In private briefings with the Zimbabwe Independent this week, negotiators and facilitators said President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara were dragging their heels on issues already resolved and complicating the situation.
Negotiators in the talks include Patrick Chinamasa and Nicholas Goche for Zanu PF, Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma for the MDC-T, and Welshman Ncube and Priscillah Misihairabwi-Mushonga for the MDC-M.
One negotiator said if Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara acted fast on implementation, the process would significantly move forward and there would effectively be few issues left to be dealt with.
“We have agreed on a number of issues and wrote a document on the implementation matrix which was part of the report submitted to the principals early last month,” one negotiator said. “However, the principals have done nothing so far to implement issues agreed upon,”
Other negotiators said they had been talking since November 5 last year and when they closed negotiations on April 3, they expected the principals to expeditiously implement the latest issues agreed upon.
South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitators are also not happy with the pace with which principals are moving. Zuma’s facilitators include Charles Nqakula, Mac Maharaj and Lindiwe Zulu.
“We are not happy with the slow pace of talks and implementation,” one of the facilitators said last night.
“We would like to see movement and this means that issues agreed upon have to be implemented, while we continue to deal with outstanding issues.” Tsvangirai on Monday confirmed that even though the principals received the final talks report weeks ago, they have not yet met to discuss issues referred to them by the negotiators or to work out implementation of resolved issues.
The facilitators, who have been shuttling between Pretoria and Harare since November last year, met with Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutamabra last week to press them to implement the GPA in full and resolve remaining issues.
Some of the issues which principals are not dealing with although they were referred to them by negotiators include outstanding agenda items and matters which now only need implementation.
A document titled Implementation Matrix, which is part of the latest talks report, outlines issues which negotiators have agreed upon and await implementation and those that they referred to the principals.
The document says principals and the facilitators must now deal with unresolved issues which include the swearing-in of Roy Bennett, appointment of provincial governors, and of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono.
The Implementation Matrix document says that “the facilitator and principals must seek ways and means of resolving these issues”.
On the governors, the document says negotiators say they have agreed on the formula to share governors and what only remains is who gets five appointees or four plus a minister between Zanu PF and the MDC-T. It says principals must sort this out and appoint new governors and swear them in.
The document states that the issue of sanctions has also been agreed upon and the principals should act. It says the principals must agree on a “work plan to remove sanctions”. The principals are required to hold a press conference and issue a statement committing themselves to the lifting of sanctions.
“The principals to the GPA should meet and consider the issuance of a statement and the convening of a press conference restating commitment to the GPA, and the removal of sanctions in the context of Article IV of the GPA and the implementation and execution of a consistent message on the question of sanctions,” the negotiators said. “The spokespersons of each of the parties to consistently make statements re-affirming the message which would have been conveyed by the principals.”
Apart from sanctions, there is also agreement on media issues, including public media reforms, hate speech and bias in the media, external radio stations and land issues (audit and tenure systems) but the principals were not acting. There is also an agreement on cabinet and Council of Ministers, National Economic Council, amendments to the Electoral Act, the role of NGOs, freedom of assembly and association and external interference but principals have balked on implementation.
The document further states principals must resolve issues related to the framework of government, which include the chairing of cabinet, ministerial mandates, transport arrangements for the principals, staff and security of principals, communication among principals, security of deputy prime ministers, security for ministers, parallel government, national heroes and the role of Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba.