Editor’s Memo: Zanu PF Contemptuous of Sadc Resolutions

ZANU PF’S intransigence scaled new heights last Friday when its politburo deputy secretary of information Ephraim Masawi told the world that the party had been “compliant to the letter in fulfilling the requirements” of the global political agreement (GPA) and, therefore, there was no longer any outstanding issues besides the lifting of sanctions and an end to “pirate” radio broadcasts.


What was laughable about this claim was that more than 50 politburo members –– the bigwigs –– had met the previous day at the party’s headquarters in the capital and resolved to believe in their own lies that Zanu PF had met its side of the inclusive government pact.
Masawi boisterously told the world that Zanu PF was baffled by the two MDC formations’ “constant reference” to outstanding matters because the party had fulfilled, among other issues, the appointment of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputies Arthur Mutambara and Thokozani Khupe, ministers and deputies, permanent secretaries and ambassadors; and facilitated the constitution of the National Security Council.
The party said the rehiring of central bank governor Gideon Gono and Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and the appointment of provincial governors were not outstanding issues because it was President Robert Mugabe’s constitutional prerogative to make those appointments.
“In appointing the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Attorney-General, the president exercised his constitutional right to do so and no consultation in terms of the constitution was necessary,” Masawi said. With regard to the appointment of provincial governors, it is the exclusive constitutional prerogative of the president to appoint 10 governors and resident ministers to represent him in the 10 provinces … Besides, at the time of their appointment there was no prime minister and deputy prime minister to consult.”
This demonstrates that as far as Zanu PF is concerned, there were never any outstanding issues. Zimbabweans must remember that Gono and Tomana were appointed during the impasse over the formation of the unity government.
Zanu PF knew exactly what it was doing and they were never going to reverse these appointments.
I am quite convinced that even the two MDC formations knew this but they had to demonstrate to their supporters that they would not accept the appointments. It is a question of power, just as Ian Smith retained the key ministries and positions during the period of the Internal Settlement in 1978-79, Mugabe has also retained the powerful posts in this marriage of convenience. This is about power relations and showing who the top dog is.
By declaring that there are no outstanding issues, Zanu PF was simply telling Sadc to go to hell because it was the regional bloc’s extraordinary summit held in Pretoria on January 26 that outlined the sticking points of the pact, resulting in Tsvangirai agreeing to the formation of the inclusive government in February. This summit set the timelines for the passing of Constitutional Amendment No 19, which captured the GPA, the swearing in of Tsvangirai, Mutambara and Khupe and cabinet ministers and their deputies and the activation of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee.
A communiqué released on January 27 at the end of the summit clearly stated, among other issues, that “the appointments of the Reserve Bank governor and the Attorney-General will be dealt with by the inclusive government after its formation” and that the negotiators of the parties shall meet immediately to consider the National Security Bill submitted by the MDCT-T as well as the formula for the distribution of governors”.
So it was Sadc –– the facilitators of the GPA –– which outlined the outstanding issues Zanu PF is saying do not exist. Mugabe has spoken on many occasions thanking Sadc and the African Union for bringing peace to Zimbabwe through the unity government and has lambasted the United States, Britain and its Western allies for not respecting regional and continental bodies for their stance on Zimbabwe. Is this not duplicity?
Clearly, Zanu PF is in contempt of Sadc.
It is also contemptuous for Zanu PF to claim that it has fulfilled its commitment when we know that it is using its structural power to stand in the way of constitutional reform, opening up of media space and legislative reforms; harassing political opponents; and refusing to swear in MDC-T’s Roy Bennett as deputy Agriculture minister.
It is nonsense for Zanu PF to expect the MDC formations to cause the lifting of sanctions on the country and put an end to “pirate” radio broadcasts because the two parties did not impose the embargoes and they do not own the radio stations. In any case ZBC is currently the main vector of hate speech.
Sadc, the godfather of the GPA, if it was serious it would have great effect in making sure all parties adhere to the GPA and fully implement it.
But this appearance is far removed from reality.
Sadc feels that it has done enough to halt the violence and turmoil in Zimbabwe and quite frankly, even its chairperson Jacob Zuma’s visit to Harare next week, should not be expected to come with positive results. The regional bloc succumbed to the political machinations of Zanu PF in 2008, when things were really intense and so embarrassing that they had to do something and I cannot see anything pushing them to do more than what they have done already.  This is a body which says nothing when judgments of its own tribunal are ignored and dismissed with contempt by a member state. What more can you expect?

 

Constantine Chimakure