On February 3 the Anglican bishop of Harare, Peter Hatendi
, resigned as chairman of the Electoral Supervisory Commission.The government had, he
claimed, refused to pay any heed to his
demands that registration be taken away from the Registrar-General who, he
said lacks any credibility, and that the election be delayed until after June in order to allow a new register to be drawn up.Moreover, he
pointed out, the ESC had not been given anything like the budget required to monitor the election.In addition, there are real fears that the fuel crisis will have grave practical implications for the logistics of the election.
Such considerations led the powerful justice minister, Emmerson Mnangagwa, to announce in late December that the election would have to be delayed.The president immediately countermanded him, insisting that the election would go ahead in March, a date later shifted to the second week of April.At the time, Mugabe's urgent insistence on an early election seemed motivated by a wish to get the election over before the economic crisis worsened and further boosted the burgeoning MDC.The arguments for a delayed election are being heard again following the referendum defeat.