It is instructive to note that President Robert Mugabe’s intransigence and the lack of tactics on the part of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are to blame for the paralysis in implementing the GPA, while Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has, to a larger extent, fuelled the tension between the two protagonists by making reckless statements in support of unilateral decisions by the 86-year-old president.
The three principals met on August 4 and reached consensus on 24 of the 27 sticking issues of the GPA. An implementation matrix on the agreed issues was drawn up and was dispatched the following day to South African President Jacob Zuma — the Sadc-appointed mediator of the Zimbabwe political crisis. A full Sadc Summit followed immediately and the matrix was adopted and hailed.
Alas, two months down the line, the implementation matrix has been dumped, the shaky inclusive government has since drifted into murky waters with more new problems threatening its existence emerging – courtesy of Mugabe’s intransigence. The ageing leader appointed ambassadors, re-appointed provincial governors without consulting the premier, has declined to revisit the re-appointment of central bank czar Gideon Gono, the hiring of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, and has adamantly refused to swear-in MDC-T treasurer Roy Bennett as Deputy Agriculture minister, among a host of other breaches of the GPA provisions.
In protest, Tsvangirai poured vitriol on Mugabe and wrote to Western capitals and international multi-lateral organisations asking them not recognise the ambassadors and also telling them that the country had plunged into a constitutional crisis. Mugabe said to hell with the protest and has since declared that there will be elections by June next year to end the inclusive government.
There is no doubt that we are suffering from a serious crisis of leadership, where the principals have discarded the GPA to pursue narrow political interests. It’s a pity that from the day of the formation of the inclusive government, Mugabe and Tsvangirai went into the trenches, not to move the country forward, but to use state institutions to outclass each other.
In this dog-eat-dog fight, Mugabe emerged victorious because of the support he has from the state security sector. Zimbabwe has evolved from a promising public state at Independence to the current security state where the apparition of the security elites dogs all political processes. Structural power is firmly being controlled by Mugabe and his hardliners, including the security chiefs, leaving Tsvangirai with a bloody-nose and no Plan B.
A cursory look on the implementation matrix agreed on August 4 shows that nothing has been done to fulfill it. The principals had agreed that within a month they would broaden media freedom by implementing far-reaching reforms, among them, the regularisation of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe, appoint a new ZBC board and constituting the Zimbabwe Media Trust to have an oversight role on public-owned, but state-controlled newspapers.
Consensus was reached that within a month a balanced land audit commission would be appointed, and that within two months a land tenure system would be in place anchored on a lease-hold system that guarantees security of tenure and collateral value of land.
It was also agreed that within a month, the long-awaited National Economic Council would be in place, and that within two months there will be an adoption of a non-partisan and inclusive principles and framework for designation of national heroes. With immediate effect, the principals had agreed that Media and Information permanent secretary George Charamba should be a professional and apolitical official, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and co-Home Affairs ministers Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone were to reaffirm the right of citizens and political parties to freely organise political activities; the Electoral Act should be amended; and the regularisation of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the appointment of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission expedited, among a host of other issues.
It is common cause that these commitments were never met because of the leadership crisis we have in the country, rendering the GPA practically dead. We can now safely assume that the country will return to the misrule of 2008 and flawed elections will follow.