Movement for Democratic Change legislator Eddie Cross yesterday said there is no way Zimbabwe’s economy will recover unless it holds free, fair and credible elections.
He said the consequences for failing to hold free and fair elections will be severe because the international community will react with anger.
He told Parliament: “They have the started to put their trust in our new Government and I believe that trust is justified because I know the man who is making those undertakings. If we as a nation fail to deliver these undertakings to our people, I fear for the future for every young person in Zimbabwe.”
Cross said there had been a lot of interest in Zimbabwe since President Emmerson Mnangagwa took over.
He was not liked by a lot of people but he was sincere about having free and fair elections.
“I believe the President; Hon. E.D Mnangagwa understands that perfectly, because he has been saying this for a long time now,” Cross said.
“I remember in 2017, about the middle of the year, when I had a conversation with him and he said to me we have to have a free and fair election.
“I was shocked because I felt that he had little chance of winning a free and fair election because he is opposed by everybody; G40, Joyce Mujuru, now the Mugabes, MDC and despite that, he has stuck to his guns and I respect him for that enormously.
“You can see the reaction of the international community already. “
Full speech below:
HON. CROSS: Mr. Speaker Sir, I thought this afternoon I would make emphasis on the fact. I heard you on the radio this morning emphasising the importance of a free and fair election in 2018. What I want to do in just a few minutes is to tell this National Assembly why this is important. Zimbabwe has been in isolation for nearly 17 years. We have been subjected to restrictions from the Americans for the same period of time. The principal motivation of the international community in maintaining these restrictions has been the fact that they have, year after year, election after election declared, that our elections were not free and fair for one reason or another.
I think that we have to recognise that we simply cannot put our economy back on its feet if we do not have a legitimate Government. Zimbabwe today has external obligations exceeding $11 billion and domestic obligations exceeding $7 billion. Combined, this is $18 billion. This debt hangs over us and simply too much for us to manage.
THE HON. SPEAKER: Order, order. Hon. Mliswa and a few others, reduce your voices. This Bill affects everyone here present. So, please listen.
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