Mujuru stumbles in succession race

ZANU PF is reportedly blocking key reforms designed to speed-up the full implementation of the global political agreement (GPA). 

This comes as the two MDC formations have been accused of being complicit in the whole problem by allowing President Robert Mugabe and his lieutenants to circumvent issues contained in the political agreement.

This week, the constitution-making process, the most crucial step that the country had taken towards stability, peace and democracy, was put on ice amid reports that some elements in Zanu PF were determined to derail the process and force the adoption of the Kariba draft constitution as the main reference document.

Over the past month senior Zanu PF officials have gone public to denounce the planned land audit with Agriculture minister Joseph Made this week saying it was premature to undertake the exercise. Made said sanctions should be lifted first before the audit could take place.

Progress on negotiations to resolve outstanding issues of the GPA have been at a snail’s pace. The talks failed to resume on Saturday because one of the two Zanu PF negotiators, Nicholas Goche, was supposedly out of the country. The secretive negotiations reportedly started on Wednesday with no progress made.

Zanu PF first tried to derail the constitution-making process last July when its members and war veterans disrupted an all-stakeholders conference at the Rainbow Towers.

The Zanu PF supporters became violent and forced delegates to scuttle for cover as they threw chairs and overturned tables at the conference venue.

Last week, there was near pandemonium at the Harare International Conference Centre when Zanu PF supporters disrupted a workshop of outreach teams and threatened delegates with violence if the party’s choice of collating teams were not approved.

Zanu PF, sources said, is pushing for the engagement of civil servants for the data collation process, a move being opposed by the MDC formations.

The Constitutional Parliamentary Committee (Copac) said it had also delayed the deployment of outreach teams because they discovered that some people had fraudulently been accredited and trained.

The majority of those fraudulently accredited, the sources said, were members of the Zanu PF women’s league.

Unconfirmed media reports were that some Zanu PF members and war veterans in rural areas were intimidating people calling for the adoption of the Kariba draft as the new constitution.

The Kariba draft was crafted in 2007 between Zanu PF and the MDC formations.

On another front Zanu PF, which agreed in the GPA that there should be a land audit to determine the use of the vast tracts of land that have been grabbed from white commercial farmers, has made a U-turn on the matter and is agitating for the shelving of the audit.

Made on Wednesday said Zanu PF was suspicious of the intention of the land audit and wanted it shelved. He said there was no justification to blame new farm owners for grabbing land which they were not capable of utilising because they had not been given everything they needed in order to be productive.

“We might be wrong to say that there are large tracts of land lying idle. They (farmers) need to be capacitated and sanctions need to be removed,” Made said.

The purpose of the land audit, according to the GPA, is among other things, to flush out multiple farm owners, to find and reallocate idle land and to determine what kind of assistance the new farmers needed.

Zanu PF however believes the land audit is a ploy by “detractors of the programme to reverse the gains of the land reform”.

The party’s militant war veterans have sworn to resist the audit demanding that the money earmarked for the programme be used to assist new farmers with inputs and other needs.

The crucial talks to settle the outstanding GPA issues have had to be postponed for weeks because the Zanu PF negotiating team is, for one reason or another, unavailable.

Negotiators last met last year and took a holiday break without resolving any of the key conflict issues. Sources close to the talks say Mugabe’s party was not in a hurry to bring GPA issues to finality and in fact there were elements in the party that were determined to reverse the whole process.

“Zanu PF wants to take the country back to 2008. Their reason is that they are clear in their minds that any process that may lead to elections is against them because they cannot win any election in the foreseeable future,” a senior MDC official said, adding the party’s national council was expected to meet at the weekend to deal with these issues. “They will scuttle the constitution, delay or totally derail the talks, block the land audit while physically bringing back violence out in the countryside.”

The MDC has since accused Zanu PF of using delaying tactics to thwart any progress aimed at fulfilling the GPA in full.

The unresolved issues that are still keeping the government partners apart include the unilateral appointment of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono which the MDC want revoked.

The two MDC formations also want to share provincial governors, something that Zanu-PF has reneged on. Mugabe has also refused to swear in Roy Bennett, currently on trial for terrorism-related charges, as the deputy minister of Agriculture.

However since the signing of the GPA the agenda of outstanding issues has grown to 27 items, but 16 of the issues are said to have been agreed on while the remaining 11 are subject to negotiation.

Zanu PF has remained adamant on issues pertaining to national security with revelations that the Joint Operations Command (JOC) was still meeting while the National Security Council which replaced JOC has only met once despite provisions in the GPA for the council to meet once a month.

Tsvangirai does not attend JOC meetings, but he is expected to attend meetings of the National Security Council.
Zanu PF has deliberately slowed down the full implementation of the GPA through Mugabe who has delayed the operationalisation of four constitutional commissions, the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), the Human Rights Commission, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Despite the naming of the commissioners, there has been no movement to swear in the commissions which are expected to spearhead reforms in their chosen sectors.

The 15-nation Sadc bloc brokered an accord in September 2008 that resulted in Mugabe and Tsvangirai forming an unsteady power sharing government.

However, since that time Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara of the MDC-M have accused Mugabe of violating terms of the agreement.

Tsvangirai last year temporarily withdrew his party from the coalition government in protest at Mugabe’s intransigence but reversed his decision a month later following talks mediated by Sadc.

 

Loughty Dube

 

Loughty Dube