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Mugabe under pressure to make democratic reforms
Published on 13 Jun. 2011 10:22 PM IST
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Leaders of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) are pressurising Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe to make democratic reforms ahead of the elections.
They also expressed hope that a timetable would be set for the polls.
SADC leaders had discussed issues related to Zimbabwe late on Saturday on the eve of a free trade summit, but after failing to reach a decision, they resumed talks after Sunday’s trade meeting, reports.
The region’s security “Troika” body had slammed Mugabe in March, demanding an end to political violence and insisting that reforms promised in the so-called Global Political Agreement should be implemented.
According to the latest reports, the summit is now expected to make a roadmap that will lay out a new timetable for the constitution and later elections.
As security forces continue to remain under Mugabe’s grip, Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change has raised its concerns over the military leaders’ recent tendency to find new ways to enter politics.
Amnesty International has also accused the security forces of complicity in the wake of violence against MDC supporters this year.
Tsvangirai wants SADC to take the initiative to ensure that polls are held not earlier than 2012, as election officials are convinced that the voters rolls would not be ready this year.
The Finance Ministry says that it has no money for elections.
Whatever SADC’s roadmap said, the question is how the region will ensure its decisions are implemented after the original timetable was so thoroughly ignored, said Amnesty’s Zimbabwe researcher Simeon Mawanza.
“Even when the roadmap is adopted, they have to put a very strong oversight mechanism,” he added.

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