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Zimbabwe’s electoral charade

The Times, SA
Published:Feb 10, 2008

THE BEAT GOES ON: Police assault demonstrators who were calling for a new constitution in July last year in Harare. Zimbabwe, set to hold elections this year, has one of the worst human rights record in the world Picture: AP

The ruling elite in Zanu-PF have an interest in creating the appearance of an election taking place, so as to claim legitimacy

They forget that legitimacy is not principally about how you come to power, but rather the manner in which power is exercised

Zanu-PF will do anything to stay in power; it will even hold elections. Carefully stage-managed, of course. Abel Chikomo, Jonah Gokova, Primrose Matambanadzo, John Stewart and Pius Wakatama report

DESPITE the recent flux of new candidatures, new splits and fragmentations, some small new parties and endless rumours and speculation, the Zimbabwe elections set for March 29 can only be viewed as illegitimate. They need to be treated as such in advance of the actual poll.

The coming polls will be managed with military precision to make them appear like a real election, when they will in fact be a charade, paying lip service to the ideals of democratic elections.

The Zimbabwe regime is fond of acting through “operations”, such as the infamous Operation Murambatsvina (clean up rubbish) — the urban informal sector and informal housing demolition of 2005, which was significantly militarised. In Operation Maguta (we are satisfied), agricultural production was put under the command of the military, while Operation Chikorokodza Chapera (stamping out illegal exploitation of resources) was mainly directed at asserting state control (by military means) of the Marange and Chiadzwa diamond fields in the eastern province of Manicaland.

All these operations were conceived and carried out as a means to protect the ruling elite’s political power and, where possible, provide access to opportunities for enrichment. The election “operation” is no exception.

These operations and co-ordination efforts are carried out by the State Security Council, and the operational body, the Joint Operations Command, which meets weekly, and whose decisions become the policies implemented.

The reforming and removal of the political aspect of the security forces was an issue, during talks between Zimbabwean political parties facilitated by the SADC-mandated South Africa, which was met with little progress.

To determine the legitimacy of an election, one has to look at whether the various players are interested in conducting real elections, where voters are able to cast their votes , and are adequately informed and know the process, procedures, the issues and the candidates.

In a fair election, the electorate must feel free to vote without constraint or coercion, and be confident that their votes will be counted accurately, and that the poll results will correctly reflect the vote count.

The principles and guidelines of the SADC governing democratic elections clearly set out what is needed in terms of electoral institutions, and their functioning.

In Zimbabwe, opposition parties and candidates, including the two MDC formations and new entrant Simba Makoni, an “independent” from within Zanu-PF, would relish a real election with a campaign period which allows mass media access for all, political campaign meetings without constraints, and practical access to, and participation of, all eligible voters.

However, the ruling elite in Zanu-PF has a wholly different interest: the control of the state must not be allowed to pass out of their hands. The prospect of that happening is too ghastly for Zanu-PF to contemplate — entailing, as it would, the likely unravelling of its webs of corruption and criminal mismanagement, its privilege and wealth, and the investigation of the violence and repression it has visited upon the country.

Nevertheless, the ruling elite does have an interest in creating the appearance of an election taking place, so as to claim legitimacy.

But they forget that legitimacy is not principally about how you come to power, but rather the manner in which power is exercised.

And so, in Zimbabwe, formal institutions for elections have only been put in place to create the appearance of correct practice.

The composition and independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is questionable, for starters. Senior staff include serving or former military personnel, whose willingness to hold active and urgent voter education is very limited, and whose subservience to Mugabe’s government on, for example, the matter of inviting “friendly” election observers and monitors is clearly evident.

The registrar general’s office, which is responsible for the voter’s roll, is packed with ruling party activists who make it very difficult for individuals to confirm their status, for interested groups to check that deceased voters have been removed, and for new voters to register.

There is little confidence by the electorate in any of the institutions of state.

And confidence can’t simply be restored by the tepid technical voter education being carried out by the electoral commission (ZEC), which has declined assistance from highly skilled and professional organisations within the Zimbabwe Election Support Network.

Meanwhile, behind its attempt at a veil of legitimacy, Zanu-PF has worked to undermine any threat to its rule.

For example, the critical issue of allowing Zimbabweans living abroad (currently estimated at one third of the population) to vote has not been adequately addressed.

The Delimitation Commission has controversially amalgamated some urban and rural constituencies, and increased the number of rural constituencies in ruling party homelands without Parliament’s input.

The state has a broadcast monopoly and is jamming short-wave broadcasts into Zimbabwe by independent radio stations, and there is no independent daily newspaper.

The judicial system has a history of bias and extreme delays in electoral matters.

The state’s participation in the SADC- sponsored, South Africa-mediated talks with the opposition was characterised by bad faith: its provocative announcement of an election date without the consultation of other interested parties, and the refusal to further examine the question of a new constitution before the polls, compromised the mediation effort.

This was done despite the possibility that the chaos and confusion in the opposition may have presented the ruling elite with an opportunity to win a legitimate election.

But the party can’t risk it, and the conditions on the ground — including the state of the economy with the massive decline of agricultural and industrial production, the catastrophic crisis of employment, incomes and inflation — have created widespread discontent, antagonism and a desire for change.

The gradual, but now nearly total collapse of the education and health systems, the recent increase in electricity blackouts, the breakdown of urban water supply and sanitation, the crisis in the banking system, the tenuousness and inconstancy of telephone communications and the food shortages all militate against the successful holding of an election in March, unless it’s run as a military operation, hiding behind all the electoral institutions.

This is why it must be clear to all that this election won’t be legitimate, but instead an “election operation” whose real objective is to keep Zanu-PF in power.

