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Tsvangirai gets tough with Mugabe

AFTER appearing to have softened his stance towards President Robert Mugabe and backing down on key issues, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday flexed his political muscles declaring there would be no elections until outstanding reforms are implemented.

Report by Brian Chitemba

Tsvangirai said polls would only be held when the elections roadmap has been fully implemented. He also said he would launch a diplomatic offensive within Sadc and other strategic African states to lobby their leaders to pressure Mugabe to adopt reforms.

Tsvangirai spoke about the elections roadmap, security of the vote, Zec secretariat, invitation and accreditation of observers, electoral law amendments, voter education and the conduct of security forces during elections.

“The major stumbling block to the implementation of the above already agreed reforms remains a palpable deficit of political will to implement agreed issues, without which we are likely to reproduce electoral contestations and a disputed outcome,” Tsvangirai told journalists in Harare yesterday.

“In a short while, I will be visiting players within Sadc and the AU to ensure that the people of Zimbabwe are guaranteed of a free and fair election that will usher in a new dispensation.”

He said security forces must not interfere in politics and intimidate voters.

“All Zimbabweans must vote in peace without intimidation, victimisation, violence or being forced to attend a political meeting of this or that party. No ‘bases’ and vigilante groups in our villages, suburbs or communities. The people’s will must be respected and guaranteed,” he said.

“The security sector must be professional, impartial and non-partisan and desist from overtly making partisan political statements and abusing state resources to further narrow partisan interests.”

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