|I'll comply with ruling: President|
|Sunday, 02 June 2013 14:59|
The Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe says elections will be held before the 31st of July in compliance with a Constitutional Court ruling that compels him to have elections not later than the stated date.
President Mugabe, who was speaking in an interview with the ZBC News in Yokohama, Japan, where he is attending the 5th Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD,) said he accepts the Constitutional Court’s judgement and will comply.
Cde Mugabe said all the electoral processes will be done in accordance with the judgement and dates will be announced as soon as consultations with the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs are concluded.
“We accepted that judgment and we will work in accordance with that judgment, let it be said, of course, that the GPA was never meant, really, to exist for more than 18 months and when we started we had 18 months in mind as duration it had and thereafter we will have an election, but we did agree along the way that we should have a people driven constitution. We have offended against the law twice and we can’t anymore, and anyway elections will be held within the given timeframes,” he said.
The MDC-T has been claiming that the Supreme Court overstepped its mandate by dealing with the issue of elections as it is the sole mandate of the executive.
President Mugabe however said a court ruling should be respected as the executive cannot continue violating the constitutional rights of the electorate by denying them a chance to choose their representatives in parliament.
“If there is a case taken to court, a problem, we have defaulted and to stand up and say the court cannot pass judgment on the fact we have defaulted in the past and that we must not default again and for us not to default we must have an election. ‘They (courts) were reasonable enough to give us time to prepare,” added Cde Mugabe.
The President noted that the inclusive government has outlived its usefulness and elections must be held to allow elected people to take over office.
Cde Mugabe criticised those who are trying to delay the election, saying the MDC-T wants to maintain the inclusive government which was meant to last for only 18 months as they are now enjoying being in power.
He said his party, Zanu PF is more than ready for the crucial polls and Zimbabwe will fund the polls though it will accept the assistance from SADC.
Meanwhile, a Zimbabwean rights activist, Jealousy Mawarire, filed a case with the Constitutional Court challenging President Mugabe to set dates for presidential and parliamentary elections by 29th June, arguing that the executive risked violating the constitution.
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, whose ruling was supported by six other judges, said it was now legally impossible to hold elections by 29th June but said the elections should take place no later than 31st July 2013.
President Mugabe has made it clear that they will be no further delays to the holding of elections as he has already sought two extensions to deadlines set by the courts.
Last year, Judge President Justice George Chiweshe granted an order allowing President Mugabe more time to call for elections in Zimbabwe up to 31 March 2013 rather than October 1, 2012 as dictated by a High Court ruling.