It should be stated far and wide by SADC and African leaders that the holding of illegitimate elections is unacceptable, and is condemned in advance.

SADC governments and international observer groups need to be very clear that any monitoring presence needs to focus on the political context, the interests and the mechanisms of the election operation, rather than the mechanics of the election exercise.

Taking part in the elections may be a means of challenging the legitimacy of the technical aspects of the SADC guidelines but it may also contribute to legitimising the elections.

Nonetheless, all efforts to educate the electorate and encourage people to register and vote , should be commended, as there is a great need to recreate in the Zimbabwean people the notion that their vote may actually count.

But those running against Zanu-PF need to face the fact that the ruling party is immensely skilled in stage-managing elections and producing the results they need.

Mugabe’s former strategist Eddison Zvobgo said the following shortly before his death in 2004: “This regime will allow anything to go on, until it perceives that what is happening threatens its hold on power. Then it will act to neutralise that threat.”

Zanu-PF considers fair elections a threat to its hold on power, and the party has moved to neutralise this threat by turning the polls into a charade.

It’s necessary to unmask this agenda and insist on a process that actually creates the kind of institutions and the conditions that allow for a truly free and fair election.

The authors are activists in civil society, media and church organisations in Zimbabwe, but write here in their personal capacities

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Full launch statement from Simba Makoni

Nehanda Radio

08 February 2008

The full launch statement from Simba Makoni

Since the Extra Ordinary Congress of ZANU PF concluded its deliberations in
December 2007, there has been much publicity in the media and a lot of
discussion among citizens over my position in the forthcoming Parliamentary
and Presidential elections.

First let me confirm that I share the agony and anguish of all citizens,
over the extreme hardships that we have all endured for nearly ten years
now. I also share the widely held view that these hardships are a result of
failure of national leadership and that change at that level is a pre
requisite for change at other levels of national endeavour.

Further I shared the wish the hope and expectations of the overwhelming
majority of ZANU PF members and the nation at large that the Extra ordinary
Party Congress of December 2007 would usher in such change of leadership
needless to say I share the disappointment that followed the failure of
Congress in that regard.

Therefore following very extensive and intensive consultations with party
members and activists countrywide and also with others outside the Party I
have accepted the call and hereby advise the people of Zimbabwe that I offer
myself as candidate for the office of President of Zimbabwe, I the
forthcoming elections.

Let me affirm here, my faith in, and loyalty to the Party. I would very much
have wished to stand as its official candidate. Unfortunately, as we all
know, that opportunity was denied, to any other cadre who would have offered
himself or herself to serve the Party and country. Let me also affirm here,
my deeper faith in, and high loyalty to the whole nation of Zimbabwe which
deeper faith and higher loyalty have moved me to offer myself to this once
great country and still great people.

I also take this opportunity to urge all citizens who are eligible to vote,
to PLEASE REGISTER YOURSELVES, as voters and for those who have already
registered, to PLEASE VERIFY that you are on the correct voters' roll.


Simba Makoni
HARARE, 5th February 2007.

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The MDC unity agreement Tsvangirai refused to sign

New Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) split on October 12, 2005. Two factions, one led by Morgan Tsvangirai and another led by Arthur Mutambara, emerged. A second attempt to reunify the two factions collapsed on Sunday, February 3, after Tsvangirai's faction refused to endorse this unity agreement put together by the top 10 leaders on both sides:

Last updated: 02/10/2008 09:18:58
Last updated: 02/08/2008 20:21:51



Recalling that the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was founded on 12 September 1999 on the values of solidarity, justice, equality, freedom, transparency, humble and obedient leadership and accountability, with the broad objective of obtaining the mandate of the people of Zimbabwe to govern democratically.

Recognising that from 12 October 2005, differences emerged in the united MDC, resulting in the creation of two formations which culminated in one having a Congress in Bulawayo in February 2006 and the other in Harare in March 2006.

Fully aware of the issues that separated us on the 12th of October 2005 but nonetheless regretting the separation, the acrimony and disharmony that characterised the aftermath of the separation.

Greatly Pained by the continuing severe suffering of our people and the continued reduction in the quality of their lives.

Appreciating the strong national sentiment for the unity of democratic forces in confronting the violent and dictatorial ZANU PF government.

Acknowledging the cooperation and work we have done together in recent times.

Determined that the differences which divided us must be resolved and put aside so that we can work together in the national interest.

Now we the leaders of the MDC enter into this agreement.

1. Interpretation

(1) In this agreement the following terms have the following meanings
“MDC formation” or “formation” means the formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai and the formation led by Arthur Mutambara.

(2) “New Seat” means any seat not presently held by any of the MDC formations.


2.1 The MDC formations hereby set themselves the ultimate goal of reunification and accordingly hereby agree to reunite and to embark on a process that is defined in this agreement which will lead to reunification under and in terms of this agreement.

2.2 The MDC formations recognise that reunification will only be complete and final after the Reunification Congress described below.

2.3 The MDC formations recognise that pending the Reunification Congress this agreement will bind the parties during the transitional period from the signing of this agreement to the date of the Reunification Congress.


During the transition and thereafter the new MDC will at all times be bound by the following general principles and values:

a) respect for the equality of all persons without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, language, religion, political opinion and place of birth or origin;

b) respect for the inherent dignity of each and every person and in particular the right to life and bodily and mental safety free of all forms of violence and intimidation;

c) respect for human rights and in particular freedoms of expression, assembly, movement and the right to liberty and protection of the law;

d) respect for democratic principles and democratic discourse;

e) adherence to the principle of non-violence in the conduct of all political activity, including interaction between the two formations;

f) the pursuit of meaningful political change in Zimbabwe through democratic and peaceful, mass mobilisation and open, free and fair elections.


