In a statement posted on their party website and widely circulated by email, the MDC-T said it was extremely concerned at the lack of urgency shown by ZANU PF and Arthur Mutambara’s party, in resolving the outstanding issues as soon as possible, as instructed by the guarantors.
‘The deadline set by the SADC troika for the resolution of outstanding issues has once again been missed because of the intransigence, mischief and insincerity exhibited by the political players who are not taking the plight of the people of Zimbabwe seriously,’ the statement said.
SW Radio Africa is reliably informed that dialogue between the parties will now begin on Monday, though low level consultations will be held over the weekend. Negotiators from the MDC-T and ZANU PF have been on standby since Monday, waiting for the return of Ncube and Mushonga.
When negotiators from the MDC-T and ZANU PF met on Monday Welshman Ncube and Priscillah Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the lead negotiators from the MDC-M, were absent. Both are reported to be in Europe attending a World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial conference.
The SADC Troika summit that convened in Maputo, Mozambique on 5th November resolved that the political parties’ who were signatory to the GPA must engage in dialogue within 15 days and not any delay this beyond 30 days.
The summit also said dialogue should include all outstanding issues in the implementation of the GPA and that Jacob Zuma was tasked to evaluate progress and report back to the chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.
The MDC is extremely concerned about the delays in appointing provincial governors, ambassadors and other senior government officials and the fact that Mugabe unilaterally re-appointed the Attorney General and the Reserve Bank governor.
ZANU-PF meanwhile is only interested in the lifting of targeted sanctions on the ruling elite and the closure of external radio stations broadcasting into the country.
The 15 day deadline set by SADC is Saturday and its clear the parties will not meet that timeline. This has left the MDC-T seething.
‘For two weeks, Zimbabweans have waited in vain for the political gridlock to be unlocked. We note with concern that the body language from both ZANU PF and the Mutambara-led political outfit does not show sincerity and faithfulness to resolve the outstanding issues,’ the party said.
‘Ncube and Mushonga have chosen to prioritize flying to world capitals at the expense of resolving critical issues that will deliver real change to the people of Zimbabwe. We expect that all parties, especially those that have chosen to ignore the important time-frames, targets and deadlines set by SADC, should urgently meet and clear the deck of the outstanding issues,’ the MDC said.
Mujonzi Mutandiri, the National Constitutional Assembly coordinator for South Africa, said the reason why the MDC-M is delaying the talks is the realization that ‘very soon’ they would be history, if the GPA is implemented fully.
‘They are buying time, just like their colleagues from ZANU PF. These guys are unelected, they were rejected by the people so they don’t have a constituency that they serve apart from their own vested interests,’ Mutandiri said.