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  • Christine Chumbler
    Mar 3 7:22 AM
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      Observer team to get to Zim 'as soon as possible'

      Pretoria



      01 March 2005 01:34

      The Southern African Development Community (SADC) hoped to speedily set up a team to observe Zimbabwe's March 31 elections, South Africa's Deputy Foreign Minister, Aziz Pahad, said on Tuesday.

      South Africa, as chair of SADC's organ on politics, defence and security, has sent letters to member countries asking for nominations for the observer mission.

      The team would not be limited to observing the actual elections, but would also be tasked with ensuring that conditions were conducive for a free and fair poll, Pahad told reporters in Pretoria.

      The team's departure date would "depend on the capacity of the [SADC] secretariat to get the delegation ready". Its size would be determined by available resources.

      As to South Africa's own participation, Pahad said the country has been invited to observe the Zimbabwean poll in at least five different capacities.

      It has been invited as a member of SADC, as chairperson of the organ on politics, defence and security, and as a neighbouring country. The ruling African National Congress has also been asked to send an observer team, while Parliament has set up a multi-party delegation.

      The Cabinet was expected to discuss on Wednesday how the country would approach the matter and how many teams to send.

      "We hope to get them there as soon as possible," Pahad said.

      He added that the Zimbabwean government has not objected to any of the SADC observer team's mandates, and it was expected to be allowed to deal with complaints from all political camps. - Sapa

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      Mugabe predicts crushing defeat for Moyo

      Harare



      01 January 2002 12:00

      Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday said his former protégé and information minister Jonathan Moyo would be clobbered in this month's key parliamentary vote, which he is contesting independently.

      "The real Tsholotsho does not belong to this man," Mugabe said, referring to the western constituency which doubles up as Moyo's native region and is home to the country's Ndebele people, the second largest ethnic group after the majority Shonas.

      "The chiefs there don't even know him. When we asked the chiefs they said: 'We do not know this man. You are the ones who brought him to us saying he will represent the party'," Mugabe said at the funeral of a former minister in Harare.

      Mugabe, a Shona, dismissed Moyo, the architect of Zimbabwe's tough media laws, on February 19 following his decision to register as an independent candidate for key parliamentary elections on March 31, which will be closely watched as a test of Zimbabwe's commitment to hold a free and fair vote.

      Zimbabwe's ruling party has barred Moyo from contesting in the ballot as a candidate for Tsholotsho after he attended an unsanctioned meeting which allegedly went against Mugabe's directive for party leaders to nominate a woman as one of the two vice-presidents.

      Mugabe, who has started to use funerals as political platforms to attack his critics, called on Harare residents to "think again" and vote for his Zimbabwe African National African Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) party.

      "In Harare if you had changed and said you now belonged to [British Prime Minister Tony] Blair, you should change again," Mugabe told thousands of mourners, targetting once again the British leader, one of his pet hates.

      All the seats in Harare were won by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in Zimbabwe's 2000 parliamentary elections.

      "You are Zimbabweans ... you belong to Zimbabwe, which was brought by the blood of our heroes lying here and others scattered throughout the country," Mugabe said.

      "Should we give it away to sellouts here in Harare? This is our capital city. You are sons and daughters of revolutionaries...

      "What wrong have we done you? Harare ... think again, think again, think again." - Sapa-AFP
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