The MDC formations commit themselves to the goal of reunification and working together and supporting each other in accordance with the above values and principles to achieve the following objectives through the use of democratic and legitimate means –

(a) the replacement of tyrannical governmental and political structures in Zimbabwe by a new democratic order which creates a non-racist, non-tribalist, non-sexist and tolerant society which respects equally and fairly different ethnic, religious, cultural and political groups;

(b) the formulation, adoption and implementation of a new democratic constitution which should be agreed to through a consultative and transparent process;

(c) the formulation, adoption and implementation of a new electoral order in Zimbabwe which complies with democratic principles and international electoral standards on free and fair elections.

(d) the implementation of economic programmes that will address the national economic crisis which is characterised by high level of poverty and the collapse of the country’s social and infrastructure.


5.1 Transitional National Reunification Conference

5.1.1 There shall be a Transitional National Reunification Conference made up of the National Councils of both formations.

5.1.2 Meetings of the Transitional Reunification National Conference (TRNC) shall be chaired on an alternate basis by the National Chairpersons of the formations.

5.1.3 The Transitional Reunification National Conference (TRNC) shall meet once to adopt this agreement and to launch the new MDC, thereafter the TRNC may meet at the discretion of the Transitional Reunification National Standing/ Working Committee (TRNSWC) and in any event must meet at least once before the Reunification Congress.

5.2 Transitional Reunification National Executive

5.2.1 There shall be a Transitional Reunification National Executive (TRNE) composed of the National Executive Committees of the formations.

5.2.2 Meetings of the Transitional Reunification National Executive shall be chaired on alternate basis by National Chairpersons of the formations.

5.2.3 The Transitional Reunification National Executive shall meet at least twice year.

5.2.4 Meetings of the TRNE will be called or convened upon a resolution of the TRNSWC.

5.3 Transitional Reunification National Standing/Working Committee (TRNSWC)

5.3.1 There shall be a Transitional Reunification National Standing/Working Committee (TRNSWC) consisting of the National Standing Committee and the National Working/Strategy Committee of the two formations respectively.

5.3.2 The TRNSWC will be responsible for devising effective joint programmes, operations and joint political strategies.

5.3.3 Meetings of the TRNSWC shall be chaired on an alternate basis by the Presidents of the two formations.

5.3.4 The TNRSWC may give directions to the Coordinating Committee and any other committee and structure of the new MDC.

5.4 Sub Committees of the TRNSWC

5.4.1 The Coordination Committee There shall be a committee of the TRNSWC to be known as the Coordinating Committee which shall consist of the following

(a)The Presidents and Vice Presidents

(b) The National Chairpersons

(c) The Secretary Generals and the Deputy Secretary Generals

(d) The Treasurer Generals and the Deputy Treasurer Generals The Coordinating Committee shall be responsible for supervising the execution and implementation of all programmes and directions of the TRNE. The Coordinating Committee shall be chaired by the Presidents on alternate basis.

5.4.2 The Organising Committee There shall be an Organising Sub Committee which shall consist of:

(a) The National Organising Secretaries and their Deputies;

(b) The Chairpersons of the Women and Youth Assemblies;

(c) The National Organising Secretaries of the Assemblies of Youth and Women;

(d) Other members not exceeding four appointed by the TRNSWC. The function of the Organising Sub Committee shall be to supervise structures, conduct the integration or election of the structures of the new MDC and implement the outreach programmes of the new MDC as directed by the TRNSWC. The Organising Committee shall be chaired by the Organising Secretaries on an alternate basis.

5.4.3 The Election Sub Committee There shall be an Elections Sub Committee which shall consist of:

(a) The National Secretary of Elections and Director of Elections and their Deputies;

(b) The National Organising Secretaries and their Deputies;

(c) The National Organising Secretaries of the National Assemblies of Youth and Women;

(d) The Secretaries responsible for Policy and Research. The functions of the Elections Sub Committee will be to devise effective strategies for elections and to supervise and deal with all technical issues connected with the elections including the recruitment and training of election agents. The Sub Committee shall be chaired by the National Secretary and Director of Elections on an alternate basis.

5.4.4 The Finance and Fundraising Sub Committee There shall be a Finance and Fundraising Committee that shall consist of the following:

(a) The Treasurer Generals and the Deputy Treasurer Generals;

(b) The Secretary Generals and the Deputy Secretary Generals; The functions of the Finance and Fundraising Committee shall be to fundraise and to handle the funds of the new MDC and carry out all fundraising activities of the new MDC. The Finance and Fundraising Committee shall be chaired on an alternate basis by the Treasurer Generals of the formations or in their absence their deputies.

5.4.5 Information and Publicity Sub Committee There shall be an Information and Publicity Sub Committee that shall consist of:

(a) The National Secretaries for Information and Publicity and their Deputies;

(b) The National Secretaries of Information and Publicity of the National Assemblies of Women and Youth. The Information and Publicity Sub Committee shall subject to the directions of TRNSWC deal with matters of the Media, Information and Publicity and branding of the new MDC. The Sub Committee shall be chaired by the Secretaries for Information and Publicity on an alternate basis.

5.4.6 The Legal Sub Committee There shall be a Legal Sub Committee that shall consist of:

(a) The National Secretaries of Legal Affairs and their Deputies;

(b) The National Secretaries for Legal Affairs of the Women and Youth National Assemblies. The functions of the Legal Sub Committee shall be to deal with all Legal matters and in particular to draft the constitution of the reunited MDC under the guidance and supervision of the TRNSWC.

5.4.7 Secretariat There shall be a Transitional Secretariat of the new MDC which shall be structured as directed by the Coordinating Committee under the supervision of the TRNSWC.

