Published: November 10, 2008
We had hoped that political leaders in southern Africa would finally resolve
Zimbabwe's political crisis at their summit meeting last weekend. Instead,
they made it worse, agreeing that President Robert Mugabe and his thuggish
loyalties can keep control of the two ministries that oversee the army and
A power-sharing compromise negotiated in September can work only if these
two ministries are divided between Mr. Mugabe's supporters and those of
Morgan Tsvangirai, the top vote-getter in the first round of this year's
presidential elections. That is essential since it was army- and
police-backed violence that drove Mr. Tsvangirai out of the second round,
creating the current destructive political impasse.
For too long, Zimbabwe's people have been abandoned to Mr. Mugabe's
brutality, famine and economy-destroying hyperinflation. There hardly could
be a clearer case of a violently stolen election, a ruinous dictator and a
responsible opposition willing to compromise and accept less than the clear
victory it won at the polls.
Yet handed the opportunity for constructive leadership, the politicians in
the Southern African Development Community chose instead to protect Mr.
Mugabe (one of their own) and his undercutting of the power-sharing deal
painstakingly negotiated under their own auspices.
Now that Zimbabwe's neighbors have failed, the United States, Europe and
others will have to increase the pressure on Mr. Mugabe and his cronies,
denying visas and freezing foreign assets. While providing humanitarian
relief, they must withhold all other forms of aid and recognition until Mr.
Mugabe agrees to share or vacate power.
According to some reports, Mr. Mugabe has contemplated yielding several
times since his first-round election defeat but has been held back by pleas
from his generals who fear losing their power and ill-gotten gains and
possibly being prosecuted for their worst crimes.
That suggests the regional leaders might have been able to pressure Mr.
Mugabe into doing the right thing for Zimbabwe. Instead, they have enabled
his continued misrule and guaranteed his people's further misery.
By Ntungamili Nkomo & Jonga Kandemiri
10 November 2008
The power-sharing process that has been unfolding in Zimbabwe for months
seemed close to collapse Monday after a summit of the Southern African
Development Community that was intended to find a solution to a stalemate
over the allocation of cabinet posts.
The summit of the 15-nation SADC's resolved that a Zimbabwean government of
national unity should be formed immediately, and that President Robert
Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic
Change should share control of the disputed and politically sensitive Home
The MDC considers the Home Affairs Ministry, which controls the national
police force, to be a critical counterbalance to the Defense Ministry, under
Mr. Mugabe's firm control.
Tsvangirai, prime minister-designate in the proposed national unity
government stipulated by a Sept. 15 power-sharing agreement, rejected SADC's
solution as unworkable given what he described as Mr. Mugabe's "utter
contempt" for the MDC - in practice still Zimbabwe's opposition party though
it won a parliamentary majority in March general elections.
Tsvangirai in remarks immediately after the release of the summit communique
late Sunday, expressed bitterness that Southern African leaders had not been
Mr. Mugabe welcomed the decision and said Monday that he would form a
government "as soon as possible." The next move by Tsvangirai's MDC
formation was not clear. Its national executive and national council were to
meet later this week to discuss strategy.
But Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa made clear in an interview with
reporter Ntungamili Nkomo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the party
Rival MDC formation leader and deputy prime minister-designate Arthur
Mutambara, said he fully supports Tsvangirai's demand for his party to
control the Home Affairs Ministry.
Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga said ZANU-PF is moving to form a
government whether Tsvangirai joins it or not.
The summit's ruling that ZANU-PF and the MDC should share the Home Affairs
Ministry left many Zimbabweans in the South African diaspora fuming at the
regional body's failure to issue a clear-cut ruling in the crisis, reported
Benedict Nhlapho from Johannesburg.
Harare correspondent Thomas Chiripasi of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe
reported that civic leaders and ordinary Zimbabweans roundly condemned the
The U.S. government on Monday expressed disappointment at SADC's failure to
resolve the deadlock. A U.S. State Department spokesman said Mr. Mugabe's
compromise offer was another attempt to "subvert the will" of the Zimbabwean
people, and that new sanctions could be imposed if Mr. Mugabe fails to give
the MDC a meaningful share in power.
