Where is Robert Mugabe's commitment to GNU?

OPINION – One wonders whether somebody was holding a gun to Robert Mugabe's head, when he said at the Independence celebrations: "We need tolerance … irrespective of political or religious affiliation.\r\n

"For the global political agreement to succeed, there is need for national healing to put behind the atmosphere of hostility and polarization which had regrettably become a feature of our national politics."

Even as all signs point to the need for compromise and accomodation to save Zimbabwe, a fourth meeting with his Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, in two weeks is said to have failed to resolve issues threatening to paralyse the country’s shaky coalition government.

Business Day (SA) reported that the talks remained deadlocked after long hours of intense discussions, signaling a serious political problem besetting the new government.

The leaders reportedly agreed to meet again today for the fifth time, reminiscent of the previous negotiations where Mugabe refused to budge and kept on agreeing to talks, but without making any concessions.

It is Mugabe who has to agree to the appointment of new governors from the other parties, otherwise it is not a government of national unity – an issue which he refused to discuss until the MDC agreed to go into the government while leaving it to be resolved later.

The MDC’s demands are not unreasonable – that the people of Manicaland who overwhelmingly voted for the MDC should have an MDC governor and Zanu (PF) should have governors in the provinces which it won – because the governor’s office is a political office.

On permanent secretaries, the accounting officers of ministries, it is clear that the secretaries must promote GNU policies, but they cannot do so if they were all appointed by Zanu (PF), for example George Charamba; there is no way that it can be argued that his is not a Zanu (PF) appointee.

Therefore there is need to consult with the MDC on some neutral persons or mutually agreeable professionals who will be able to inspire their ministry functionaries to carry forward the unity government’s agenda – accounting officers who will be able to say no to using state resources for Zanu (PF) or MDC purposes, who will be able to enroll youths in training centres without considering their party affiliation.

The same applies to diplomats; in fact it is the MDC which has the clearly diplomatic role of convincing its friends to support the new government with aid, but not the same diplomats who have been used to castigating their hosts as colonial masters with designs on Zimbabwe’s resources.

In countries where the traditional Zanu (PF) relations persist – like China and Iran – yes they can leave theirZanu (PF) diplomats there because they speak the same language.

The detention of opposition MDC officials including Chris Dhlamini and Ghandhi Mudzingwa and the swearing in of Roy Bennett and farm invasions, are clearly issues which Mugabe cannot claim to have the moral high ground on, which means he is being stubborn and obstinate.

Unilaterally seizing the department of communications from Information Communication Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa of the MDC, clearly shows Zanu PF) lack of trust for the MDC, yet the MDC showed trust by allowing Zanu (PF) to control the military and intelligence operations.

By refusing to budge on these issues Mugabe can no longer claim to be a patriot with the interests of Zimbabweans at heart, because it is all going to mean that there will be no aid forthcoming; there will be no reconstruction assistance coming and, as the Americans, the British and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings have already indicated, Zimbabwe needs to do a lot more on the rule of law front before she can receive any aid.

Even the way he refuses to discuss the appointment of disgraced Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana, also seems to show an ulterior motive because there is no value that Gono and Tomana are going to add to his government.

It has explicitly been said by some donors that they will never give Zimbabwe money when it is going to be controlled by a Governor who has a reputation of  helping himself to depositors’ funds, but Mugabe insists on keeping him on? www.changezimbabwe.com