5.4.8 Provincial, District and Ward Structures There shall be Transitional Reunification Taskforces at Provincial, District, Ward and Branch levels which shall consist at each level of the following persons from the two formations:

(a) Chairpersons

(b) Secretaries

(c) Treasurers

(d) Organising Secretaries

(e) Election Directors/Secretaries

(f) Information and Publicity Secretaries; and

(g) Chairpersons of the Youth and Women. If the boundaries of a province, district or ward, as recognised by one formation, differ from the boundaries recognised by the other formation, the TRNE will determine which boundaries should be recognised for purposes of this Agreement. The functions of the Transitional Reunification Taskforces shall be to ensure that this Agreement, and the policies and strategies devised by the TRNSWC and the TRNE, are fully and effectively implemented within their respective provinces, districts, wards and branches as the case may be. Meetings of Provincial, District, Ward and Branch Taskforces shall be chaired by the chairpersons at each level on an alternate basis.


6.1 Transitional Reunification structures shall meet at such times and places as they may decide from time to time.

6.2 The Chairpersons of a Transitional Reunification structure –

(a) may in consultation with each other and with the Secretary Generals or Secretaries convene a special meeting of the structure at any time;

(b) must convene a special meeting of the structure on the written request of not fewer than of one-third of its members, which meeting must be convened for a date not sooner than five days and not later than twenty one days after the chairperson’s receipt of the request.

6.3 No business may be discussed at a special meeting convened in terms of paragraph (b) of sub clause (2) except the business specified in the request for the meeting.

6.4 The Secretary Generals or Secretaries at the relevant level must ensure that every member of the structure is given at seventy two hours notice of every meeting of the structure, and the notice must specify the business to be transacted at the meeting.

Provided that where it is urgently necessary to do so, a Transitional Reunification structure may hold a special meeting even it its members have been given less than seventy two hours notice of the meeting, but the reasons for doing so must be fully recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

7 Procedure at meetings of Transitional Reunification Structures

7.1 If for any reason the chairperson of a Transitional Reunification Structure is not present within fifteen minutes after a meeting of the structure was due to commence, the other joint chairperson will chair the meeting, or if that other chairperson is also absent for any reason, the members present must elect one of their number to preside at the meeting as acting chairperson.

7.2 A majority of the total membership of a Transitional Reunification Structure shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the structure.

7.3 Decisions of Transitional Reunification structures must be reached on the basis of consensus, and if a structure is unable to reach consensus on any issue, the issue must be referred to a higher structure for decision.

7.4 Subject to this clause, the procedure to be adopted at meetings of a Transitional Reunification structure is to be determined by the structure itself, except where a higher structure has specified the procedure to be adopted.

7.5 All business of any structure shall be conducted on the basis of mutual respect and tolerance.

7.6 All decisions shall be arrived at by way of open debate and consensus.

7.7 All decisions of the new MDC shall be debated and made only in the formal structures as defined in this agreement


8.1 General Principles

8.1.1 The MDC formations hereby agree to be bound and guided by the single candidate principle.

8.2 Presidential Election

8.2.1 The MDC formations agree they will put forward a single candidate to contest the Presidential election and that candidate will be endorsed by the Transitional Reunification National Conference at its first meeting under and in terms of this agreement.

8.3 Parliamentary Elections

8.3.1 Having regard to the premature termination of the terms of office of the current Members of Parliament, it is hereby agreed that all sitting Members of Parliament will be candidates in the 2008 elections, unless at least 50% of the relevant District Executive Committees or District Council of the formation to which the MP belongs petitions otherwise in the case of an unconfirmed MP.

8.3.2 Each sitting Member of Parliament will choose which constituency he or she wishes to be a candidate in, having regard to the new delimitation of constituencies provided that such selection shall be of a constituency which contains a part of his or her previous constituency.

8.3.3 In the event that two or more sitting members choose the same constituency and they fail to resolve the matter by consensus, the formations shall organise a primary election in that constituency. The primary election shall have an equal number of elected officials in the District and Ward Executive Committees of each formation in that constituency. Voting shall be by secret ballot. The winning candidate in shall be the candidate in that constituency and the losing candidate/s shall be candidate in the other part of his or her old constituency.

8.3.4 In the event of an equality of votes the matter shall be determined by the casting of lots.

8.3.5 Where a seat was not held by a member of either formation, the formations hereby agree that the formations which will put forward a candidate to contest the seat shall be determined taking into account the following factors:

(a) the respective strengths of each formation’s structures;

(b) the respective presence of each formation in the province and constituency;

(c) the prospect of winning the seat;

(d) the obligation to ensure that at least a third of the candidates are women;

(e) the need to ensure a presence of each formation in all provinces;

(f) the need to adhere to the principle that no formation shall have less than a third of the new seats in each province.

8.3.5 Pursuant to the above the parties have agreed that the provincial allocation of parliamentary seats be as provided in ‘Annexure A’ attached hereto.

8.4 Local Government Elections

8.4.1 The formation which currently holds a council seat shall put forward a candidate to contest that council seat.

8.4.2 Where a council seat is not currently held by any of the formations, the formations hereby agree that the council seats in each provinces shall be allocated to each formation in accordance with the following formula:

Mash West
Matabeleland Nort
Mash West
Mash East
Matabeleland South

8.4.3 Where, for any reason a formation is unable to fully take up its allocation of seats the other formation shall be advised expeditiously so that that formation put forward candidates in those seats.


9.1 Allocation of Government Posts by President

9.1.1 If the MDC wins the Presidential election, the elected President shall appoint as Vice President a person nominated by the other formation.

