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I don't see peaceful Zim polls - Khama

15 February 2013, 15:21

Cape Town – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s most outspoken high-level African critic Ian Khama has expressed doubt over the possibility of peaceful elections in Zimbabwe, saying those responsible for the "brutality and intimidation" of 2008 remained in place and ready to act, according to a Business Day report.

"All I can say ... is that I hope there will be a credible election.… The reason I say ‘hope’ is because all the people who were involved in the brutality and intimidation that took place back then are still there today," he said.

"I have not seen any evidence that they have changed their attitude towards trying to ensure that Zanu-PF will emerge victorious."

Zimbabwe will vote on a new constitution on 16 March and hold crunch elections in July, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said this week, setting a timetable that will decide the fate of  president Mugabe.

"So I think that they [Zanu-PF loyalists] are still capable of trying to engage in intimidation, deploying the security services to bring that about … telling the people in the security services how they should vote. The potential for that is still there."

He said he would urge his Southern African Development Community colleagues to send an election monitoring team well before the polls "so that you can monitor all the kinds of things that went wrong before the election last time and give comfort to the citizens, to be able to go about their political campaigning knowing observers are there."

Khama said the Zimbabwean authorities should be persuaded to drop their objections to international observers.

- News24


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