincial congress to make its nomination.
Ncube will become the second president of the party since its split from the main MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in October 2005 over differences on whether or not to participate in senatorial elections. He will be taking over from Arthur Mutambara who is not contesting the presidency.
Mashonaland Central is the only province that nominated Mutambara for a post in the party’s national executive, as secretary-general, the same position Ncube currently holds.
Ncube clearly believes his party will be within its remit to recall Mutambara from his government post as deputy prime minister.
“People who were seconded to the inclusive government are deployed by the parties,” Ncube said. “In our case it’s the party that decided who was deployed from the deputy prime minister to the deputy ministers. All of these can be redeployed without exception, all of them,” Ncube said.
Ncube said Zanu PF and President Robert Mugabe have no right to veto any nomination to the cabinet by the other partners in the inclusive government.
“No party is given a veto over the nominees of the other,” he said. “It is against the spirit of the agreement for Zanu PF to allege a veto for a person qualified to be a minister. To arrogate themselves a veto is wrong in principle,” Ncube said.
He added that the party’s standing committee would decide Mutambara’s fate in government.
As the new president of MDC, Ncube said he would continue to fight for the full implementation of the GPA and restore the economy by pushing the inclusive government to deliver.
“We will have to ensure that the GPA is fully implemented with a new constitution, electoral reforms, governance reforms that will make sure that the will of the people is not distorted. This also includes developing the economy. It is only a truly free people, economically free who can exercise free choice in elections,” he said.
Ncube said they were not looking for coalition partners in the next elections.
“The most important thing is to focus on the growth of our party and be ready to fight an election on our own. If in the process we get a broader coalition that would be a bonus,” Ncube said.