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Wither Zimbabwe-s Inclusive Government?
August 17, 2009
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It is almost
a year since the much heralded signing of the Global
Political Agreement, GPA between ZANU PF and the two MDC formations
and six months since the consummation of that agreement with the
formation of the inclusive government comprising the three signatory
parties to the accord. The southern African regional bloc SADC,
the guarantor for the settlement, set a timeline of six months to
review both the implementation of the GPA and the workability of
the inclusive government. It is therefore appropriate for us Zimbabweans
to undertake a non partisan debate of these entities ahead of the
regional summit. We should not be only recipients of edicts from
SADC but exercise our sovereign right as Zimbabweans to determine
what is in our best interests; irrespective of what regional leaders
say or think.
Lest we forget,
it would be instructive to revisit the Global Political Agreement
and put in context and in the proper perspective the circumstances
that necessitated it. This exercise is indispensable if we are not
to lose focus. The signing of the GPA raised unrealistic expectations
and lulled many into a sense of euphoria that wiped off the bitter
memories of the post
29 March 2008 Election aftermath. Mugabe and his Joint Operations
Command had unleashed a reign of terror, unprecedented since the
Gukurahundi, in a flagrant attempt at electoral rape and to reverse
Mugabe and ZANU PF-s setbacks in the 29 March 2008. It was
these tragic events, in clear violation of the provisions SADC-s
Organ on Politics, Defence and Security and electoral conduct that
triggered the signing of the GPA. In other words, the GPA and its
side-kick, the inclusive government, were a consequence of the failure
of democracy in Zimbabwe in general and in particular the denial
of the right for the people of Zimbabwe to exercise their will to
elect their representatives and leaders and political parties of
their choice in free and fair elections.
It is only logical
that the performance of both the GPA and the inclusive government
should be evaluated against the background of how much of the factors
that prompted them to life have been satisfactorily addressed. Any
other approach would be tantamount to the proverbial burying of
heads in the sand and adopting the 'see no evil, hear no evil
and speak no evil- approach. Otherwise we run the risk of
being saddled with a government that has neither legitimacy nor
a mandate from the people of Zimbabwe for the next five years, if
some of the recent comments by politicians are anything to go by.
Such a development would be a clear case of two steps forward and
three steps back yielding a net regression. Legitimacy of a government
derives from consent and not from regional edicts. Nor can political
parties confer legitimacy on a government formed without the people-s
consent. The inclusive government has therefore its task clearly
cut out; it should achieve the restoration of legitimate rule based
on a mandate of the people in the shortest practicable timeframe.
That is the inclusive government-s central task and its raison
d-être. All other issues, though important, take secondary
Some have argued
that the driving consideration in signing the GPA and in forming
the inclusive government was the overriding need to address the
humanitarian crisis, the collapsed economy, restoration of health,
education and service delivery and resuscitating the failed state.
Is it really conceivable that GPA and the inclusive government could
have come about in the first place, had the outcome of the 29 March
2008 election not been manipulated and had the electorate not been
bludgeoned into submission in the 27 June 2008 electoral run-off
charade? Through what justification and logic would the GPA and
the inclusive government be formed to speak to and address issues
that did not prompt them into existence in the first place? Or was
someone trying to take people for a ride? Important as these issues
may be, they are nothing more than presenting symptoms of the failure
of government much like tuberculosis, hair loss, loss of weight,
diarrhoea and skin disorders are presenting symptoms for HIV infection.
Are the medical practitioners more concerned about these symptoms
than the underlying cause for their expression? What would be the
rationale of paying attention to these symptoms that would only
reappear as long as the root cause remains un-addressed? Similarly,
focusing on the symptoms of the failure of government, without addressing
the underlying cause that engendered the crisis of government in
the first place, is contrary to common sense. It is indeed a exercise
in futility that will lead nowhere. What is the guarantee that when
these issues are prioritised there will be no relapse to the status
ante, given that the factors that generated them are still at play?
With Mugabe and his henchmen, who presided over Zimbabwe-s
collapse, remaining entrenched with the levers of control and power
firmly in their hands, it would be naive to rule out such an eventuality.
They have absolutely no incentive or motivation whatsoever to dictate
their own obituary, at least for now.
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