Constitution of NEC Mired in Confusion

THE formation of the National Economic Council (NEC) in line with the global political agreement (GPA) hangs in the balance amid confusion as to who is responsible for the setting up of the economic think tank.

Following last November’s Sadc troika meeting on the outstanding issues to the GPA, negotiators of the power-sharing pact resolved in December that the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) should notify stakeholders to nominate would-be members of the council by end of this month.

According to a report of the negotiators that was sent to South African President Jacob Zuma, nominations for the NEC were received from the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe, and Jomic was instructed to invite the Zimbabwe National Farmers Union and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe to submit their nominations.

But to date neither of the two organisations had been informed, casting doubts on the coalition government’s commitment to fully implement the September 15 2008 agreement.

Article 3 of the GPA –– which gave birth to the inclusive government between President Robert Mugabe, prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara –– binds the three principals to establish a NEC composed of representatives of three political parties and representatives of the manufacturing, agriculture, mining, tourism, commerce, financial, labour, academia and other relevant sectors.

The terms of reference of the council shall include giving advice to government and such other functions as assigned to the council by government.

Icaz chief executive officer Sonny Mabheju confirmed to the Zimbabwe Independent this week that Jomic had not invited the chartered accountants body to make nominations.

“I confirm that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (Icaz) has not yet received an invitation to appoint a representative on NEC,” said Mabheju.

On why the two organisations had not been invited to make nominations and when political parties were going to submit names of potential members, Jomic member Tabitha Khumalo said the committee had no powers to implement.

“That issue is an outstanding issue for the principals,” said Khumalo. “We wrote a letter to the principals advising them on the need to set up the council. We (Jomic) do not have implementing powers.”

Provisions of the GPA, however, state that Jomic should ensure the implementation in letter and spirit of the agreement.

Khumalo added that it was up to Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara to choose which organisations should constitute the NEC.

 

Bernard Mpofu

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