Nkululeko Ncana Published:Nov 11, 2008
Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai says SADC leaders are too scared to take Mugabe on
THE leader of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai,
has slammed regional leaders for not having the courage to stand up to
Tsvangirai yesterday accused President Kgalema Motlanthe and other southern
African leaders of pressuring his party to compromise on its demand for a
key cabinet post - while it treated the Zimbabwean president with kid
a.. Tsvangirai said the weekend's Southern African Development Community
summit, in Sandton, failed because the region's heads of state were afraid
to disagree with Mugabe.
"In our view, a great opportunity has been missed by SADC to bring an end to
the Zimbabwean crisis. This omission has occurred because SADC approached
this summit without any concrete strategy and did not have the courage and
the decency [to look] Mugabe in the eyes and tell him that his position was
wrong," Tsvangirai said.
The MDC leader is at loggerheads with SADC leaders after refusing to accept
their ruling that Zimbabwe's home affairs ministry should be run jointly by
the MDC and Zanu-PF.
The two parties had approached SADC after failing to agree on the allocation
of ministries in a unity government, to be formed in terms of the September
15 agreement brokered by former president Thabo Mbeki.
Tsvangirai, who is prime minister in terms of the agreement, wants control
of the home affairs ministry - which controls the police. Mugabe's Zanu-PF
has the defence and state security portfolios.
Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara, who heads a small faction of the MDC, are
blaming Tsvangirai for the latest impasse, but the prime minister-elect put
the blame squarely on the SADC.
He lambasted Motlanthe, who chaired the meeting, for allowing Mugabe to
participate in a discussion from which both MDC factions were excluded.
"For the record . it had been agreed that all Zimbabwean principals would
recuse themselves to allow an open and unfettered dialogue to take place
among SADC leaders. However, Mugabe refused and the chairman of the SADC
[Motlanthe] did not tell him to leave.
"Thus Mugabe became a judge in his own case," Tsvangirai said.
He accused SADC leaders of "perversely" putting pressure on the MDC which,
he said, had won the March 29 Zimbabwe general election.
Motlanthe on Sunday accused Tsvangirai and Mugabe of "political immaturity"
for failing to form a cabinet two months after the Mbeki agreement was
Tsvangirai said he would not accept an agreement not based on genuine
power-sharing between the two MDCs and Zanu-PF.
His stance has been sharply criticised by Mutambara, who has accused him of
reneging on an agreement that all the parties to the negotiations would
accept SADC's ruling as final.
Mutambara said: "We went [to SADC] for a ruling . We didn't want a situation
where the ministry would be co-shared, but integrity says we can't go
against 15 heads of state. We must respect the decision taken by the SADC as
a matter of principle .
"It is unstrategic to go to war with 15 heads of state," he told The Times.
His statement was supported by SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salamao, who
said the summit's decision was binding.
But Mutambara, who is set to be Zimbabwe's deputy prime minister under the
power-sharing agreement, dismissed speculation that he would join Mugabe in
forming a government that excluded Tsvangirai.
"It is not possible to think of a government by Zanu-PF and Mutambara
alone," he said.
Mugabe, however, told reporters on his return to Zimbabwe yesterday that he
would form a new cabinet as quickly as possible - with or without the MDC .
Tsvangirai said such a government would be illegitimate. - Additional
reporting by Sapa
11 November 2008
STOCKHOLM - The Anglican bishop of Harare expressed grave concern yesterday
about the situation in Zimbabwe, sentiments that were echoed by a Swedish
"It is like a war, in the sense that there is total absence of peace,"
Bishop Sebastian Bakare said.
He has been awarded Sweden's Per Anger prize, a human rights prize for
"People are crying, no food, no water, no medication," Bakare said. "Some
are displaced, children are not going to school."
Co-operation Minister Gunilla Carlsson said she was "disappointed" the
Southern African Development Community summit failed to break the deadlock
between President Robert Mugabe and Movement for Democratic Change leader
"While the negotiations drag on, the people of Zimbabwe are paying a high
price," she said.
