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The timeless election roadmap
The Sunday Mail
May 27, 2011

View this on the Sunday Mail website

Introduction

1. At the SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government held in Windhoek on the 17th of August, 2010, it was resolved, among other things, that the inclusive government and political parties should "find an uninterrupted path to free and fair elections and the removal of all impediments to the same."

2. Pursuant to this, the parties that were signatories to the Global Political Agreement assigned their negotiators to draw up a roadmap defining milestones and signposts that must be executed and implemented before the next election.

3. These milestones and signposts include the lifting of sanctions, the constitutional process, media reform, electoral reform, rule of law, freedom of association and assembly, legislative agenda and the actual election.

4. The party's negotiators, comprising of Nicholas Goche and Patrick Chinamasa of Zanu-PF, Priscilla Mushonga and Moses Mzila Ndlovu of MDC and Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma, met in Harare on the 4th, 6th, 7th, 20th and 21st of April 2011 and crafted the roadmap as illustrated below.

5. Please note that those activities highlighted in bold and shaded represent areas of deadlock among the political parties.

6. For the purposes of this document, the MDC formation led by Mr M. Tsvangirai will be referred to as the MDC T and that led by Prof W. Ncube as MDC N.

ISSUE ACTIVITY TIME ACTION BY
A. SANCTIONS i) Lobby for the removal of sanctions
ii) Re-engagement committee to be reactivated
iii) SADC to implement its numerous resolutions on Zimbabwean sanctions, in particular the resolution from the SADC summit held in
Windhoek in August 2010
  i) Re-engagement
Committee
ii) SADC
B. CONSTITUTION i) Thematic Committees
ii) Drafting
iii) Second all-stakeholders' conference
iii) Stakeholders
iv) Parliament
iv) Parliament
v) Referendum
v) ZEC
vi) Parliament
vii) Presidential Assent
  i) Copac
ii) Political parties
C. MEDIA REFORM i) Appointment of new board of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation
ii) Appointment of a new board
for the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe iii) Licensing of new broadcasters
iv) Appointment of new trustees for the Mass Media Trust
v) Establish the media council of Zimbabwe vi) Call upon the governments that are hosting and/or funding external radio stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe to cease such hosting and funding
vii) Encourage Zimbabweans running or working for external radio stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe to return to Zimbabwe
viii) Hate speech
to direct State media to support all agreed Government programmes
and put a stop to attacks against ministers implementing such programmes
  i) Political parties
ii) Government
iii) Media Commission
v) Principals (defined to mean, wherever it appears in this document, the presidents of political parties)
v) Government
D. ELECTIONAL REFORM i)Enactment of agreed electoral amendments
ii)Voter education (iii)Mobilisation for voter registration
iv)Preparation of new voters' roll
v) Inspection of voters' roll vi) The staffing of ZEC a) the staff of ZEC to be recruited afresh by the new Commission (MDC T)
b) ensure non-partisanship and transparency in the recruitment of ZEC staff
c) there should be no changes of ZEC staff Determination of the suitability is the responsibility of the commission (Zanu-PF)

Immediate i) Principals
ii) ZEC
iii) Registrar-General
iv) Political parties
v) Stakeholders
vi) Citizens
vii) Parliament
viii) The media
E. RULE OF LAW i) Consistent with the Principals
i) Agreement of 8th June 2010,
their a commitment under articles 11 and 13 of the GPA. There will be meetings of principals with the Attorney-General, Commissioner General of the Police, Heads of other security and intelligence institutions to ensure full commitment to operate in a non-partisan manner consistent with the GPA

ii) Public statement
a) Instruct the security forces to issue a public statement that they will unequivocally uphold the constitution and respect the rule of law in the lead- up to and following any election or referendum (MDC formations)
b) This is not an election matter. Political parties have no right to direct uniformed forces to issue political statements (Zanu PF)

iii) Violence
a) End military and police abuse of the rule of law and end all state-sponsored violence (MDC formations)
b) We have no knowledge of abuse and state-sponsored/sanctioned violence and we invite such evidence to be made available (Zanu PF)

iv) Deployment
a) There should be demilitarisation soldiers and other security personnel have been unlawfully deployed in the country and should thus be sent back to the barracks (MDC-T)
b) Redeployment of military personnel to barracks (MDC N)
We deny that there are serving members of the military doing political work and we invite evidence to be made available. We protest to the word 'demilitarisation'. It is a war term that is not applicable even in the circumstances as alleged by the MDC formations (Zanu PF)

The intelligence
a) enact an Act of Parliament regulating the operations of the CIO (MDC T)
b) this is an election issue as referred to and covered under article XIII (1) of the GPA which reads as follows "State organs and institutions do not belong to any political party and should be impartial in their duties", (MDCN)
c) This issue is neither a GPA one nor an election issue and is being raised as an attack
on the institution. The issue fails to be resolved in the constitution-making process (Zanu-PF)

vi) Put in place or enhance the mechanism and framework to ensure accountability of the policy Commission and compliance with article of the Public Service Commission and compliance with article XIII (1) of the GPA.

   
F. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION AND FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY i) a. Meeting of the Principals with the Commissioner General of Police
b. Meeting of Negotiators with the Commissioner General of Police
ii) POSA
a. Amend POSA so as to tighten it against a discretion and abuse and to bring it in line with commitments within the GPA and the constitution (MDC T)
b. Review POSA in light of the current abuse by police (MDC N)
We need to know the nature of the proposed amendments before we can comment. The current POSA was amended in 2007 by all political parties
through negotiation and provides a sound legal framework for regulating
and assemblies (Zanu-PF)
  i) Political Parties
H. ACTUAL ELECTION i Delimitation of constituencies
ii Presidential proclamation in consultation with the Prime Minister
iii Nomination of candidates
iv Printing of ballot papers
v Polling
vi Announcement of election results
vii Activation of liaison committees
particularly at local level
viii. Monitors
a. Presence of SADC and other African monitors six months after the elections. (MDC-T)
b. Implement SADC Organ Troika's Resolutions made in Livingstone on the 31st of March 2011 in respect of
which three SADC appointed officers are to be deployed in Zimbabwe to work with Jomic (MDC-N)
c. Observation of elections must be in accordance with
the agreed amendments to the Electoral Act (ZANU-PF).

   

All points in bold signify outstanding issues between the three political parties.

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