MDC wants Zambia to speak out for a clean poll in ZimbabweBy MICHAEL CHAWE in Lusaka | Sunday, August 12 2012 at 11:52
Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change Friday sought southern neighbour Zambia’s to assistance in ensuring a “smooth transition of power” after elections likely to take place in 2013.
Having undergone its own flawless power transition in September last year, Zambia could emerge as a possible power-broker in Zimbabwe in the event of a power stalemate.
MDC deputy leader Thokozani Khupe was in Lusaka where he held talks with, among others, Zambia’s Vice-President Guy Scott.
“We don’t want a repeat of the 2008.Whoever wins the next election is allowed to run the country, so that we go through a smooth transition of power like what happened here in Zambia. There’s freedom, peace and stability in your country,” Mr Khupe told journalists after meeting Mr Scott.
Free and fair
It is unlikely the Zimbabwe elections will come before 2013, but President Robert Mugabe's supporters want them earlier partly over concern that the 87-year-old president may not cope with the pressure of campaigning.
“Our plea to the Zambian government is that we want them to assist us by speaking out …so that we the people of Zimbabwe have a free and fair election because we don’t want an election for the sake of it.
"We want an election which is going to be legitimate; an election which was going to be free and fair, and more importantly an election which is going to respect the will of the people,” the MDC leader said.
Zambia Foreign Affairs Minister Given Lubinda said the MDC appeal was 'legitimate".
MDC is resisting President Mugabe's demands for early polls, insisting that reforms be carried out first.
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Beyond the ballot