Bakare is to be key speaker at a human rights conference in northern Sweden
The prize of 150000 krona ($18900) commemorates Swedish diplomat Per Anger,
and honours "people and organisations that risk their own safety to defend
the rights of the individual against oppression and inhumanity".
Anger was an associate of Raoul Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Hungarian
Jews during the Second World War.
Last year Colombian rights group Organizacion Femenina Popular received the
By Trevor Grundy, November 10, 2008
[Ecumenical News International, Canterbury, England] Archbishop of
Canterbury Rowan Williams has described Bishop Sebastian Bakare of Harare,
Zimbabwe as a "deeply respected and courageous leader who has spoken out not
only against injustices in his community but also against corruption within
his own Anglican church."
The head of the 77-million worldwide Anglican Communion was speaking from
Lambeth Palace, London, before the November 10 presentation to Bakare in
Stockholm of the 2008 Per Anger Award. The award, founded by the Swedish
government, has been given to the bishop for his committed work and
leadership of an important branch of the Christian community and his battle
for human rights in Zimbabwe.
"His continued integrity, for which he has placed himself at considerable
personal risk, has brought hope to countless people in Zimbabwe and
internationally," said Williams.
The Living History Forum in Stockholm has been commissioned since 2004 by
the Swedish government to award the prize in the spirit of ambassador Per
Anger who, during the Second World War, took the initiative to write a
series of protection letters which saved the lives of thousands of Jews in
"Bishop Sebastian Bakare is awarded the 2008 Per Anger Prize for having
given voice to the fight against oppression and for the freedom of speech
and of opinion in a difficult political situation, with courage and personal
sacrifice," the press officer of the history forum, Johan Perwe, told
Ecumenical News International. "As bishop of the Anglican Church in
Zimbabwe, Sebastian Bakare has for many years fought for the situation and
rights in society of vulnerable people."
Bakare in 2007 replaced Nolbert Kunonga, a strong supporter of Robert
Mugabe's Zanu-PF party which until 2008 ruled Zimbabwe.
Since then, Bakare has denounced Mugabe's treatment of Christians,
particularly Anglicans. Many Anglican churches have been shut on the orders
of Zanu-PF, which believes it should still rule Zimbabwe despite losing a
national election in March.
On July 23 at the Lambeth Conference, which draws Anglican bishops from all
over the world, Bakare told journalists: "The ruling system is so oppressive
that it has denied the people their human rights, including religious
freedom. My diocese continues to suffer persecution. We have been denied the
freedom to worship."
He was referring to the action of riot police preventing Anglicans attending
services in Zimbabwe. Bakare recounted the details of how Anglicans had been
forcefully hauled from the communion rail by members of Zanu-PF's youth
wing, who are known in Zimbabwe as the Green Bombers.
By Patience Rusere
10 November 2008
Non-governmental organizations say the deadlock between Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai over sharing power in
a unity government yet to be formed is hindering the distribution of food
aid because NGOs cannot obtain authorization or assistance from relevant
Rev. Useni Sibanda, national coordinator of the Bulawayo-based Christian
Alliance, told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that
political paralysis at the top is also shifting the burden of feeding an
ever-growing number of hungry people from the government to NGO's, while the
starvation death toll rises.
APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe's financial markets have reacted negatively
to the inconclusive outcome of a regional summit held at the weekend to
resolve the country's political crisis with the indicative exchange rate
tumbling a staggering 3,278 percent on Monday.
As news filtered of an impasse at the Southern African Development Community
(SADC) emergency summit on Zimbabwe, the Old Mutual Implied Rate slipped
from its Friday position of 663 trillion Zimdollars to one United States
dollar to a massive 22.4 quadrillion Zimdollars to the US greenback on
The Old Mutual Implied Rate is an unofficial proxy for the value of the
Zimdollar to the American greenback based on the relative value of the
insurance giant's shares on the London and Zimbabwe stock exchanges.
The rate has been adopted by most Zimbabwean companies in coming up with
prices for their products.