9.1.2 If the MDC wins the presidential election, the President shall allocate Cabinet posts in consultation with the Vice President and the TRNSWC, taking into account the need for equitable distribution of posts between the two formations, regard being made to the importance of those posts.

9.1.3 Subject to the Constitution and any other law, the President will make appointments to other Government offices in consultation with the Vice President and the TRNSWC, taking into account the need for equitable distribution of posts between the two formations paying due regard to the principle of equality of the two formations and the need for equal representation.


10.1 If the MDC wins the presidential and parliamentary elections, the MDC Government commits itself to making the process of Constitutional reform its main priority.


11.1 Within a month after the 2008 elections each formation shall submit to the TRNSWC a list containing the names of each office holder in each structure for every Branch, Ward, District and Province.

11.2 The TRNSWC shall prepare a consolidated list for each formation from the lists so submitted by each formation.

11.3 Thereinafter the Organising Sub Committee shall seat as a verification committee and for this purpose its functions shall include:

(a) the verification of each formation’s structures as indicated in the formation lists referred to in Clause 11.1 above.

(b) agreeing on and preparing final lists of structures for each formation; and

(c) doing any other things and carrying out any other tasks as assigned by the TRNSWC.

11.4 Within three months after the 2008 National Elections, the Legal Sub Committee shall produce an agreed draft of the reunified party which draft shall be debated by the TRNSWC and referred to the TRNE for debate and further referral to the TRNC for endorsement and adoption.

11.5 After the adoption of the draft new Constitution by the TRNC, the Organising Sub Committee shall organise the election of the new MDC structures from branch level to Provincial level.

11.6 No later that four months form the last Provincial Congress of the new MDC, the TRNE shall agree and set a date for the Reunification Congress, which as far as possible shall not be later than 12 months from the date of the election.

11.7 The Organising Sub Committee shall verify the names and structures of all persons attending the Dissolution Congresses and thereinafter shall prepare the Reunification Congress List.

11.8 The first day of the Reunification Congress shall be set aside for the holding of separate dissolution Congresses of the formations, in accordance with such rules as shall be agreed to by the TRNE.

11.9 The subsequent days of the Congress shall deal with the business of endorsing the new constitution and the election of office bearers as defined by the new constitution.

11.10 The Coordinating Committee shall be responsible for dealing with all logistics of the Congress including the issues of transport, accommodation and catering.

11.11 Once a new leadership has been elected and the Congress has concluded its business, this agreement shall expire and the united party shall be run on the basis of the new Constitution.


12.1 Each formation undertakes unequivocally to abide by the letter and spirit of the agreement and no party shall have the right of unilaterally resiling from or repudiating this agreement.

12.2 In the event of a dispute between and in any lower structures or between individual members the same shall be referred to the TRNSWC for conciliation, mediation and arbitration. The decision of the TRNE on arbitration shall be final and binding.

12.3 In the event of a dispute between the formations emanating in the TRNE or any other superior structures, the parties shall attempt to resolve the same through dialogue and where such dialogue fails, either of the parties shall have the right to refer the same to conciliation, mediation or arbitration before any agreed retired judge, retired or serving Head of State or Government or any other prominent international person agreed by the parties.

12.4 Where the parties are unable to agree on the choice of an arbitrator then the Commercial Arbitration Centre in Harare at the request of either of the parties shall make the appointment.

12.5 The arbitration proceedings referred to in this paragraph shall be governed by the Arbitration Laws of Zimbabwe.

Thus Done and Signed on Harare on this ……………………….day of February 2008.

Morgan Tsvangirai President

Arthur Mutambara President

In witness thereof

Tendai Biti Secretary General

Welshman Ncube Secretary General

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How The Re-Unification Agreement was arrived at and later rejected by MT formation

4 October 2007:         A meeting in Johannesburg attended by Morgan
Tsvangirai, Arthur Mutambara, Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube resolved that
Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube should meet and work out a possible framework
for resolving the issues over which the MT formation rejected the coalition
agreement in July 2007.

November 2007:          Tendai Biti phones Welshman Ncube and requests for a
meeting of the four leaders comprising Morgan Tsvangirai, Arthur Mutambara,
Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube to discuss the possibility of resuming talks
on reunification of the MDC. The National Council of the Morgan Tsvangirai
formation resolves to re-open negotiations with the Arthur Mutambara
formation on the issue of building a united front.

December 2007:           M.T. TB, AM and WN meet and resolve to set up
negotiating teams of 10 leaders from each formation’s standing committee.
They also agree on an agenda which included healing processes; the 2008
elections and candidate selection.

January 2008:               The standing committees, one led by Morgan
Tsvangirai comprising of Thokozane Khupe, Vice President, Lovemore Moyo,
National Chairperson, Tendai Biti, Secretary General, Tapuwa Mashakada,
Deputy Secretary General, Elton Mangoma, Deputy Treasurer General, Thamsanqa
Mahlangu, National Youth Chairperson,  Teresah Makone, National Chairperson
for the Women’s Assembly and Nelson Chamisa, Secretary for Information and
Publicity while the other standing committee led by Arthur Mutambara
comprised of, Gibson Sibanda, Deputy President, Joubert Mudzumwe, National
Chairman, Welshman Ncube, Secretary General, Priscilla Misihairabwi
Mushonga, Deputy Secretary General, Fletcher Dulini Ncube, Treasurer
General, Miriam Mushayi, Deputy Treasurer General, Gabriel Chaibva,
Secretary for Information and Publicity, Paul Themba Nyathi, Director of
Elections and Ellen Shiriyedenga, Secretary General of the Youth Assembly.
The two formations met on 11/01/08 and 12/01/08. Both formations expressed
that they had the full mandate of their National Councils to make decisions
on both issues relating to reunification and the 2008 elections.

