"Follow Zimbabwe Political Agreement To The Letter"

OPINION – In politics it is what you do rather than what you say that people normally watch and comment on. Action really speaks louder than words in the world of politics. Zimbabweans of late are scrutinising the actions of leading politicians, particularly in view of the recent disturbing events.

The Global Political Agreement (GPA) was signed on September 11, 2008 in Harare and subsequently solemnised (not without some controversy regarding some unilaterally altered phrases) on September 15, 2008 amidst much pomp and ceremony.

Thus, from the date that the three political principals signed the GPA, we all expected that our principals will slavishly adhere to the terms and conditions of their political agreement. Unfortunately, the GPA has not been wholly respected and to this date, there are several sticky outstanding issues that severely threaten the very survival of the inclusive government that was formed on February 11,2009.

We are acutely aware of the fact that the issue concerning the appointment of permanent secretaries, senior diplomats, provincial governors as well as the Reserve Bank governor and the Attorney-General is still sticking out like a sore thumb. The events on the ground point to a situation where, at the very least, one of the political principals does not seem very keen to fully consummate the marriage that was solemnized September 15, 2009.

This apparent reluctance to fully consummate the marriage is indeed, a sure recipe for the irretrievable breakdown of the political union that was entered into on September 15, last year.

The political position was not made any better when, some few weeks ago, Minister Nelson Chamisa was virtually demoted when a crucial chunk of his ministerial portifolio and some responsibilities were taken away from him,unilaterally.

It is not a secret that the other two political principals were neither consulted nor advised in advance that Minister Chamisa was about to be demoted. And it is this type of unilateral and extremely provocative conduct that will shake any marriage to its very foundation.

A political marriage,just like a normal marital union between consenting adults, can only survive on utmost good faith, mutual trust and love. If any of these ingredients are missing in any union, then the divorce lawyers should be ready to receive a brief. Let the readers misconstrue my submission; I am not by any stretch of the imagination suggesting that the inclusive government is about to collapse.

All I am stating is that the continued and deliberate failure to fully consummate the GPA is an inevitable recipe for its breakdown. In making these comments, I am fully alive to the recent attempts by the political principals to hold meetings aimed at conclusively resolving the afore-mentioned outstanding issues.

But then in normal life, be it in business or politics, people can not negotiate forever. There has to be a cut off point. The people are watching; closely. And it will be foolhardy for any one to take the people’s patience for granted.

Although no precise official confirmation has been given as to when exactly the outstanding issues will be resolved, my gut feeling is that we are still very far off from fully consummating the GPA. The inclusive government was formed on February 11, 2009; almost three months ago. I am completely at a loss to understand why the three political principals would require three months to fully consummate the political marriage.

One senses that there is strong resistance, from at least one partner, to fully consummate the marriage. And how then can children be borne of a marriage that is yet to be fully consummated. Do we expect the children to come out of artificial insemination? My argument is that the inclusive government cannot be expected to produce any meaningful and tangible results when the political principals are still hustling to fully consummate their marriage. A lot of energy and resources are being spent on attempts to fully consummate the union. Surely, if all that energy and resources will be channelled to efforts aimed at reviving Zimbabwe’s comatose economy, then we would have made significant progress since February 11, 2009.

We also have the issue of Senator Roy Bennett who is yet to be sworn in as the country’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture. The reasons being given for his not being sworn in are ridiculous to say the least. There is no lawful impediment to Senator Bennett being sworn in as a Deputy Minister. Period.

If we are going to allow one political principal to literally dictate the pace in everything that is being done concerning the GPA, then we are heading for doomsday. There is absolutely no doubt about that. Zimbabwe is not going to benefit anything from this incessant and endless political bickering and procrastination.

As a country, we ought to have a road map leading to exactly where want Zimbabwe to go. We cannot continue to hold endless meetings relating to the consummation of the GPA whilst the country burns. The people will very soon start asking some very tough questions. They will start to loudly wonder whether we are coming or going.

As I write this article, I am visiting the state of Florida in the United States; where I came to attend my daughter’s graduation at the Florida International University on Tuesday, April 28, 2009. Kindly permit me to pay tribute to Enia Lorna Gutu who graduated, Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the Landon Undergraduate School of Business at FIU. Whilst here, I have learnt that the Obama administration completed its first 100 days in office on Wednesday, April 29. And the people here are being asked by major television networks such as CNN and Fox News, to rate President Obama’s performance thus far.

The inclusive government in Zimbabwe should also be aware that at its recent retreat at Victoria Falls, it gave itself a 100 day program of action. The people are closely watching and come the expiry of the 100 days, an assessment will definately be done.

I have already stated that we are not guaranteed of the people’s support, forever. The people will assess our performance in government and thereafter, make a decision about whether or not they should continue giving us their support. Politics is indeed a fickle game; with no known rules nor formula. We should always watch our back.

The GPA should be promptly followed to the letter if we are serious about turning around Zimbabwe’s political and socio-economic fortunes. If we fail to fully consummate the GPA, then the consequences are too ghastly to contemplate.

Written by Senator Obert Gutu. This article wasa originally published at www.changezimbabwe.com