26 January 2012
Harare — PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has all but given up on the implementation of the Global Political Agreement amid indications that some of the pact negotiators have grown weary after haggling over virtually the same issues since the coalition government was formed in 2009.
Some negotiators indicated that they felt let down by the GPA principals — President Robert Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara — for failing to deal with all the outstanding issues referred to them. Mutambara has refused to relinquish his position despite losing the MDC presidency to Welshman Ncube and remains a principal despite having no negotiators to brief him.
It has also come to the fore that the principals have not made any effort to tackle any of the outstanding issues referred to them by their negotiators, thereby prolonging the inclusive government crisis.
Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed to the Zimbabwe Independent that the principals had failed to find common ground on outstanding GPA issues, including the election roadmap, and said his boss felt it would be a waste of time dealing with grey areas when agreed items had not been implemented.
He said Tsvangirai was pushing for implementation of the 24 agreed positions in the election roadmap, but was facing resistance from Zanu PF ministers who are supposed to implement many of the agreed issues.
“We cannot deal with outstanding issues and the grey areas when we have not implemented the agreed positions,” said Tamborinyoka. “Why should we go to a mountain when there is a plain? As far as the prime minister is concerned, you can’t talk about the dark areas when the clear areas have not been fulfilled.”
“For example there are 24 issues, such as media reforms and issues to do with ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) which were agreed on, but never implemented. There is massive resistance from Zanu PF ministers, and the most notorious is the minister of Media, Information and Publicity (Webster Shamu). There is unbridled arrogance from the minister and his officials.”
Shamu was tasked by the principals to reconstitute the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (Baz), but was yet to do so.
Tamborinyoka added: “Like the prime minister indicated in his end of year message, some Zanu PF ministers are refusing to take instructions and to implement agreed reforms. And at this point, we have no power to deal with them because each minister was appointed by their party and they report to their principal,” he said.
He said indications on the ground were that agreement on outstanding issues, such as security sector reforms, would be almost impossible given statements emanating from the president’s office.
“Even the promotion of (Major-General Douglas) Nyikayaramba, shows that it will be difficult to have security sector reforms,” Tamborinyoka said.
In August 2010, Sadc leaders gave the coalition government partners a 30-day ultimatum to implement the GPA, but to date none of the agreed issues have been implemented.
Agreed items included the process of the land audit and security of tenure, appointment of provincial governors,the appointment of the board of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe and the Mass Media Trust, hate speech, national heroes and issues of external interference, among others.
The principals had agreed at that time that the only three outstanding issues remained which were the appointment of Roy Bennett as deputy minister of Agriculture and the unilateral appointments of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, and they were going to be resolved in a month’s time.
However, Mugabe made a U-turn and refused to appoint governors from the MDC formations resulting in Tsvangirai taking the matter to court in November 2010. Mugabe has also refused to swear in Bennett and in a sign that the MDC-T had given up on the matter, the party appointed Seiso Moyo in Bennett’s place.
The land audit has also not been conducted, while Tomana and Gono have remained in office.
In the election roadmap, negotiators agreed on the need to reconstitute the Baz, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings and the Mass Media Trust boards, but Shamu has refused to cooperate.
The negotiators failed to agree on security sector reforms, staffing of ZEC and the appointment of a three-man Sadc team to work with Jomic and referred the matter to the principals.
The principals have not dealt with the issues although Mugabe and Zanu PF have made it clear that there would be no security sector reforms and tampering with the ZEC, which the MDC formations believe is staffed with state security agents.
Presidential spokesman George Charamba yesterday said negotiators were referring petty issues to the principals, adding that the time for them to be disbanded had come.
“Why do they think it’s easier for the principals to agree where they have failed?” asked Charamba.”In any case, they are referring petty issues to the principals (and) that’s why they have not looked at them. The principals know that there is one commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces who is responsible for the security sector.On the staffing of ZEC and other commissions, they know that is an issue of the executive of those commissions. Those are administrative issues which principals cannot be dealing with.”
Mutambara was reportedly out of the country and could not be reached for comment.
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