           The meeting resolved on the following issues:

Friday 11/01/08

1.                  To set up transitional reunification. National,
Provincial and District structures.

2.                  To set a process into motion towards a reunification
congress for April 2009.

3.                  On a motion moved by T. Mashakada and seconded by W.
Ncube that MT be the Presidential candidate for the 2008 elections.

4.                  That the Presidential candidate would be endorsed by the
National Council of the two formations seating jointly.

5.                  That if the MDC wins the 2008 elections, the Vice
President would come from the AM formation.

6.                  That the current sitting Members of Parliament, Senators
and Councilors would be retained for the next election.

7.                  That a sub committee comprising TB, PM, WN and TM should
draft the agreement which would be presented at the next meeting of the
joint standing committees before being presented to separate National
Councils of the two formations which, after endorsing the agreement, would
meet jointly to endorse MT as the Presidential Council.

14-31 January  WN, TB, PMM and TM produce draft Reunification agreement in
terms of the minutes of the meeting of 1-2 February 2008.

1 February 2008

Friday              The separate meetings of the two formation’s standing
committees were expected to end at 1130 hours so that the two committees
would meet immediately. Unfortunately the Tsvangirai formation only arrived
at 1430 hours. It is at that time that the two committees then met. At 2315
hours the joint meeting ended with the adoption of the agreement including
the attached annexure. Lovemore Moyo, National Chairperson of the MT
formation chaired the meeting. The following amendments were agreed upon:-

1. A reconstitution of the coordinating committee to be inline with the
provisions of the agreement which meant, the removal of all deputies
2. The allocation of Chipinge South Constituency to ZANU Ndonga,
3. Reallocation of Chimanimani East to the Arthur Mutambara formation.
4. Consideration on possible swapping of a Harare constituency seat
allocated to the Arthur Mutambara formation for a Chitungwiza seat while the
Harare seat goes to Morgan Tsvangirai.

5. Morgan Tsvangirai formation agreed to consult with respect to the
Sunningdale constituency for a possible allocation to the Arthur Mutambara

6. It was agreed on the basis of a  motion by Tendai Biti that a joint
council meeting be held at 1430 hours the next day followed by a press
conference at 16 30 hours the same day at the Crown Plaza, Great Indaba
room. The meeting ended at 2345hours followed by the holding of hands
session, and a prayer and a song led by Morgan Tsvangirai Chairman Lovemore

Sat, 2 Feb 2008:          The Arthur Mutambara formation held National
Council meeting at Quality International Hotel while the MT formation held
theirs at Harvest House.

                                    The AM National Council ended at 1300
hours while MT called WN informing him that their council meeting was
running late and suggested that joint council meeting be delayed to

                                    At 1730hours TB called to advise that a
joint standing committee meeting be convened at Belgravia, co-chaired by the
two National Chairpersons of the formations namely, Lovemore Moyo and
Joubert Mudzumwe. At the joint Council meeting MT gave a brief that his
National Council had rejected the agreement largely because of the Bulawayo
based MT leadership who demanded that all new seats be allocated to them. To
support this view TB informed the meeting that their Bulawayo leadership had
threatened that whatever agreement that may be reached, they would still
field candidates even in those constituencies with seating MPs. AM gave a
brief that after difficult and painstaking debate, his council had voted on
the agreement with the BYO  provincial leadership dissenting but submitting
to the final council resolution to adopt the agreement.

2030 hours:                  MT called for time out with his group

2038 hours:                  MT and TB called for a side meeting with AM and
WN and proposed that their BYO leadership be allocated 100% of all new
seats. In response AM and WN indicated that at that stage the talks had
irretrievably broken down and that they would announce to their council that
the talks had collapsed. MT in response suggested further consultations with
his group and indicated he would propose the following final submissions:-

a.                                                                   50-50
share of seats in Bulawayo

b.                                                                  The
swapping of the Harare senatorial seat ( Chikomo) allocated to the AM
formation for a Chitungwiza seat allocated to the MT , the allocation of
Harare West, Epworth and Harare South to the AM formation. AM and WN accept
this proposition

2100 hours             MT and TB called for another side meeting at which
they then requested that the AM formation should surrender Gwanda North and
Hwange East to the MT formation in Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South
in exchange for no seat elsewhere. AM and WN refused to concede because this
would have violated the agreed principle of fair and equitable distribution
of seats.

                              MT went for further consultations with his

2130 hours:            MT called for another side meeting with AM and WN and
proposed the following formation

                              50-50 sharing of the Bulawayo seats.

A swapping for Chikomo seat for Chitungwiza as the final proposal to the
separate councils.

2200 hours:                  The meeting of the joint standing committees
resolved to take the proposals to their respective National Councils and
also agreed to hold joint national council the following day at 1000hours
followed by a joint press conference to announce the agreement to the
public. MT agreed to call AM before 0800 hours to inform him on the results
of the consultations with his national council with respect to all the
matters agreed upon regarding the distribution of elective candidates.

2300hours                    AM addressed his National Council and advised
on proposals. After a long and heated debate the AM formation finally
endorsed the proposal.


0730 hours:                  MT calls AM and informed him that his
Matabeleland based leadership had rejected the agreement on the basis that
their formations had more grassroots support. He advised AM that unless the
AM formation agreed to the MT formation being allocated 50% of all existing
seats in all of Matabeleland, there would be no deal. After further
consultations AM phoned MT enquiring as to what he meant by 50% of all
Matabeleland seats. MT advised that there is a total of 56 seats in
Matabeleland and of those, his formation was demanding 23. This in spite of
the fact that the AM formation had agreed to only 30% of the new seats in
the whole of Mashonaland.