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange was also on a tailspin on Monday as the main
industrial index rising a massive 1,833 percent and the mining index 1,348
Leaders of the SADC failed to break a deadlock on Sunday between President
Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai over the allocation of
ministries in a proposed unity government.
The impasse is expected to worsen an eight-year economic crisis that has
seen inflation hitting a world-record 230 million percent in June and
unprecedented shortages of foodstuffs and fuel.
From Episcopal Life (US), 7 November
Harare - Church leaders in Zimbabwe say they need to repent for failing to
help the oppressed people of their country and they now want to work
together to promote the reconstruction of their nation. "The church must
genuinely repent to God and confess to the suffering people of Zimbabwe for
not fulfilling the two greatest commandments: 'Love the Lord thy God' and
'Love thy neighbor'," the church leaders said in a statement made available
to Ecumenical News International on November 7. The meeting of leaders of
the Heads of Christian Denominations group, the (Roman) Catholic Commission
for Justice and Peace, the Zimbabwe National Pastors Conference, the
Zimbabwe Christian Alliance, the Anglican Diocese of Harare, the Ecumenical
Support Services and New Frontiers-Zimbabwe, took place in Harare on
November 3. "The church in general has been divided and as such has been
unable to satisfactorily meet the physical, moral and spiritual needs of the
nation which is now in absolute crisis," they stated. "The church must now
demonstrate genuine unity by standing with the poor, weak, suffering and
oppressed people." The church leaders said, "This movement for unity must
rapidly gather momentum and cascade throughout the church, her leadership,
structures and people. Only then will the church be able to address truth,
reconciliation and healing in Zimbabwe."
Methodist Bishop Levee Kadenge of the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance told ENI
that the statement represented "the best news ever to come from Zimbabwean
churches." A consultation to include about 25 key church leaders will be
held in a few weeks time, the British humanitarian agency Christian Aid
reported on November 6. The leaders will discuss unity, healing and
reconciliation, and the role of the Church in Zimbabwe's past, present and
future. Christian Aid quoted Kadenge as saying, "We must gather together to
repent. Only then can we prepare ourselves to be the moral and spiritual
conscience of the nation and position ourselves at the heart of the
reconstruction of our beloved nation." The initiative by the Christian
leaders came as leaders from southern Africa prepared to meet in
Johannesburg on November 9 to attempt to break a deadlock between Zimbabwe's
political leaders over the setting up of a national unity government. The
head of Zimbabwe's Zanu PF party, Robert Mugabe, who became leader of his
country in 1980, is refusing to budge from power or to share it fully with
the Movement for Democratic Change which won a parliamentary election in
March, say Zimbabwean opposition leaders. Christian Aid said that only when
the church has thrown off its own cloak of fear will it be able to help the
nation do the same. "The church should be at the heart of truth and
reconciliation in Zimbabwe. Sadly as a divided body, it has been unable to
play a meaningful role at the national level for more than a decade, and
therefore cannot form a Truth Commission," said William Anderson, Christian
Aid's country manager in Zimbabwe. "A secular truth and reconciliation
commission will not be able to take the nation forward in the same way as
one that could and should be led by the church."
By Carole Gombakomba
10 November 2008
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Monday promised
Zimbabwe US$169 million in its eighth round of funding, finalized over the
weekend by the board of the international health organization at a meeting
in New Delhi, India.
Many in Zimbabwe had feared that the country would be refused new funding
because the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe mishandled funds given to Zimbabwe in
previous Global Fund rounds. But the central bank returned the US$7.3
million last week after coming under international scrutiny for misusing
those and other donor funds.
HIV/AIDS activist Martha Tholana told VOA that while the local community is
pleased with the Global Fund decision, vigilance is called for in their
handling in future.
Tholana added that the country's health care system remains in critical
condition, because monies from the Global Fund ear earmarked for AIDS,
tuberculosis and malaria, while even leading state hospitals in Harare are
closing wards due to the economic crisis.
VOA was unable to reach Health Minister David Parirenyatwa for comment.
