MDC to bolster case at Chogm with dossier

Dumisani Muleya

THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will present a dossier of political and economic events in Zimbabwe to Commonwealth leaders when they meet in Abuja, Nigeria, in early Dece

mber.


MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said in an interview this week that his party would present a documentary briefing to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) where the Zimbabwe crisis will feature prominently.


“We will put a position paper on what is happening on the ground to the Commonwealth leaders when they meet in Abuja,” Tsvangirai said.


“We have no categorical position at the moment on what we are going to say but the issue is whatever happens there as far as suspension is concerned largely depends on Zimbabwe’s ability to address matters raised by the Commonwealth,” he said.


Zimbabwe was suspended from the Commonwealth for a year on March 19 last year after President Robert Mugabe was accused of rigging his reelection. The suspension was extended this year after Harare failed to address issues of concern.


Issues that Zimbabwe was supposed to address include political dialogue and national reconciliation; implementation of the Commonwealth election observer group recommendations to reform electoral laws; promotion, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, of a transparent, equitable and sustainable land reform programme; dealing with the food crisis; and tackling the economic crisis.


Zimbabwe was also asked to comply with the principles of the Harare Declaration on democracy, human rights and elections


However, there has been no progress by Mugabe’s regime to comply. The situation has actually got worse.


The only issue on which there seems to have been some sort of movement is on the political dialogue front although it is not yet clear how the talks will proceed.


Zanu PF is currently secretly talking to the MDC in a bid to resume formal dialogue.


Tsvangirai said he hoped that the current informal talks about talks were not calculated to extricate Zimbabwe from suspension ahead of the Commonwealth meeting. “Let’s hope we are not talking because of the forthcoming Abuja meeting,” he said.


On the talks issue, Tsvangirai said there has been little progress towards formal dialogue.


“The position is that there has not been much progress although both parties have declared positions that there is no alternative to dialogue,” he said. “The problem is that there is a lot of suspicion about talks. Zanu PF thinks that entering into talks means negotiating itself out of power.”