CIVIC society leaders have said the power-sharing deal signed between President Robert Mugabe and the leaders of the two formations of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, presented a window of opportunity for the democratisation of the country.
Speaking at a meeting organised by Bulawayo Agenda in the countryâ€™s second city at the weekend, the leaders agreed that the pact had loopholes but were optimistic it could work for the nation.
The civic organisations said the loopholes should be plugged.
Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) secretary-general Raymond Majongwe said the deal could be interpreted in many ways.
â€œThe deal signed by President Mugabe and the two MDC leaders is exactly what it is — a deal — and a deal can turn sour or sweet and the impasse we are witnessing is the deal turning sour,â€ Majongwe said. â€œBut the deal itself creates a window to build from as Zimbabweans.â€
However, Majongwe criticised Mugabe for allocating key ministries to Zanu PF. â€œWe cannot continue to let President Mugabe hold the country and us to ransom,â€ he said.
The mainstream MDC and Zanu-PF last week reached an impasse on the sharing of cabinet portfolios, which led to the recalling to Harare of mediator and former South African President Thabo Mbeki to unlock the deadlock.
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) leader Jenni Williams said the agreement was an â€œelite pactâ€ which could however be used to rebuild the country.
â€œMugabe should not be allowed to steal our future,â€ she said. â€œThe deal, despite its shortcomings, is the only sustainable foundation to rebuild Zimbabwe.
The deal is couched in imprecise language and is silent on time frames except the part that deals with the constitution.â€
She said Zimbabweans should demand to know how economic recovery would be achieved under the pact.
â€œZimbabweans should demand the economic recovery document that the negotiators spoke about. We deserve to know as Zimbabweans what they discussed pertaining to the economic future of this country,â€ said Williams who challenged Zimbabweans to take to the streets to demand the document and the success of the power sharing government.
Speaking at the same occasion, the Global Zimbabwe Forum co-ordinator, Daniel Molokele, said the country was celebrating dictatorship and democratising tyranny by endorsing the agreement which defied the will of the people of Zimbabwe as reflected in the March elections.
By Loughty Dube