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  • Talks, dialogue, negotiations and GNU - Post June 2008 "elections" - Index of articles

  • Party leaders fail to agree – Bill Watch Special 20/2009
    January 20, 2009

    Yesterday’s meeting between the three party leaders ended without agreement having been reached

    The principals to the Inter-Party Agreement met yesterday under the auspices of a delegation chaired by President Motlanthe, SADC Chairman, President Guebuza of Mozambique, Deputy Chairman of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security and former South African President Thabo Mbeki, the facilitator in the Zimbabwe Inter-Party Dialogue. The meeting started at midday and went on for 12 hours.

    SADC Executive Secretary Salomao told a press briefing afterwards that the meeting was “not conclusive” and that President Motlanthe would report back to an extraordinary SADC Summit to be held early next week. He said the emergency summit would discuss Tsvangirai's demands. "After then, a public statement will be made," Salomao said. The SADC meeting is scheduled for Monday 26th in either Johannesburg or Gaborone.

    Outline of what took place

    The meeting with the SADC delegation was preceded by a meeting of Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai, in which it was reported off the record that Mr Tsvangirai raised the issues of abductions and the detention of members of the MDC and civil society. The principals then met with the SADC delegation. The question of the violence against MDC was again raised. There was no response from SADC on this issue.

    SADC proposed agreement

    The SADC delegation brought with them a proposed agreement for signature by the three principals [Below] based on the decision of the SADC meeting of 9th November 2008 – in spite of the fact that MDC had said it did not accept this decision and that SADC had not at this meeting facilitated a mutually acceptable position.

    It should be noted that the SADC proposal in no way takes on board the MDC-T position which they have maintained since September that outstanding matters must be settled before the formation of the Inclusive Government. It has taken on board Mr Mugabe’s position that outstanding issues be settled after the Inclusive Government is formed.

    The SADC proposal would make provision for Mr Tsvangirai to be sworn in by 24th January, before the Government has been formed. The suggestion of leaving provincial governors in place until a vacancy occurs is against what was agreed in the MoU and gives ZANU-PF a majority in the Senate. To leave conflict resolution to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee which according the IPA would only meet “from time to time” and has no effective power, in the face of outstanding differences, is of dubious practical value.

    Mr Mugabe and Mr Mutambara according to the state press and ‘leaked” reports indicated that they were happy with the proposal and prepared to sign it. Mr Mugabe blamed Mr Tsvangirai for the breakdown in the talks, but did concede that the talks would continue.

    Mr Tsvangirai did not agree to the SADC proposals, but put forward proposals of his own [Attached] which Mr Salomao said the SADC summit would consider. Mr Tsvangirai went on to say "For us as the MDC, this is probably the darkest day of our lives.” He reiterated that the MDC was committed to the deal, but only if Mr Mugabe cedes control of powerful ministries, such as home affairs, finance and information.

    Agreement among the Zimbabwe political leaders on the implementation of the "agreement between the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the two Movement for Democratic Change formations, on resolving the challenges facing Zimbabwe" (hereinafter referred to as "the agreement")

    After consultations held in Harare, Zimbabwe, on 19 January 2009, the Principals hereby agree to the following:

    1. Proceed immediately with the formation of the Inclusive Government as prescribed in the Agreement
    2. To support the adoption of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment 19 at the sitting of Parliament on Tuesday 20 January 2009
    3. To swear-in the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers by 24 January 2009 and thereafter proceed to appoint ministers
    4. The MDC-T shall submit a draft Bill on the National Security Council for consideration by the Parties by 24 January 2009
    5. At the end of the contract of the incumbent Governors or should vacancies arise, the posts will be shared amongst the Parties, according to agreed formula
    6. The allocation of ministerial portfolios shall be reviewed six (6) months after the inauguration of the Cabinet as per the decision of the Sadc Extraordinary Summit held in Sandton, South Africa, on 9 November 2008.
    7. Outstanding issues raised by MDC-T shall be dealt with:

    In terms of Article XXII, Paragraph 22.4 of the Agreement, which states:

    "Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) shall be the principal body dealing with the issues of compliance and monitoring of this Agreement and to that end, the Parties hereby undertake to channel all complaints, grievances, concerns and issues relating to the compliance with this Agreement through JOMIC and to refrain from any conduct which might undermine the spirit of co-operation necessary for the fulfilment of this Agreement"; and/or by the Inclusive Government after its formation.

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