ON SEPTEMBER 15, 2008, the Principals of the three main political parties in Zimbabwe signed the Global Political Agreement, (GPA).
On January 27, 2009, following a SADC Summit in Pretoria, South Africa, that body issued a Communiqué that among other things directed the three political parties to the Zimbabwe dialogue to form an inclusive Government and to resolve the appointments of the Attorney General, the RBZ Governor, Provincial Governors and to appoint Ministers and Deputy Ministers.
With this undertaking, the inclusive Government was formed and commenced work on February 25, 2009. We in the MDC took a firm decision on January 30, 2009, to participate in this government, to give the people of Zimbabwe hope and an opportunity to retain their dignity and to restart their lives.
Despite the enormous problems faced in healing our shattered nation, we have been able to allow the people to begin the process of rebuilding their lives. In addition, a degree of peace and stability has begun to take root and basic foods and services have returned to the country.
However, as a Party we remain concerned and disappointed with the deliberate frustration associated with the implementation of key outstanding issues of the GPA, including the failure to implement the SADC resolutions of the 27th of January 2009.
Firstly, it is regrettable that the government has not been fully consummated to the extent that not all ministerial office holders have been sworn-in. The case of Roy Bennett remains a blatant indicator of poor faith in implementing the GPA.
Secondly, the outstanding issue of the RBZ Governor and the Attorney General, which ought to have been resolved a long time ago, are impacting negatively on the credibility and legitimacy of the inclusive Government. SADC accepted that these were genuine issues and that the appointments should not have been made as they were in breach of both the MOU, signed in July 2008, and the GPA. It is imperative that these issues be resolved as a matter of urgency.
Thirdly, it is also regrettable that we have not resolved or implemented agreed positions on Provincial Governors despite the negotiators agreeing on a formula for their fair allocation.
Over and above this, the political climate in Zimbabwe continues to be marred by unfortunate and vicious propaganda that emanates from the State media. It appears that the State media continues to see the three political parties in the inclusive Government through its historic perspective of hatred and acrimony, blatantly advancing the interests of a single political party.
This distortion of the political reality by the State media presents a real and credible threat to this inclusive Government and its ability to impact positively on the lives of all Zimbabweans
To make matters worse, the selective application of the rule of law, including the persecution and prosecution of MDC MPs, continues to inflame political tensions. Equally problematic, is the deliberately slow pace of progress on the implementation of key issues connected to Human Rights and the rule of law. This includes the self evident deliberate stalemate on the Constitutional-reform process, as well as the slow pace of media reform.
As a Government, we cannot expect to be taken seriously by the people, the region or the international community, if we do not abide by the commitments we signed up to in the GPA.
This agreement was not the invention or desire of a single political party. Instead it represented a pledge by the three main political parties to put aside our differences and to work together to rebuild our nation and to provide an environment for all Zimbabweans to rebuild their lives.
This was evidenced by the recent visit of South African President and Chairman of SADC, Jacob Zuma. I would like to thank President Zuma for taking the time to familiarise himself with the issues facing our country and for echoing the call for the full implementation of the GPA.
In addition to being the guarantors of the agreement, SADC and the AU also undertook to conduct a six-month review of the inclusive Government and the allocation of ministerial mandates to the respective parties.
As President of the MDC, I remain committed to ensuring that the GPA provides the foundation upon which we can build a healthy, prosperous and open society and I shall do everything in my authority that this is the Zimbabwe that we deliver to the people.
To all our citizens, I express my profound respect and admiration for your courage, resilience and unwavering belief in the Zimbabwe that we all demand and deserve. Together we will restore our nation to its proud place in the region as a beacon of hope, prosperity and freedom.