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Coalition statement on the political discord in the inclusive government
in Zimbabwe Coalition
October 26, 2009
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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;
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
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
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
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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