HomePoliticsGovt in Rush to Fulfil GPA

Govt in Rush to Fulfil GPA

THE inclusive government is now in a rush to resolve some of the outstanding issues of the global political agreement (GPA) ahead of next month’s Sadc Summit that will, among other things, review the pact.


Sadc leaders will meet for the regional bloc’s annual summit in line with their resolution in January to assess progress made in the implementation of the GPA — signed last September — and the effectiveness of the unity government since its formation in February.

 

Impeccable sources in government said the rush to resolve and implement provisions of the GPA was meant to appease Sadc, which recently got a letter of complaint from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara on the unwillingness of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF to resolve the outstanding issues.

Tsvangirai and Mutambara wrote to Sadc chairperson, South African president Jacob Zuma, asking the regional bloc to intervene and resolve outstanding issues on the rehiring of Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and the appointment of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana last year.

The premier and his deputy want the appointments rescinded.

Besides the Gono and Tomana issues, Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara have until recently failed to agree on other outstanding matters, among them the appointment of provincial governors, ambassadors and permanent secretaries, the meeting of the Zimbabwe National Security Council and the Council of Ministers and media reforms.

This week, government made pronouncements in line with fulfilling the provisions of the GPA.
For the first time since 2 000, government said the BBC and CNN were free to resume operations in the country.

This followed separate meetings between Media minister Webster Shamu, permanent secretary George Charamba, and principal director Sylvester Maunganidze and BBC and CNN representatives in the past fortnight.

In letters to the two broadcasters, Shamu said government acknowledged “the need to put behind us the mutually ruinous relationship of the past”.

The move to allow back the two broadcasters is in line with expected media reforms that will culminate in the licensing of new media outlets, both print and electronic.

Government also made an announcement that it will uphold the people’s right to demonstrate as long as they followed laid-down procedures, among them, notifying the police to guarantee peace and security during the protest.

“It would be inviting chaos, for example, if persons anywhere, anytime were allowed to hold public processions or gatherings in public places without the knowledge of the police,” co-Home Affairs minister Giles Mutsekwa told journalists on Tuesday. “The obvious result will be the mayhem that will be created by vehicular and human traffic, particularly in built-up areas such as towns and cities.”

The Zimbabwe National Security council, which replaced the Joint Operations Command, met yesterday for the first time after the inclusive government despite that in terms of the law it should “meet at least once in every calendar month”.

The council is made up of the president and vice presidents, the premier and deputy premiers, ministers responsible for finance, defence forces, the police force and one minister nominated by each of the three political parties in the GPA.

The Minister of National Security, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Secretary to the Premier and commanders of the defence forces, the army and air force, commissioner-general of police, commissioner of prisons and director-general of the CIO are ex-officio members of the council.

The council, among other things, review national policies on security, defence and law and order — recommending or directing appropriate action.

The council, it was alleged, never met before because service chiefs were not cooperative because they were against the formation of the inclusive government.

Besides the meeting of the security council, the Council of Ministers chaired by Tsvangirai met on Wednesday and its meetings have now been made compulsory.

Government has also started the process of national healing, cohesion and unity in respect of victims of pre and post-Independence political conflict as espoused in the GPA.

Two months ago, Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara resolved the issue of the appointment of provincial governors, ambassadors and permanent secretaries.

In September, the MDC-T will appoint five governors in Masvingo, Harare, Mutare, Manicaland and Matabeleland North, while Zanu PF will have four governors in Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Midlands. The MDC-M will have one governor in Matabeleland South.

On the issue of permanent secretaries, the three principals agreed to retain the incumbents because of their experience and that they were career civil servants appointed on the basis of their qualifications.
The principals also agreed on the allocation of diplomatic posts to the MDC-T and MDC-M.

Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara resolved that the MDC-T would appoint four diplomats and MDC-M one.

Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Gorden Moyo, said: “There has been consensus on the diplomatic postings among the parties and the countries that are vacant at the moment are Nigeria, Sudan, Germany, Australia and Senegal.”

MDC-T will have ambassadors in Nigeria, Sudan, Germany and Australia and the MDC-M in Senegal.
Moyo said the ambassadors-designate would be posted after undergoing a diplomatic course next month.

“The new ambassadors will undergo training for three weeks starting on August 3 and immediately after completing training they will be posted to their new stations,” Moyo said.

He, however, could not be drawn to reveal the names of the five people seconded as ambassadors-designate.

“The principals agreed in principle on the available posts, but they will be meeting when vacancies arise to decide on how to fill the posts,” Moyo said.

The resolution of the Gono and Tomana issues, sources said, could drag on as Mugabe is insisting that he appoint them in line with the constitution and that provisions of the supreme law superseded those of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) the parties signed in July last year.

The MoU barred Mugabe from making any senior appointments in government until an inclusive government was formed.

By Constantine Chimakure/ Loughty Dube

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