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Zuma mediation ‘disgraceful’: MDC

Paidamoyo Muzulu

NEGOTIATORS from the two MDC formations say they have lost confidence in South African President Jacob Zuma’s mediation efforts and are unhappy at Sadc’s handling of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) negotiations among the feuding partners. 

MDC-M chief negotiator and newly elected president Welshman Ncube recently went public with his frustrations with South Africa’s facilitation efforts which he called “nothing short of disgraceful” on social network site, twitter.

“South Africa’s conduct in respect to Zimbabwe is nothing short of disgraceful. South Africa rather than Sadc should be blamed for the Zimbabwe crisis,” Ncube said in a post at @minyango.

He confirmed posting the twit in an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent last week.

“That account is mine and it’s true I twitted the post on that particular day,” Ncube told the Independent. “South Africa as facilitating country and Sadc as guarantors should have paid more attention, devoted more time to assisting the parties to find common ground and they have not done so. It is that commitment to devoting as much time as everyone here to a sustainable solution to the Zimbabwean question that we think both South Africa and Sadc could have done more than they have done.”

Ncube added that: “There are a lot of players who could have done more, us included. The foreigners are, however, called upon to do more because they are guarantors.”

The MDC president said that any further delays in resolving the outstanding issues helped Zanu PF to maintain its stranglehold on power as it holds possession on most of the outstanding matters.

“Clearly, the party that is in possession of an issue in dispute will obviously accrue an advantage if the matter is not resolved or that a compromise is not reached on the issue,” Ncube said.

MDC-T negotiator and Minister of Energy and Power Development Elton Mangoma said South Africa and Sadc had failed to resolve the outstanding issues early.

“We all could have done more and therefore it’s important they (South Africa and Sadc) do more to have the matters resolved quickly,”  Mangoma said in a telephone interview on Wednesday.

He referred further questions to party spokesperson Nelson Chamisa.

Chamisa said: “We feel that the action of our guarantors, Sadc and the African Union, is in deficit. It is our wish that the half-full glass of the agreement is made full quickly by the fulfilment of the GPA in its entirety.

“Guarantors have done something, but we, however, feel there is capacity to do more. They have the leverage to help the matters solved and they can also flex their muscles a little bit to make the issues move forward.”

Zanu PF negotiator Nicholas Goche refused to comment on the negotiations when contacted by the Independent.

“There is nothing for negotiators anymore. I am not answering anything,” Goche said curtly.

Since September 2008, the parties to the GPA have been haggling on allocation of senior government positions of ambassadors, Attorney-General, Reserve Bank governor, provincial governors and swearing in of Roy Bennett as Deputy Agriculture minister from the MDC-T.

In October last year, President Robert Mugabe unilaterally reappointed 10 provincial governors without consulting his partners in the inclusive government, leading MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai to challenge their appointment in court.

Chamisa said the belief that “African problems needed African solutions” will remain hollow until “countries show boldness in making decisions and implementing them. Unfortunately, we haven’t shown that.”

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, the facilitator, recently said he is working on an election roadmap to help the protagonists overcome their differences and hold credible elections that will usher a new government.

Zanu PF has since called for the elections to be held this year while the two MDC formations are saying the GPA should be implemented in full first before elections can take place.

Zuma’s roadmap is to be tabled at a Sadc troika meeting expected to take place before month-end.

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