Mugabe offers transitional govt

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is reportedly proposing the formation of a six-month transitional government to manage his exit from power after he lost the presidential race to the MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai.


Sources said Mugabe made the proposal to avoid a run-off and wanted to lead the transitional government made up of Zanu PF and MDC members and then would relinquish power to the opposition.
The proposal, the sources said, was tabled to the MDC and was one of the many options Mugabe was considering to manage his departure from office after 28 years at the helm.
“Zanu PF tabled the proposal to the MDC this week and the opposition is looking into it although it is likely to reject it,” one of the sources said. “This is one of several options Mugabe is weighing before he makes a final decision on his future.”
While details were sketchy on the modalities of forming the transitional government, the sources said Mugabe wanted to guarantee his safe exit from power.
The MDC spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa, yesterday professed ignorance of the Mugabe proposal.
“We are not aware of the proposal for the formation of a transitional government,” Chamisa said. “Why a transitional government when we won the elections?”
Political analysts said wherever there was a change of guard, especially when the incumbent sees the newly elected leader as hostile, the handover of power must be handled with care.
“There are a lot of guarantees and assurances, implicit and explicit, required for the incumbent’s political, bureaucratic and security establishments,” one analyst said. “(Former Rhodesia Prime Minister Ian) Smith and apartheid regimes received similar guarantees and assurances from the liberation movements.”
The analysts said delays in releasing the presidential results must be seen in that context because “the country has never witnessed what we are seeing in relation to a transfer of power”. 
“Zanu PF is in shock and real trouble, MDC must not worsen that shock,” another analyst said.
In May 2006, the MDC proposed the formation of a transitional government under its Road Map strategy to resolve the country’s political and economic crisis.
The party proposed that the government be made up of Zanu PF and the MDC. Its mandate was to come up with a people driven constitution and oversee a democratic election.
“Once a new people driven constitution is in place, needless to say, the ultimate process of legitimization must surely be the conducting of free and fair elections in terms of the new constitution under international supervision,” the Road Map strategy read.
The strategy was anchored on seven main issues, among them, talks between the civil society, Zanu PF and the MDC on the modus operandi on negotiating terms and parameters; negotiations for constitutional conference and a transitional authority and the enactment by parliament of a Constitutional Conference Act.
The party wanted the constitutional conference to draft the new constitution while the transitional government deals with economic reconstruction before a referendum of the new supreme law takes place.
It also proposed a period of national healing and integration that would have resulted in the abrogation of repressive laws such as the Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. During the same period the MDC wanted airwaves to be opened up.

By Constantine Chimakure