We will not backtrack on calls to remove this pile – MDC

‘This is an issue that was referred to SADC for arbitration and. As far as we are concerned this issue is still outstanding, it’s not a closed chapter as the state media would want us to believe,’ the aide said.

On Wednesday the state owned Herald newspaper said that the SADC ruling had put to rest the issue of Gono and Tomana.

‘Yes SADC has said they call on the international community to remove targeted sanctions against those in ZANU PF. But they never said the issue of Gono and Tomana has been resolved. This is why we will have the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security to monitor the implementation of the GPA,’ the aide added.

Article 14 of the SADC communiqué issued on Tuesday said; ‘On Zimbabwe, Summit noted the progress made in the implementation of the Global Political Agreement and called on the international community to remove all forms of sanctions against Zimbabwe.’

Botswana Foreign Affairs Minister, Phandu Skelemani, spoke to journalists on Thursday and said that SADC leaders agreed to call on the international community to remove the targeted sanctions, reportedly after Mugabe assured them that nominees proposed by the two MDC formations will be appointed as provincial governors.

Skelemani also said Botswana spoke to representatives of some western countries about the lack of foreign aid to Zimbabwe.

‘However, these people told us they are concerned by invasions in farms, where white owners are attacked. They also expressed concern over the fact that despite the Global Partnership Agreement (GPA), which stipulated well that the leaders would share power, the same governors, Attorney-General and ambassadors appointed by Mugabe are still holding the positions. They complained that people, especially those associated with the MDC continue to be incarcerated by the government,’ he said.

Skelemani said that Mugabe told the summit the dispute over high profile appointments is being addressed. He said they have agreed that his political partners, Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara should propose names of people to be appointed to top posts. Both Tsvangirai and Mutambara have sent Mugabe their lists for governors, ambassadors and one deputy ministerial post.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said on Thursday in Johannesburg that the European Union is not ready to end its sanctions against Zimbabwe.

‘I want to be clear: the EU is not prepared to lift the restrictions we have on Zimbabwe,’ said Reinfeldt, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

‘It is not the restrictions that are creating problems in Zimbabwe, it is the mismanagement … not respecting of human rights,’ he added.
The state media has been misleading the public that the SADC communiqué puts to rest calls by the MDC to have Tomana and Gono removed from office.

‘The state media is lying. To the best of our knowledge the SADC leaders were told there were outstanding issues to be resolved and this is why they ruled that the Troika will be best suited to look into this,’ the aide said.

The unilateral appointment of Gono and Tomana in August last year, still undermines the SADC communiqué issued in Pretoria on 27th January this year and the GPA signed by the three political parties ZANU PF and the two MDC formations in September last year.

The SADC communiqué unequivocally states that ‘the appointments of the Reserve bank governor and the Attorney general will be dealt with by the inclusive government after its formation.’

The national executive of the MDC is meeting in Bulawayo on Saturday followed by a national council meeting on Sunday. Both meetings are expected to call upon party president Morgan Tsvangirai to demand the resignation of the central bank governor and attorney general, saying their continued tenure was sowing conflict and division in the new unity government.

Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF and Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s MDC formed a transitional government in February, but the parties are at odds over the fate of Gono and Tomana, both Mugabe allies.

The MDC has been highly critical of the two men, blaming Gono for fuelling hyperinflation through printing money to shore up Mugabe’s past governments, while accusing Tomana of presiding over the prosecution of rights and its party activists.

Tsvangirai is expected to brief party supporters during the party’s 10th anniversary celebrations in Bulawayo, Sunday that the failure to resolve outstanding issues still affects the credibility of the new government as Western countries continue to withhold critical funds, demanding more reforms. SW Radio Africa