By Kudzai Kuwaza
PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson and Information secretary George Charamba yesterday made the strongest hint yet that this year’s make-or-break general elections could be held earlier than anticipated.
In an interview with a local radio station yesterday, Charamba said elections will be held earlier than widely expected.
“Look, people are serious. We are worried about what to do by way of ameliorating the conditions of the people of Zimbabwe.
We are worrying about elections which will come sooner than you guys will ever expect,” Charamba said in the interview.
When called by the Zimbabwe Independent to provide further clarification on the elections yesterday, Charamba refused to go into detail, saying it is the prerogative of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Elections will be held when President Mnangagwa makes the proclamation,” Charamba said. Pressed further on the possible timeline, Charamba said: “Hausi kuona kuti wakundiomesera here munin’ina (Can’t you see you are making it difficult for me, my brother?) That is up to the president.”
A well-placed source in the government told the Independent that if an early election were to be held, it would come in June rather than August.
In terms of the law, the election must take place before five years have elapsed. The last election was on July 31 2013.
“It all depends on two factors: the ability of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) to move expeditiously in completing various electoral processes, and what the law actually says in terms of timelines and procedures. However, it is clear that the government wants an early election,” said a source. “The official thinking is that an early election gives the incumbents an advantage. Remember, the opposition is in disarray and this government is riding on a wave of international goodwill. A snap election is on the cards.”
Zec is currently registering voters, while simultaneously undertaking a process called de-duplication to ensure that multiple-voting and multiple registration are detected and rectified.