0915 am                       AM advises his National Council of the latest
message from MT on the coalition agreement which MT had indicated that on
the failure of the AM formation agreeing to MTs conditions there would be no
deal. AM’s National Council resolved to accept the MT formation’s reputation
of the agreement

011hours                      AM held a press conference where he announced
that MT had rejected the earlier agreement and that consequently, the talks
had irretrievably broken down and that the AM formation would be contesting
both the Presidential, Parliamentary and local government elections

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Renegade ex-minister Simba Makoni to challenge Mugabe

The Sunday Times, UK
February 10, 2008

Christina Lamb
SIMBA MAKONI has been rudely dismissed by Zimbabwe’s state newspaper, but
his decision to challenge Robert Mugabe in next month’s elections is the
biggest threat ever faced by the 83-year-old president.

The former finance minister - a member of Mugabe’s own politburo - told The
Sunday Times that he will announce his platform on Thursday, the day before
nominations close, and said that he still hopes to stand as a rival
candidate for the ruling party, despite claims that he has been expelled.

“I want to stand as a Zanu-PF candidate,” he said. “But if not I will
present myself as an independent.”

He said he had decided to stand after “extensive consultation inside and
outside the party” and claimed to have most of the party behind him. “I know
there are a lot of people in the party and government who support what I am
doing,” he said. “The majority of Zanu-PF feels the same way.”

Although he has remained in the politburo while the country has descended
into economic chaos with the world’s highest inflation, lowest life
expectancy and half its population facing starvation, Makoni insisted: “I
share the agony and anguish of all citizens over the extreme hardship that
we have all endured for nearly 10 years. I also share the widely held view
that these hardships are a result of failure of national leadership.”

He decided to stand after the party’s congress in December again endorsed
Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since independence. Elliot Manyika, the Zanu-PF
commissar, immediately declared that by challenging Mugabe, “Makoni has
expelled himself from Zanu-PF”.

Expulsion is not the only risk. Anyone who dares to challenge Mugabe tends
to meet an unfortunate accident.

Joseph Chinotimba, deputy leader of the so-called war veterans, told the
state-owned Herald newspaper: “I feel sorry for Makoni. He has lost the
political plot . . . traitors should know that Zanu-PF has a history of
dealing harshly with their kind.”

Makoni said he is not worried: “We all take risks in life. I don’t think
Robert Mugabe will be unreasonable. He claims we’re a democracy.”

Makoni, 57, who has a chemistry and zoology degree from Leeds University and
a doctorate in medical chemistry from Leices-ter Polytechnic, is regarded as
one of the brightest members of the ruling party.

He has worked with Mugabe since independence in 1980, when he was the
youngest member of cabinet, and ended up as finance minister in 2000, the
year the violent campaign of farm invasions got under way.

The men have fallen out in public several times. In 1994 Makoni was
dismissed as chief executive of Zimpapers, which controls the Herald, after
differences with an editor close to Mugabe. The paper recently mocked him as
“a loud fart”.

He bounced back as finance minister but did not last long. After repeatedly
warning against the fiscal recklessness of the regime and advising Mugabe to
devalue the Zimbabwean dollar, Makoni resigned when the president publicly
denounced those advocating devaluation as “enemies of the state”.

For this reason Makoni is seen as a reformer and has long been encouraged by
the international community who see him as the moderate face of Zanu-PF.

However, the presence of foreign diplomats at the announcement of his
candidacy led the state media to denounce him as a western stooge and part
of a “British-US-Swedish conspiracy”. He was forced to hold a second press
conference at which he insisted: “I am genuine, I am honest, I am nobody’s
tool or agent. I am Simba Makoni.”

His candidacy has sparked much excitement after the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change failed to reunite to contest the elections.

“This is by far the best prospect for change that Zimbabweans have been
presented with in a very long time,” wrote Trevor Ncube, publisher of the
Zimbabwe Independent.

“This is the first real threat to Mugabe,” agreed Mutumwa Mawere, one of
Zimbabwe’s leading entrepreneurs who has known Makoni for 20 years. “He’s a
very smart guy and a gentleman, not a monster.”

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Could Makoni's challenge to Mugabe be genuine?

Comment from The Sowetan (SA), 8 February

Bill Saidi

If Simba Makoni and Ibbo Mandaza are trying to pull the political wool over
the Zimbabwean voters' eyes, then this has to be one of the most Byzantine
plots ever played on any electorate. Both men are dyed-in-the-wool Zanu PF
zealots. At one time or another, they prayed at the shrine of their leader,
Robert Mugabe, the man whose endurance compares favourably with the nine
lives of that famous animal whose curiosity proved fatal in the end. Makoni
standing against Mugabe in the presidential stakes next month? Die-hard Zanu
PF watchers are sceptical. This has all the ingredients of a classic Zanu PF
tamba wakachenjera ploy: never let your right hand know what your left hand
is doing, or keep your cards so close to your chest that people will not see
even your chest.

Makoni's self-proclaimed ambition to challenge Mugabe has struck many cynics
as rather unusual, to say the least. His political pedigree may be
impressive, but his political skin may be something else entirely. His first
brush with Mugabe was when he was minister of finance, courageously
insisting that if the government would not let him devalue the tottering
dollar, then he would quit. He did quit, but then lay low for quite a while,
still belonging to the party, sitting in its all-powerful politburo. Even
when he announced he would try and beard the lion in its den, he still
insisted that he would do it as a member of the party, for which he could be
expelled - as another presumptuous young man, Jonathan Moyo, was a few years
ago. But Makoni's profile is much more solid than Moyo's.

