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  • Inclusive government - Index of articles
  • Spotlight on inclusive government: It's not working - Index of articles

  • Crisis Coalition statement on the political discord in the inclusive government
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    October 26, 2009

    The Inclusive Government's role is like that of Biblical Moses whose main agenda was to free the Israelites from slavery, bondage and oppression in Egypt to the Promised Land. This is what Zimbabweans expect from this transitional authority.

    Nothing more, nothing less.

    The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition wishes to categorically make it abundantly clear that it is concerned with the state of affairs in the Inclusive Government. The decision by one of the partners, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to disengage from cohabitation with ZANU PF was inevitable and inescapable. ZANU PF's intransigent nature has impeded the full democratization of the State by failing to deliver on the critical aspects which led to the signing of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the formation of this union in February 2009.

    The Coalition condemns in the strongest of terms the failure by the three political parties especially ZANU PF to fulfill without any equivocation the provisions of the GPA especially critical issues that speak to returning Zimbabwe to democratic legitimacy through free and fair elections that are not subject to disputations by political contestants and other stakeholders in civil society.

    It is the view of the Coalition that failure to implement critical issues such as media reforms, reform of the security services sector, transitional justice and the full democratization of the electoral and political environment that led to the sham and violent June 2008 Presidential election are not dealt with through institutional reforms via an inclusive and democratic constitutional making process, Zimbabwe can slide back to anarchy.

    These are the issues that the Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe through the three principals must urgently address for the country to achieve democratic consolidation.

    In this regard, the Coalition wishes to point out that the decision by the MDC to disengage from a union that seeks to restore Zimbabwe to its past glory is congruent to the wishes and expectations of democratic forces that expect to see a democratic Zimbabwe premised on the rule of law.

    In future, the MDC should desist from its earlier pronouncements that things were working well in the Inclusive Government while the speed, spirit and zeal of political reforms based on the GPA was too slow and when it is clear every day that ZANU PF is not committed to the implementation of the GPA.

    The Coalition also wants to remind all parties to the GPA that the Inclusive Government is a transitional authority which by its very nature is temporary with a clear mandate to lead Zimbabwe to the Promised Land where all citizens live in harmony, in an environment where human rights and the rule of law are endowed in the national psyche.

    Zimbabwe is slowly becoming a stalled transition because of the failure of the Inclusive Government to fulfill its mandate as pronounced in the GPA. In the past month, the country has even witnessed some measure of democratic reversals in the media where the Minister of Information and Publicity Webster Shamhu and his permanent secretary George Charamba respectively continue to unduly and unlawfully interfere with the operations of public companies such as Zimpapers by appointing board of directors outside the provisions of the Company's Act.

    Another clear example that ZANU PF through Shamu and Charamba are not ready to implement the GPA through democratizing the media is the decision to appoint discredited former chairperson of the defunct Media and Information Commission (MIC), Tafataona Mahoso to chair the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ). These incremental democratic reversals by ZANU PF emissaries should worry the people of Zimbabwe because they indicate that ZANU PF is not interested in bringing a new value system. Without creating democratic institutions through a new constitutional order, the transitional authority would have failed. As a civil society organization, The Coalition implores upon the MDC not to be taken for a ride by ZANU PF and insist on total compliance to what was agreed and signed in the GPA.

    The Coalition stresses that;

    i) Zimbabweans from all walks of life are banking on the success of the inclusive government to bring economic, political and social stability to the country. This can only be achieved by ensuring full implementation of the Global Political Agreement and ensuring that all outstanding issues are dealt with expeditiously.

    ii) The executive authority of the inclusive government vests in the President, Prime Minister and Cabinet according to Article 20 of the GPA and not in the President alone. However, President Mugabe unitarily re-appointed Attorney General, Johannes Tomana and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Gideon Gono without consulting other players in the inclusive government.

    iii) Article 5.9 of the GPA on the Land Question states that, 'The Parties hereby agree to conduct a comprehensive, transparent and non-partisan land audit, during the tenure of the Seventh Parliament of Zimbabwe, for the purpose of establishing accountability and eliminating multiple farm ownerships . . . .and to work together for the restoration of full productivity on all agricultural farms'. 8 months after the consummation of the inclusive government, the land audit is still pending while fresh farm invasions which began on the 13th of February 2009 persist. According to the General Agricultural Plantation Workers' Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), since February 2009, almost 25 farms have been invaded, displacing 1,325 families in the process .

    iv) Article 6 of the GPA on the constitution gives a clear timeline on the constitution making process however; minimal progress has been recorded over the past eight months. Moreover, the process remains shrouded in secrecy with the Parliamentary Select Committee failing to outline clearly the state of the constitution making process.

    v) Article 11 speaks to the adherence to the rule of law. Selective application of the law punctuated by the continued arrests and trials of members of the MDC on unsubstantiated charges remains a key feature of this transitional authority. The recent arrest of Deputy Agriculture Minister designate, Roy Bennett is clear testimony of the selective application of the law.

    vi) Article 17 puts in place a legislative agenda which highlights the need to put in place laws which ensure the entrenchment of democratic values and practices. Repressive laws including the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), Criminal Law and Codification Act, Interception of Communications Act and the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) have, thus far not been repealed and are still used to curtail fundamental freedoms particularly the Freedoms of Association and Expression.

    vii) Article 19 on Freedom of Expression and Communication clearly states that the public media shall provide balanced and fair coverage while room shall be created for the registration of media houses to ensure diversity which is fundamental in any democracy. The public media, particularly The Herald and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation (ZBC) remains bent on churning out hate speech and denigrating the MDC and civil society. In recent weeks, the public media has reiterated its long held and unsubstantiated view that the MDC and civil society organizations are projects of the American government aimed at effecting regime change in Zimbabwe. Additionally, the Zimpapers stable with the blessing of The Ministry of Information and Publicity launched two newspapers in Harare and Gweru; the Harare Metro and Gweru Chronicle respectively while the same Ministry is denying the licensing of private newspapers such as The News Day and The Daily News.

    viii) Article 20 on the Framework for a new government provides for the swearing in of Ministers and their deputies and the installation of Governors and Ambassadors. To this end, the government is yet to swear in the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Roy Bennett who is facing trumped up charges of banditry and sabotage arising from alleged possession of weapons. Despite clear provisions enshrined in both The Zimbabwean Constitution and regional and international treaties clearly stating that a person is innocent until proven guilty, President Mugabe and ZANU PF justified Bennett's pending appointment by insinuating that he is guilty of a crime and thus cannot be sworn in.

    In light of the above, The Coalition demands that;

    The government, especially President Mugabe and ZANU PF adhere to provisions outlined in the GPA by ensuring;

    i) That the swearing in of Deputy Agriculture Minister designate Roy Bennett takes place as a matter of urgency.

    ii) The immediate cessation of farm invasions and a thorough land audit to ensure equitable and non-partisan land distribution

    iii) Reversal of illegal appointments of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor and Attorney General in violation of the GPA.

    iv) An inclusive, transparent and accountable constitution making process

    v) Observance of the rule of law by all arms of government especially the police service/state security agents

    vi) Repeal of all repressive laws including AIPPA and POSA

    vii) A vibrant media environment where the media, especially the State-controlled public media reports in a non-partisan and balanced manner

    viii) Promotion of media diversity and plurality

    ix) A peaceful political environment in Zimbabwe free from violence and military involvement in political campaigns and processes

    x) The disbanding of vigilante groups such as the Youth Militias

    The Coalition further urges the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU), as the guarantors of the GPA to impress upon ZANU PF to make sure that the GPA is totally complied with.

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