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  • Politicians, put your words into action!
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    October 19, 2010

    Ululation and whistling penetrated the hot, dry day. Hoards of Zimbabweans, from all walks of life descended upon the streets of Harare headed for the regal Rainbow Towers to witness the great occasion. To the hopeful Zimbabweans, 15 September 2008 signified the broken impasse and for the first time in many years, a ray of hope shone on the faces of those gathered. Most believed that Zimbabwe was on the road to economic and political recovery.

    More than two years after the historic day, a dark shadow stands between the dreams of the majority and the reality which confronts them. The impasse, which resulted in a five month break between signing of the agreement and swearing in of the inclusive government, remains. Political parties signatory to the September 2008 agreement, ZANU PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations are stuck in a whirlwind of negotiations, counter-negotiations, accusations and counter- accusations. ZANU PF has continuously betrayed the people by adamantly refusing to play its part in the implementation of the agreement and recklessly claiming that the agreement is not part of the constitution and as such is inconsequential. The reason for ZANU PF's non- implementation of provisions of the GPA has been around the cliché that the MDC should remove targeted sanctions imposed over the past decade, before the party budges to any reforms.

    It is a fact which ZANU PF intentionally ignores that targeted sanctions or restrictive measures were not put in place by the MDC but by autonomous states with the right to self- determination. These measures were put in place as a result of the internal sanctions imposed by the former ruling government on their people through the enactment of repressive laws and the stifling of dissenting voices as well as acts of violence against perceived opponents. The failure by the then ZANU PF led government to uphold fundamental freedoms of citizens and the disrespect of the rule of law ultimately led to the introduction of targeted sanctions. It is thus not the sole responsibility of the MDC to advocate for the lifting of these measures but the responsibility of the inclusive government to ensure that reforms are put in place and fundamental freedoms respected. ZANU PF should not continue using the 'sanctions' mantra to deprive the nation of much needed reforms. While the party is blaming the continued existence of targeted sanctions on the MDC, elements within ZANU PF continue instigating violence against innocent civilians and negating the rights of the majority. Surprisingly, ZANU PF wants targeted sanctions to be lifted for reforms to take place yet the party has continuously advocated for 'local solutions to local problems'. So why wait for the lifting of restrictive measures to fully implement the GPA?

    Contrary to claims by ZANU PF, amendment 19 is part of the constitution and as such every provision should be upheld and respected. The ZANU PF Spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo was quoted in the party's mouthpiece, The Herald of 14th of October 2010 as saying, 'President Mugabe and ZANU PF are committed to the GPA and have always been adhering to its principle and dictates'. If events of the past two years are anything to go by, it is evident that ZANU PF grossly misrepresents facts. The political party has breached most of the provisions outlined in the agreement including the swearing in of the Deputy Minister of Agriculture designate, Roy Bennett, swearing in of governors and ambassadors and dismantling of all instruments of violence controlled by the party among other issues. The re-deployment of ambassadors and extension of terms of provincial governors are cases in point of the insincerity of the political party. Statements which are continuously churned out through The Herald and other ZANU PF controlled media outlets show how the MDC is considered as a place holder in the government with no significant power to make key decisions.

    The inclusive government should be cognisant of the fact that the role of any well meaning government is to maintain social order, protect its citizens and property. In defining the role of government, John Stuart Mill (1861) stated that 'security of person and property, and equal justice between individuals, are the first needs of society and the primary ends of government...'.The inclusive government of Zimbabwe is doing a great disservice to citizens of the country by failing to fully implement the GPA which is key in ushering in democratic imperatives and in ensuring security of persons and property and equality before the law among other reforms. There is need for parties to the agreement particularly ZANU PF to look beyond their political differences and power struggles and end the apparent impasse. Without revisiting their priorities and putting the needs of Zimbabweans first, the inclusive government would have failed the nation and ruptured any hopes of socio-economic and political resuscitation.

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