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  • Statement on the implementation of the Inter-Party Political Agreement (IPA)
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    March 19, 2010

    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition registers its deep concern over the failure by the three political parties, ZANU PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations signatory to the September 2008 Inter-Party Political Agreement (IPA) to fully implement the agreement more than one year after its consummation. Although the political parties made commitments in the agreement that they would implement the agreement in full, little progress has been made particularly in the democratisation of the country. What is of concern to civil society are statements by some political players that elections would be held in 2011 yet no progress has been made in creating a conducive environment for such.

    The following are cause for deep concern;

    1. Nothing has been done with regards to transitional justice issues as provided for in Article 18 of the IPA on the Security of Persons and Prevention of Violence. Zimbabweans continue to live in fear and a culture of impunity stills persist particularly within ZANU-PF. Attacks by ZANU PF supporters on perceived opponents have been reported in Epworth, Chegutu, Masvingo, Matebeland North, Matebeleland South and Manicaland. Harassment of members of civic groups still continues unabated. The National Healing process as envisaged in Article 7 of the GPA is not making any progress to heal those who rights were violated with a view of reconciling societies.

    2. The constitutional reform process has met with stubbornly retarded progress. The process has been a victim of the tug of war politics between the three political parties over the financing of the exercise, the threat of violence against outreach teams, lousy cooperation from police among other issues. The process has already missed important deadlines and there is no indication this all important endeavour will be completed within the time frame enunciated in the IPA.

    3. Legislative reforms, which were supposed to be at the top of the inclusive government's agenda, are still far from being carried out. Repressive laws such as Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) designed to stifle opposition and close all democratic space are yet to be repealed. Instead, and contrary to the letter and spirit of GPA, the police have over the past months intensified the use of these draconian laws by arresting MDC supporters and other activists.

    4. The continued making of unilateral decisions and intransigence that undermine inclusivity by one of the parties and principles to the IPA ZANU-PF and President Mugabe in direct contravention of the terms of the agreement. Examples of this include the allocation of ministerial duties, promulgation of regulations to effect the Indigenisation and Empowerment Law, the decision and subsequent declaration by ZANU-PF not to make concessions in the negotiations among other issues. Related to this is the failure to conduct a ministerial review six months after consummation of GPA as enshrined in the Agreement.

    Whereas Zimbabwe's two main political parties, ZANU PF led by President Robert Mugabe and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai have indicated that they are ready for elections, the political environment is far from ready. Of concern is that President Mugabe has already stated that the country would go to the polls in February 2011 when the lifespan of the inclusive government comes to an end, with or without a new constitution. This means Zimbabwe might go to another poll with the same skewed voter's roll, a partisan Electoral Commission (ZEC) and flawed Delimitations, repressive laws and a militarised political environment - all ingredients for another contested electoral outcome. What this simply means is that the same old politics that led Zimbabwe to where it is today will be repeated and lives lost to politically motivated violence.

    In light of this embarrassingly slow progress, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition calls upon the mediator, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, who is currently in Zimbabwe, and the Southern Africa Development Committee (SADC) to do the following;

    1. Tighten screws among the signatories to the IPA and push for the full implementation of the IPA

    2. Put in place measures to compel parties in Zimbabwe's political Agreement to accelerate the constitution making process and make the finalisation of a new democratic constitution time fixed, and a precondition for the holding an election

    3. Demand the end to politically motivated violence by ZANU-PF and the bringing to book of all perpetrators of political violence

    4. Establish a "SADC IPA implementation monitoring team" permanently stationed in Zimbabwe reporting regularly on progress in Zimbabwe between now through the constitutional making exercise and the ultimate election. It is our view that because the parties have already started talking about elections, they have already engaged in an electioneering mode. Cognisant of the fact that the history of elections in Zimbabwe has been riddled with violence, it is imperative that SADC be more vigilant in the monitoring of the political processes in Zimbabwe in order to avoid another blood bath and a contested electoral outcome.

    5. The need to professionalize the security services sector and make sure that the security apparatus desist from taking part in partisan political processes.

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