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‘GPA non-implementation no poll obstacle’

In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent to mark the third anniversary of the Government of National Unity, Goche said non-implementation of the 24 issues agreed upon by the negotiators would not prevent elections from being held when the constitution-making process is complete.

 

“The post-Maputo dialogue was based on the understanding that was reached in Maputo (at the Sadc Troika summit in November 2009) that there must be concurrent movement on the issues that were still outstanding,” he said.

“In other words, if there was movement on issues such as the removal of sanctions, the cessation of hostile broadcasts into Zimbabwe by pirate radio stations and other issues which are central to Zanu PF, there would also be movement on the issues which our colleagues in the MDC consider dear. It takes two to tango.”

Some of the issues in the GPA which the two MDC formations want implemented before the country can hold credible, free and fair elections include media, security sector and electoral reforms.

However, Goche was quick to point out the three principals, President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara, were “totally” committed to the full implementation of the GPA.

 

“They will continue to discuss until they find acceptable solutions to these outstanding issues,” he said.

On the GPA lifespan, Goche said although there was no sunset clause in the GPA they agreed at the review of the relations between the parties and operations of the GPA after the lapse of the two years to continue with their marriage of convenience until after the finalisation of the constitution-making process, which would lead to a referendum and new elections.

“There is no sunset clause in the GPA. However, given the fact that the MDC-T originally felt that the constitution-making process would take not more then 18 months and therefore the elections would be held thereafter,” he said.

“This kind of thinking gave all of us the idea that this GNU would not last more than two years. However, as everybody knows the constitution-making process has taken much longer, that is why we are where we are today.”

“Speaking for my party, we believe that the GPA expired in February 2011.”

On comments that elections could be held with or without a new constitution, Goche said elections would be held under a new constitution.

“I have said that the principals are committed to the full implementation of the GPA and that elections should be held at the end of this process,” he said.

“However, we observe a deliberate delaying tactic in the constitution-making process which we consider unfair. If this kind of delaying tactics continue, my party will lose patience. We have always urged Copac (ParliamentaryConsitutional Select Committee) people to expedite the constitution-making process so that the people of Zimbabwe are then given an opportunity to elect a government of their choice.”

He warned the three drafters in the constitution-making process, Justice Moses Chinhengo, Brian Crozier and former High Court Judge Priscilla Madzonga not to misrepresent instructions given to them by Copac in the drafting of a new constitution.

“The drafters should not put into the constitution that which has not come from the people,” he said.

On fears the military would not accept the election results if Mugabe lost, Goche said: “That is not possible. We have had elections for many years and the military has never intervened. During the liberation struggle, the principle followed was that it is politics that commands the gun and not vice versa and that principle is still held dear by the military.”

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