By Tendai Mugabe and Tapfuma Mugari
ZANU-PF has challenged negotiators to the inter-party dialogue to revise some of the timelines they agreed on the election
roadmap, insisting that general elections should be held this year.
Addressing journalists after the party's Politburo meeting yesterday, Zanu-PF spokesperson Cde Rugare Gumbo said the party expressed concern on the delaying tactics of MDC-T on the completion of the constitution-making process.
He said some of the timelines agreed on by negotiators were too long and should be cut to pave way for elections.
"The Politburo is unanimous that elections should be held this year. We discussed the pros and cons of this and Cde (Patrick) Chinamasa gave us a report on the issues they had agreed on in the roadmap.
"Some of the timelines in the roadmap are not acceptable. Days that had been assigned to deal with some of these issues are too long. For example, you cannot say preparation of the voters' roll should take 60 days and licensing of new broadcasters can take 100 days.
ELECTIONS AND RELATED STORIES
"By end of the year we should have elections if they expedite the constitution-making process, particularly the drafting and referendum stages."
He said Zanu-PF was concerned about the delay in completing the constitution-making process.
"Minister (Tendai) Biti is refusing to release money to complete the constitution-making process and he is also refusing to release money to fund the economy and we discussed this at length.
"We have to find a way of pushing (MDC-T) them because we cannot continue with this kind of situation where sanctions are destroying our economy.
"Our industry has declined and the whole economy is struggling because of the illegal sanctions," said Cde Gumbo.
He said the most disturbing thing was that MDC-T was playing to the whims of its handlers who were vigorously pushing elections to next year.
"It is not their feelings. They are being pushed by their handlers. Information that we are receiving is that the US, Britain and the European Union have said they do not want elections this year. They want elections next year and the MDC-T is doing all sorts of obstructions to make sure that we do not hold elections this year," said Cde Gumbo.
He said the party's Central Committee would meet tomorrow to discuss issues raised at yesterday's Politburo meeting.
Cde Gumbo said the Politburo also received reports on the Sadc summits in Windhoek, Namibia, Livingstone, Zambia and Sandton, South Africa, from Cde Chinamasa.
He said the party was happy Sadc leaders were satisfied with the progress made in Zimbabwe.
Cde Gumbo said the party received a report from national commissar Cde Webster Shamu on restructuring and mobilisation of supporters.
He said Munyaradzi Cde Paul Mangwana also presented a report on the constitution-making process and indicated that there was an impasse, which was later resolved.
Cde Gumbo said Cde Mangwana told the meeting Copac needed US$6 million to finish the remaining stages of making the new constitution.
"Money has to be found and in fact money is there but (Minister) Biti is just trying to delay the process.
"The President was not aware of some of these issues because he was advised that money was there yet there was no money. He (President Mugabe) promised to take up the matter," he said.
On the issue of Cde Tracy Mutinhiri, Cde Gumbo said: "What is Tracy Mutinhiri? She is a non event for the Politburo. She is just an ordinary card carrying member of the party and if she wants to join the MDC, the
Politburo will not be worried and the President will not be worried."
Some Zanu-PF members and war veterans have threatened to repossess Cde Mutinhiri's Marondera farm, accusing her of supporting MDC-T.
They allege that Cde Mutinhiri voted alongside MDC-T legislators in the election to choose the Speaker of the House of Assembly.