Global Fund Communications Director John Liden told reporter Carole
Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the latest funds pledged to
Zimbabwe have conditions attached to them to avoid future problems at the
November 10, 2008
By Our Correspondent
HARARE - The MDC has scoffed at allegations by Zanu-PF that the party is
training militias in Botswana to destabilise Zimbabwe and force fresh
presidential elections next year.
On Monday, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai rejected a SADC recommendation to
share the ministry of Home Affairs with Zanu-PF under the power-sharing
agreement signed on September 15.
Zanu-PF has accused Tsvangirai of plotting violence and likened him to
former Angolan rebel leader Jonas Savimbi.
A report in the government-controlled Herald newspaper alleges that "the
opposition is angling for a total collapse of the cabinet talks and then use
the militias to destabilise the country and force the staging of a fresh
presidential election under international supervision early next year".
The report also alleged that Tsvangirai had sought to hold a meeting with
President Robert Mugabe in an attempt to "keep a lid on the unfolding saga".
MDC spokesman, Nelson Chamisa, dismissed the allegations yesterday. He said
the MDC was committed to negotiating outstanding issues under the agreement
rather than resorting to violence.
"Apart from these outstanding issues is Zanu PF's deliberate and systematic
plot to incriminate the MDC on fictitious charges of banditry and
terrorism," said Chamisa. "We remain committed to peaceful and democratic
change. There is no reason for the MDC to engage in such barbaric acts when
we are the ruling party with majority seats in Parliament.
"We control the largest number of urban and rural councils. We won the
presidential election on 29 March through the ballot and any attempts to
link us with the gun and the bullet will not wash with the people of
The Herald also said the matter of the militias had been put before SADC.
But Chamisa said of the allegation: "It will not wash with our brothers and
sisters in Africa and it will not wash with the broader international
"The MDC had remained committed to dialogue as the only option to unlock the
Zimbabwean crisis. We are aware that Zanu-PF has stubbornly stood in the
doorway of all efforts to find a solution to the national crisis, oblivious
of the massive starvation in the country which needs urgent relief.
"We in the MDC derive strength and fortitude in the knowledge that the
people of Zimbabwe are the owners of the cause."
The MDC national executive and the national council will meet on Friday to
deliberate on the SADC summit and the future of the dialogue process.
Tsvangirai rejected the recommendation to share the ministry of Home Affairs
with Zanu-PF, saying it was unworkable.
Yesterday, Chamisa insisted the issues of contention went beyond the Home
He said: "We believe that there are fundamental issues that remain
outstanding such as the allocation of portfolio ministries, the brazen
alteration of the Global Political Agreement by Zanu-PF, the issue of
provincial governors, the composition and powers of the National Security
Council, the appointment of senior government officials, permanent
secretaries and ambassadors and the enactment of Constitutional Amendment
Patrick Chinamasa, outgoing justice minister, is said to have made
unilateral amendments to the power-sharing agreement. Chinamasa - who has
labelled Tsvangirai 'Savimbi' - has not disputed the claims.
Sokwanele - Enough is
Enough - Zimbabwe
PROMOTING NON-VIOLENT PRINCIPLES TO ACHIEVE DEMOCRACY
Communiqué of the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the SADC
Heads of State and Government, Sandton, Republic of South Africa - and -
Statement from the Movement For Democratic Change on
the outcome of the SADC Extra-Ordinary summit on the Zimbabwe dialogue
Sokwanele - 10 November 2008
1. The Extra-Ordinary Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government met in Sandton, Republic of South Africa on 9 November 2008. The Extra-Ordinary Summit met to review the latest Political and Security situation in the Region with particular reference to the current developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Zimbabwe.
2. The Extra Ordinary Summit was chaired by H.E. Kgalema Motlanthe, President of the Republic of South Africa and the Chairperson of SADC.
