ON Wednesday Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai launched what the unity government calls a 100-Day Plan which he said has the â€œpotential to change the culture of governance in Zimbabweâ€.
This new project comes after the GNUâ€™s first 100 days in office which Tsvangirai said focused on the â€œprocess of formulation and consolidationâ€. The next 100 days will now focus on implementation, he said.
This is how Tsvangiraiâ€™s project is going to be executed; in 100-day phases which practically mean nothing at this stage because events lately point to the fact that the first 100 days have not achieved the desired consolidation. With it we question whether the unity government is working.
The answer is a straight no if viewed in the recent context of political arrests of activists, journalists and lawyers. This places doubt on the success of the second 100-day phase which is supposed to deal with implementation.
Principals in the power-sharing agreement which resulted in the formation of the GNU would at this stage rather have their first hundred days in office airbrushed out.
The score card of the first 100 days does not look good and it has a serious bearing on the next 100 days. That is not to say that the first hundred days have not achieved anything. We have seen price stability on consumer goods, which effectively halted runaway inflation. Food is available in shops and business sentiment has improved.
But more could have been achieved if the politicians had managed to deal with outstanding political issues in the first 100 days. The failure poses a major threat not only to the 100-Day Plan but to the life of the unity government itself.
It has become hostage to the failure by Tsvangirai, President Mugabe and Arthur Mutambara to not only deal expeditiously with the so-called outstanding issues but to also correct the defective power balance in the government.
This phenomenon has created fiefdoms within government which have become a law unto themselves. We have lately seen violations of the power-sharing deal and a new wave of repression which this week saw the arrest of staffers of this paper and key human rights lawyer Alec Muchadehama.
The major worry in all this is that solving the outstanding issues as spelt out by the GPA could fall short of what is required to implement any recovery programme. Tsvangirai is aware of this. On Wednesday, despite sounding upbeat about the 100-Day Plan, he revealed the extent of the crisis being faced by the GNU.
â€œIf all the signatories are not fully committed to abiding by the agreement to which they have appended their names, then the technical implementation of government will falter,â€ said Tsvangirai.
â€œSadly there appears to be reluctance by residual elements from the old government to obstruct and frustrate the successful implementation of the GPA. This attitude, should it continue, will limit the effective implementation of the 100-Day Plan and subsequently impact negatively on our ability to make a positive difference to the lives of all Zimbabweans.â€
He added: â€œWhat continues to plague Zimbabwe can best be described as a reluctance to accept the reality of the changes taking place within the country.â€
There you have it. There are residual elements which Tsvangirai is very much alive to. These have continued to frustrate government efforts. He is also aware of their location. They are denizens of the old government, meaning they are domiciled in Zanu PF. Theirs is to frustrate the process. They are huge stumps in the middle of a busy highway.
But Tsvangirai should not continue to speak in riddles about the people and centres of power frustrating efforts to ensure recovery. As the person who has been tasked to bring the desired change to this country, he is doing this nation a great disservice by not naming and shaming the culprits and the nature of their destructive projects.
That is not all. He should also tell us why as prime minister he has been unable to deal decisively with those frustrating government efforts. We also want to know who have been protecting the saboteurs.
He said on Wednesday that â€œthose individuals that continue to undertake these actions (of violating the GPA) are in effect stealing from every Zimbabweanâ€.
Yes, the felons are on the loose. Daily, Zimbabweans are being robbed of the freedom to express themselves and speak out against repression and demagoguery.
Citizens have been robbed of their dignity through policies and machinations that have obstructed the progressive legislative agenda. Then there are bandits and rogues who have continued to cause havoc on the farms, stealing ripening crops and destroying infrastructure.
It is time that those responsible for our misery are exposed for what they are: thieves. This has been the state of affairs in the first 100 days of the unity government.
The situation as it stands does not inspire confidence in the ability of the GNU to deliver on the 100-Day Plan as long as material and emotional theft is not dealt with. The roll-call of felons must start now, Rt Hon Prime Minister Tsvangirai.Â Â