POLITICAL principals of the stumbling coalition government on Tuesday failed to agree on issues recently referred to them by their party negotiators, in a move which left them with little choice but to call in Sadc facilitator, South African President Jacob Zuma.
The latest development in the protracted negotiations to finalise issues linked to the Global Political Agreement (GPA), the basis of the shaky inclusive government, could also lead to intervention by Sadc if Zuma fails to crack the deadlock.
Sources said President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara met on Tuesday afternoon until late into the night but failed to agree on anything.
“They met on Tuesday for many hours, from afternoon till deep into the night, but nothing came of it. They could not move on anything and hence no change on the situation,” one of the negotiators said. “They ended agreeing to disagree and referring the matter to Zuma. That’s where we are now.”
Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara who are in South Africa for the official opening of the World Cup could meet Zuma there, sources said.
Diplomatic sources said this week a meeting of the Sadc troika on politics, defence and security could be held soon to deal with the issue or a full Sadc summit. The troika meeting could come just after the World Cup in July. The summit is expected in September.
The troika last met in Maputo last year in a bid to prevent the collapse of the inclusive government after Tsvangirai had withdrawn citing Mugabe’s refusal to deal with GPA outstanding issues. The meeting saved the inclusive government from collapse and resolved that parties should remain engaged to clear outstanding issues.
The sources said Sadc leaders could also meet if the anticipated opening of the regional bloc’s headquarters in Gaborone, Botswana, goes ahead soon.
Last month, Sadc chair, Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila, dispatched his envoy in charge of special regional affairs, Leon Jean Ilunga Ngandu, to Harare to step up pressure on the three parties to finalise negotiations and implement the GPA in full.
Ngandu indicated Sadc leaders could meet in Botswana for the opening of the Sadc headquarters anytime.
Following intense negotiations between November 23 last year and April 2, negotiators in the inter-party talks referred a number of issues to the principals. The principals took almost two months to meet. When they eventually did on Tuesday nothing came out of it.
In their last report titled Final Report of the Negotiators on the Post-Maputo Inter-party Dialogue given to principals and Zuma in April, negotiators referred a series of issues to their leaders for finalisation.
The issues which were referred to principals included the swearing-in of Roy Bennett as Deputy Agriculture minister, appointment of provincial governors, appointment of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, chairing of cabinet, ministerial mandates, transport arrangements for principals, communication among principals, parallel government, national heroes and the role of Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba.
Charamba was this week accused of “insubordination and indiscipline” by Minister of State in Tsvangirai’s Office Gorden Moyo after making claims the prime minister had signed a “null and void” bilateral agreement with South Korea recently.
The principals were also supposed to implement a plan on the removal of sanctions after negotiators agreed on the issue. – Staff Writer.