His profile compares well with that of another young luminary in the region,
Vernon Johnston Mwaanga, the Zambian politician who became an ambassador in
his early 20s - at independence in 1964. Mwaanga, like Makoni, was once
touted as a politician destined for big things in his country. An American
magazine predicted he would become president of Zambia, as others have
predicted about Zimbabwe's Makoni. Mwaanga rose to become foreign minister,
again at a tender age, and distinguished himself. He had got that plum job
after serving briefly as editor-in-chief of the government-owned Times
newspapers, during which time I worked under him. Today, Mwaanga's political
career has hit rock-bottom. His slight consolation could be that the man who
clipped his wings, his former mentor - former president Kenneth Kaunda - has
fared no better, ousted in an election in 1991 after 27 years in the saddle.

Makoni doesn't belong to the largest ethnic group in Zimbabwe, as Mwaanga
did. He is a Tonga, the largest group in Zambia. Makoni is from Manicaland,
and they number less than the Karanga and the Zezuru. Moreover, compared
with the God-fearing Kaunda, Mugabe is something entirely different. Some of
Mugabe's political scalps include Ndabaningi Sithole, Joshua Nkomo, Eddison
Zvobgo - and Edgar Tekere, who is still alive. Incidentally, Mandaza, Makoni's
facilitator, played Boswell to Tekere, publishing his autobiography last
year. Most hard-nosed analysts are wary of giving Makoni any credibility on
the basis of his reliance on Mandaza . Yet, the fact cannot be denied that
if Makoni still enjoys the support of the Mujurus - Joice and Solomon - then
perhaps he could be presenting a definite challenge to Mugabe. Still, most
of the evidence is tilted against him. If he is not in alliance with the
divided MDC, his candidature will hurt both Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur
Mutambara. If that doesn't play into Mugabe's lap, then we must all have our
sums wrong.

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A letter from the diaspora

9th February 2008

Dear Friends.

What Zimbabwe desperately needs now is hope! Night after night on SW Radio
Africa we hear the voices of Zimbabweans inside the country, full of despair
that things will ever get better. Eternal Suffering for African People seems
to be the only way forward. Zimbabweans have lost faith in politicians or
the possibility that elections can change anything. They have resigned
themselves to lives of unending misery and struggle. Every phonecall and
letter I receive from home tells the same story: it is hopeless, how can we
go on like this?

This week I received a letter from my old hometown, a small place, not what
you would call a hub of activity but it has a bank, a post office, a few
trading stores even a hotel and, of course, the inevitable bottle stores.
This little town is the centre of what the ruling party likes to believe is
solidly Zanu PF territory but even here there is widespread disillusion with
Mugabe and the ruling party. Maybe this is the sign of hope that we have all
been waiting for?

My correspondent writes: ' Here in Zimbabwe life is so hard. No food, no
water, people sleeping outside the bank waiting for money. Some people even
waiting three or four days waiting to get their own money out of the
bank…nothing. Zvakaoma zvirimu Zimbabwe. but what I think, P. is that the
end is near because people vaneta sekuru. The people want a change of
government, now, this year havachada sekuru.' My correspondent goes on to
detail the prices of basic goods in this small place: ' bus fare to Harare 7
million, 1 bar of soap 10 million, 2 kgs sugar 6 million, bread 2 million, 2
litres cooking oil 27 million. He ends his letter with the words 'Taneta
chaizvo.' What my friend means is we are very tired of this, we are fed up
with this old man, this sekuru who claims he won our liberation when we all
know, especially in this area of the country that it was vanu vefu, the sons
of the soil, who fought and died to win Zimbabwe's freedom. The question
now, twenty eight years after Liberation, is will the people be given the
chance to vote out this government in free and fair elections?

I was in Zimbabwe in 2002 and I recall the inspirational speech Morgan
Tsvangirai made before the results were announced. ' The power is in your
hands' he said. 'This election is about the choice between hope and
despair…' That was six years ago and as we all know the vote was stolen and
the people's voice was silenced. Now in 2008 things are a hundred times
worse for the people. Will their voice be silenced again or will Robert
Mugabe even at this late hour find it in his heart to listen to and abide by
the will of the people? The signs are not good; The Zimbabwean this week
reports that Mugabe has already told SADC that he will not accept an MDC
victory. He says it will be tantamount to allowing Gordon Brown to rule
Zimbabwe by proxy. Someone really should tell the old man that Gordon Brown
needs Zimbabwe's problems like he needs a hole in the head – he has quite
enough problems of his own in the UK!

The entrance of Simba Makoni , a onetime Finance Minister in the Zanu PF
government, into Zimbabwe's electoral battle has excited political analysts
into a frenzy. Here in the UK just about every newspaper carried the story
and the independent press in Zimbabwe has been similarly vocal. For myself,
I admit that my first reaction was profoundly sceptical; is this just
another Mugabe ploy designed to fool the opposition - or is it a genuine
sign of hope that at last someone has found the courage to challenge Mugabe
from within party ranks. Zanu PF claims that Simba Makoni has expelled
himself from the party by daring to challenge the President. Joseph
Chinotimba, the onetime Security guard who was responsible for the reign of
terror on the farms has described Makoni as a 'sellout' and we all know what
that means. The Herald, that toadying Zanu PF mouthpiece, was its usual
vitriolic self while the Mutambara faction of the MDC is apparently mulling
over whether to throw in their hand with Makoni. At last we now know that
the Tsvangirai MDC will participate in the elections with Morgan Tsvangirai
as their Presidential candidate.

Stirring times in Zimbabwean politics but what does it all mean for ordinary
Zimbabweans. Will 2008 be the year of real change? The signs are not good
but somehow, despite the rigging we all know is in place, we have to hang on
to hope, it is all we have.
Yours in the struggle. PH.

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