3. The Extra-Ordinary Summit was attended by the following Heads of State and Government or their representatives:
|DRC||H.E. President Joseph Kabila, Deputy Chairperson of SADC|
|Lesotho||Right Honourable Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili|
|Mozambique||H.E. President Armando Emilio Guebuza, Deputy Chairperson of the Organ and Acting Chairperson of the Organ|
|Namibia||H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba|
|South Africa||H.E. President Kgalema Motlanthe, Chairperson of SADC|
|Zimbabwe||H.E. President Robert Gabriel Mugabe|
|Botswana||His Honour Vice President Lieutenant General Mompati S. Merafhe|
|Swaziland||Right Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini|
|Angola||Honourable Assuncao A. De Sousa dos Anjos, Minister of Foreign Affairs.|
|United Republic of Tanzania||Honourable Bernard K. Membe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation|
|Seychelles||Honourable Patrick Pillay, Minister of Foreign Affairs|
|Zambia||Honourable Kabinga J. Pande, Minister of Foreign Affairs|
|Malawi||H.E Agrina Mussa, High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa|
|Mauritius||H.E. Mahomed Ismael Dossa, High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa|
|Madagascar||H.E. Bary Rafatrolaza, Consul General of Madagascar in Cape Town, Republic of South Africa|
(i) immediate ceasefire by all the armed men and militia in North Kivu;
(ii) establishment of humanitarian corridors throughout the area to ensure immediate address of the humanitarian crisis and tragedy;
(iii) immediate implementation of Nairobi Communiqué, Goma Agreement and all the relevant agreements and protocols to ensure sustainable peace and durable political stability;
(iv) the Summit of the Great Lakes Region called on the UN Secretary General to strengthen the mandate of the peacekeeping forces in DRC and provide adequate resources and be able to address the volatile situation;
(v) the Great Lakes Region would not stand by and witness incessant and destructive acts of violence by any armed groups against innocent people of DRC; if and when necessary the Great Lakes Region will send peacemaking forces into the Kivu Province of the DRC;
(vi) the Summit of the Great Lakes Region called on the UN and all humanitarian agencies that have shown great support for the victims of military violence to continue to sustain and increase their support until human tragedy is stopped.
(i) the security situation in the DRC is affecting peace and stability in the SADC and the Great Lakes Regions;8. In view of the above issues, the Extra Ordinary Summit resolved that:
(ii) the security and humanitarian situation is deteriorating in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo;
(iii) many agreements entered into regarding peace and security in the Great Lakes Region were not implemented because of the intransigence of Laurent Nkunda;
(iv) DRC Armed Forces need to be assisted in order to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country;
(i) the SADC Team of Military Experts be deployed immediately to assess the situation in the Eastern DRC;
(ii) SADC should immediately provide assistance to the Armed Forces of the DRC;
(iii) the SADC Military Advisory Team be deployed immediately to advise the Command of FARDC on matters which will be agreed by the Government of the DRC;
(iv) the SADC would not standby and witness incessant and destructive acts of violence by any armed groups against innocent people of DRC, if and when necessary SADC will, within the Nairobi framework, send peace peacekeeping force into Kivu Province of the DRC;
(v) the SADC Military Monitoring Commission be dispatched to the DRC immediately to monitor the border between DRC, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda;
(vi) the SADC Troika of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation meet with the Troika of the Great Lakes Region expeditiously to avoid overlaps and map a joint way forward;
(vii) the Teams established by the Double Troika of Defence Sub Committee should implement their mandate of providing technical assistance in the DRC as a matter of urgency; and
(viii) the deployed Teams should report to SADC via the Organ Troika.
(i) the Inclusive Government be formed forthwith in Zimbabwe;
(ii) the Ministry of Home Affairs be co-managed between the ZANU-PF and MDC-T;
(iii) the efficacy of the arrangement referred to in paragraph 2 above, be reviewed after six (6) months by the Parties with the assistance of the guarantors, SADC, AU and the Facilitator.
(iv) to give effect to these decisions and the provisions of the Global Political Agreement, the Parties must, without any further delay, introduce the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 19.
Statement from the Movement For Democratic Change on
the outcome of the SADC Extra-Ordinary summit on the Zimbabwe
The Extraordinary Summit of the SADC leadership, held on the 9th November 2008, has just concluded with the resolution that a Government of National Unity be formed immediately in Zimbabwe and furthermore that the Ministry of Home Affairs be co-ministered between the MDC and Zanu PF.
