Tsvangirai Frustrated But Hopeful

He told a private radio Station Radio VOP in an interview: “It is eleven months after the formation of the transitional Government and probably about 16 months after the signing of the GPA. I am sure that it is a fact that it was not anticipated that we go into 2010 still talking about the implementation of the Agreement. I think that’s where the frustrating part is.”

“There are problems that we face on a daily basis, on top of the GPA. Yes, it is maybe frustrating, but what we are saying is that in 2010 our negotiators must clear these issues and give a final report which we can then deal with as the Principals and then invite President Zuma to come and adjudicate on those disputed areas so that we put a finality to the issues of the implementation of the Global Political Agreement.”

His interview comes at a time when the mediator, South African President Jacob Zuma has asked Tsvangirai to be flexible and “park” some issues. Zuma is said to be currently pushing for an early election in Zimbabwe in 2011 as a way of solving the political disputes between Zanu PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change parties.

Progress of the unity government has stalled due to lack of agreement on fundamental issues such as appointment of governors, the replacement of the current Attorney General Johannes Tomana and Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono.

“As far as we are concerned, we want to put all efforts in ensuring that we deliver real change to the people,” said Tsvangirai who returned to work this week after spending a quiet holiday with his family in Dubai. “And real change will be in social, economic and political terms. That means stability, progress, and development for everyone. That’s what we want to achieve in 2010. And if we begin in those areas that should be an indication of real change to come".

Tsvangirai, whose MDC party formed a government of national unity with president Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF in February last year, said the latest spate of farm invasions was being motivated by “theft” of other people’s property.

“Well in this Global Political Agreement (GPA) we have always budgeted for resistance elements that will do something that is not within the core values of the inclusive Government and this is one of the examples. It must be condemned. The land reform programme has been agreed to, that an audit has to take place, that a commission will be set, that above all even the remaining white farmers should be protected within the law, including those covered by the BIPPA agreement with South Africa, so they should not actually be interfered with,” said Tsvangirai.

He added: “Above all unless you are motivated by theft, how do you go in the middle of the season to start replacing farmers, disrupting their operations, at the end of the day you may be thinking you are disrupting the farmer but you are actually disrupting the capacity of the country to earn the much required income. Any right-thinking person must condemn this action as it is totally out of sync with the thrust of Government, with the thrust of the land reform programme, and with the thrust of the BIPPA with SA.”

His interview came at a time when one of Mugabe’s aide, Ignatius Chombo, has been fingered amongst the top Zanu PF officials owning more than five farms in Mashonaland West province.

This has deeply divided the party in the province after a land audit exposed how senior politicians in the province owned more than one farm.

Sources in Zanu PF told Radio VOP that a damning land audit report prepared by the Mashonaland provincial Lands secretary, Themba Mliswa had exposed how the senior Zanu PF officials in the province owned more than one farm.

" A land report has exposed how senior officials in the province have been exposed for owning more than one farm. The audit report has shown that minister Chombo owns more than five farms in the province," the source told Radio VOP. "This has divided the party into two. On one side the provincial executive led by John Mafa is pushing for the audit to be released while Chombo and his followers are fighting to stop the report from being made public."

This has resulted in a group of Chombo followers expressing a vote of no confidence on the current provincial leadership led by Mafa. Chombo is being supported by senior Zanu PF Mashonaland province that includes Nathan Shamhuyarira. However, Mafa has since dismissed the vote of no confidence that was passed in the province as a "non-event and unconstitutional" adding that he was still in charge.

Chombo was in the news last year after his estranged wife, Marian went to the courts to demand her share of  several properties that the Local government minister has amassed over the years. The properties include several houses in the low and high density residential areas, stands, heavy trucks, cars, flats, farms and tractors. Radio VOP