Parties indaba fails, Bishop frustrated

via Parties indaba fails, Bishop frustrated – NewZimbabwe 09/02/2016

THE long-awaited for all-stakeholders indaba, the National Convergence Platform (NCP) has reportedly been abandoned due to frustration by the convener, retired Anglican bishop Sebastian Bakare.

According to sources who were part of the NCP organising committee, Bishop Bakare felt that the project had been hijacked by other political players when it was meant to be non-partisan.

“Bishop Bakare became frustrated and abandoned the idea after Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T President) and Bishop Ancelimo Magaya stole his idea and ran away with a perverted version called NERA,” one of the sources said this week.

NERA, which stands for National Electoral Reform Agenda, is an MDC-T driven agenda aimed at forcing electoral reforms before the key 2018 national vote.

“Other political parties were supportive of the NCP idea but they did not push as hard as Tsvangirai did with NERA because they wanted to give Bakare autonomy to drive a non-partisan platform,” he said.

The NCP was expected to bring together political parties and civic groups to deliberate on key issues affecting the economy in a bid to help extricate Zimbabwe from its current social and political challenges.

The first all-stakeholders meeting had been planned for October 24, last year but never took place.

“Maybe the current and future engagement efforts will succeed especially in light of the emergency of PF (Patriotic Front) as a serious threat to the existing opposition formations,” the source said.

PF is a mooted political party reportedly fronted by former Zanu PF Vice President Joice Mujuru.

The sources said NCP conveners felt that the launch of Tsvangirai’s NERA seriously affected their plans. They however, feel betrayed that NERA has also apparently failed to get off the ground.

“NERA has already been a failure because it is narrow in focus and is driven by ulterior motives and not by a genuine desire to bring all Zimbabweans to a broad platform.  Where is the civil society, for instance, in NERA?

“Where are the youths and the vendors? It is focused on political parties and that will not deliver success in terms of reigniting citizen agency and broad participation,” one of the sources added.

Among other issues, the NCP was also expected to motivate and encourage Zimbabweans to participate in addressing their socio-economic challenges and help map the way forward in find solutions.