Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe has said he wants an election on July 31st.
There has been an outcry from opposition groups, civil society – basically anyone who disagreed with Mugabe’s plans.
The regional body, the Southern African Development Community (SADC, held a special summit in Mozambique’s capital Maputo last weekend. Mugabe was “urged” to delay the crucial polls by two weeks.
The constitutional court in Zimbabwe has to agree to the extension.
Some people have applauded SADC for stamping its foot down and stopping Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party from “stampeding the country into elections without conditions for credible polls”.
Alright. But if the constitutional court gives the green light, it will be only a two week extension! What difference is two weeks going to make?
I think finding the money to fund the polls in not a huge issue. Zimbabwe is not a poor country – despite many media reports saying otherwise. The money can be found internally if people want it to be found. If not, some group or country will loan the cash to the government.
But Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and others want reforms in the media and security sector to ensure a free and fair election.
So how can all this be done by adding an extra two weeks?
You can’t just wave a magic wand and all the country’s problems disappear just because an extra two weeks have been added.
Some may call my argument political naïvety, but it seems like Mugabe has once again outwitted and outsmarted his opponents.
He gets what he wants – an election sooner rather than later.