The negotiations to be resumed this Friday, are not going to lead to anything. Mugabe’s comments at the congress this week confirm this. Mugabe realises that if the GPA is implemented fully, it will influence the balance of power and weaken the strong grip he has on Zimbabwe.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) believes it is therefore time for President Zuma to make use of our proposed Road Map to Peace and Democracy, which now seems to be the only viable alternative to bringing about constitutional democracy in Zimbabwe.
Since the GPA was signed in 2008 Mugabe has been refusing to discuss or implement many of the issues agreed to under the GPA leaving the country at a political impasse and in a state of economic meltdown. His recent comments at the conference do not provide any evidence of him changing his tactics any time soon. Instead it spells more doom.
In his closing address at the congress Mugabe stated: "Congress has noted that the inclusive government brings the party into partnership with ideologically incompatible MDC formations from which it must extricate itself in order to defend its mantle as the only dominant and ascendant political party that is truly representative and determined to safeguard the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe."
The party has also vowed to not allow further discussions of pertinent issues hampering the successful conclusion of negotiations. "Congress resolved that our inclusive government negotiators cease to entertain any discussion on or negotiation of the issue relating to the appointment of the governor of the Reserve Bank, the Attorney General and the provincial governors as these fall outside the purview of the Global Political Agreement and have their statutory origins that protect them."
These are exactly the issues identified by SADC Troika as legitimate grievances of the MDC that need to be resolved.
These latest developments show that Mugabe and Zanu-PF have no plans to implement the GPA. In fact it suggests an increase in their attempts to work against the agreement.
There is enormous international goodwill just waiting to pull Zimbabwe back from the abyss, but this will not happen as long as Mugabe is leader of the party. There is too much distrust of the party and this distrust has in the past proven to be justified.
We now call on President Zuma to use our roadmap to implement alternative measures in Zimbabwe. It is time to realise that as long as Mugabe is leader of Zanu-PF, the crisis in Zimbabwe will never end. It will continue to run in circles with Zanu-PF hoping the opposition will grow tired and give up. It is time that we sit up and face the enormous implications of this situation continuing for the next five years, because that is how long Robert Mugabe still plans to be around for.
Statement issued by Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader, Athol Trollip MP, December 17 2009