Zanu PF fails to turn up for tallks – MDC

HARARE – Negotiations to iron out outstanding issues to the GPA failed to take off after Zanu-PF co-negotiator Nicholas Goche failed to attend the meeting. MDC co-negotiator Mr Elton Mangoma confirmed the negotiators’ failure to resume their discussions.

“We failed to meet today (yesterday) after Goche failed to attend the meeting. I don’t know as to when we are going to resume the dialogue,” said Mr Mangoma.

Goche could not be contacted for comment late last night. The negotiations called by the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security meeting in Maputo last year were adjourned in December after considerable progress had been reported.

Principals to the GPA – President Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara – agreed on the membership of the Zimbabwe Media Council, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

However, Zanu-PF and the MDC are at loggerheads over the appointment of Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Mr Johannes Tomana. Zanu-PF has called the MDC to add itsvoice against illegal sanctions imposed by the West, external interference in Zimbabwe’s affairs and the disbanding of pirate radio stations operating from Botswana and Madagascar.

MDC is calling for swearing in of its agriculture deputy minister-designate Roy Bennett but Zanu-PF insists he has to be cleared of criminal charges he is facing in the High Court.

Zanu-PF also maintains that Dr Gono and Mr Tomana’s appointments were above board and were made when the MDC-T was vacillating before joining Government.

Meanwhile, South African President Jacob Zuma has urged MDC-T Mr Morgan Tsvangirai to be flexible in his demands for full implementation of the Global Political Agreement while negotiations failed to resume yesterday because one negotiator was unable to attend.

The discussions were adjourned last year as negotiators from Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations were reporting back and consulting their parties.

In an interview with a South African radio station on Friday last week, President Zuma said some of the issues being demanded by the MDC were “trivial”.

The Sadc-appointed facilitator said such issues should not be allowed to hinder the business of the inclusive Government.

“Are these issues (Gono and Tomana) so fundamental that we cannot move without resolving them? Can we park them and proceed!”

President Zuma, however, said he was positive and hopeful that Zimbabwe’s three parties in the inclusive Government would bridge their differences through the ongoing negotiations.

“I’m sure the Zimbabweans have to open up and look at the issues from all angles,” he said. – Zim Net Radio