Power-deal Tampered With – MDC

OPPOSITION party leaders and diplomats have described the power-sharing agreement signed on September 15 as a “forgery” after it was discovered the document was an altered version of the original one agreed to on September 11.

The issue has brought into question circumstances surrounding the deal which has caused anger and infighting in Zanu PF and the MDC. The parties are divided over the deal and have of late been battling to seal widening cracks.
The September 15 document that was signed at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare by President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai, and deputy prime minister-designate Arthur Mutambara with facilitator former South African President Thabo Mbeki, contains crucial omissions.
Sources said the main MDC faction’s chief negotiator Tendai Biti has written to Mbeki about the changes — which he described as a “forgery” — and was assured that the issue would be rectified. It is not known who made the alterations, but the agreement was tampered with after it was given to Zanu PF to allow government to do official binding and inserting in folders.
In the September 11 document signed by all leaders, Section 20.1.7 which deals with senior government appointments states that “the parties agree that with respect to occupants of senior government positions such as permanent secretaries and ambassadors, the leadership of government, comprising the president, deputy presidents, prime minister and the deputy prime ministers will consult and agree on such prior to their appointment”.
The paragraph is missing in the September 15 agreement.
In place of that paragraph in the final agreement, Section 20.1.7 now has “Senate”. Even then the senate issue was changed.
In the September 11 agreement, the
paragraph on the senate, Section 20.1.9
read: “The president shall, in his discretion, appoint five persons to the existing positions of presidential senatorial appointments.
“There shall be created an additional six (6) appointed senatorial posts, which shall be filled by persons appointed by the president, four (4) of whom will be nominated by MDC-T and two (2) by MDC-M.”
This was changed in the final agreement.
The final agreement now reads: “The president shall, in his discretion, appoint five persons to the existing positions of presidential senatorial appointments.
“There shall be created an additional nine (9) appointed senatorial posts, which shall be filled by persons appointed by the president of whom three (3) will be nominated by Zanu PF, 3 by MDC-T and 3 by MDC-M”.
MDC leaders and diplomats said although the changes do not fundamentally alter the balance of power as enshrined in the agreement, they do raise questions of “chicanery” during the talks.
“In criminal law this is called forgery,” a senior MDC official said. “We have raised this with Mbeki and we were assured that the issue would be rectified.”
One diplomat said: “Although these issues appear minor, the question is not the alterations per se, but the motive behind it. Who did it and why?”
Tsvangirai recently referred to this as “omissions” at a press briefing and indicated the issue was part of outstanding matters in the talks. — Staff Writer.

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