In addition, the SADC leadership have stated that Constitutional Amendment 19, which would provide the legal framework for the agreement, should be drafted as soon as possible, but only after the new government has been formed.
With greatest respect to SADC, the issues before them, which were not resolved by the facilitator’s various visits to Zimbabwe and by the Troika meeting held in Harare on 27th October 2008, centred around the following:
The MDC is shocked and saddened that the SADC Summit
has failed to tackle these key issues .
Firstly, the principle of equity and fairness. It is the MDCs position that any coalition or cooperative government has to be based on genuine power sharing of portfolio allocations. In this regard, we had proposed a formula which seeks to pair various ministries on the basis of relative parity. Thus, in our view, to the extent that Zanu PF had allocated itself the portfolios of defence and state security, it only made sense that the Ministry of Home Affairs should go to the MDC.
Equally, this methodology was suggested and communicated to the facilitator in writing on Wednesday the 15th October , to the Troika on the 27 October 2008 and to the SADC Executive Secretary on 30 October, 2008. Thus SADC knew fully our position.
Secondly, we had also made it clear that the issue of the enactment of Constitutional Amendment 19 was a precondition to the formation of any new government. More importantly, the offices being created in the global political agreement, such as that of the Prime Minister, could only come into being with Constitutional Amendment 19. Events after the 15th September 2008, in respect of which serious lack of sincerity has been displayed by Zanu PF, demonstrated quite clearly that one could not proceed on the basis of good faith in a government not grounded on a legal foundation. Thus the question of Constitutional Amendment 19 cannot be postponed as it is not a question of procedure but rather an issue of substance.
Furthermore, in a political environment such as ours, poisoned by lack of a paradigm shift by Zanu PF, lack of sincerity and utter contempt towards the MDC and the wishes of the people, quite clearly the concept of co-ministering cannot work. In any event, what is the rational of proposing a co-ministry only in relation to the Home Affairs portfolio in total oblivion to Defence and State Security which Zanu PF already holds.
In our view a great opportunity has been missed by SADC to bring an end to the Zimbabwean Crisis. This omission has occurred because SADC approached this summit without any concrete strategy and did not have the courage and the decency of looking Mr Mugabe in the eyes and telling him that his position was wrong.
For the record, in today’s meeting it had been agreed that all the Zimbabwean principals would recuse themselves to allow an open and unfettered dialogue to take place amongst the SADC leaders. However, Mr Mugabe refused and the Chairman of SADC did not tell him to leave. Thus, Mr Mugabe became a judge in his own case.
Perversely, pressure was brought to bear on the MDC, a party that won an election but has shown compromise and political maturity in these negotiations rather than the party that lost an election and has flouted the spirit and substance of the agreement, namely Zanu PF.
The failure of this summit to acknowledge the only fair and rational solution with regard to equitable power sharing, places the Zimbabwean people in a quandary. It is no exaggeration when I say that the needless suffering being experienced by millions of Zimbabweans every day is unprecedented in our country’s history.
It is precisely because of this that we remain committed to the agreement signed 15th September. It is precisely because of this that we cannot accept any arrangement that does not allow the MDC to effectively contribute to ending this suffering.
I would like to put out that the failure to consummate and implement the Global Political Agreement means that there is no legitimacy on any government or any person purporting to be Head of State. In short, Mr Mugabe is not the President of Zimbabwe without this agreement. Given this dangerous and precarious situation and the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe we hope and pray that the guarantors of the agreement, in particular progressive members of SADC and the African Union, will now move very quickly to try and salvage this agreement.
We remain committed to the agreement and peaceful resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis and I am hopeful that sooner, rather than later, the democratic voice and vote of the Zimbabwean people will be heard and respected by our African institutions.
Until that day, the MDC will continue to stand with the people of Zimbabwe, for it is from them that we derive our legitimacy, and because of them, that we remain resolute in our struggle for democracy.
President Movement for Democratic Change
Via an MDC Press Release
We have a fundamental right to freedom of expression!
See attached document
Elliot Pfebve, MSc, PGCE, MBCS CITP
Chartered IT Professional