I don't see peaceful Zim polls - Khama
15 February 2013, 17:08
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
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.