Once the dust settles in those countries either way, there is no guarantee that the world will not return back to its favourite pastime.
The developments in the northern part of our continent should impress upon all of us within the Sadc region, about the need and importance of resolving the Zimbabwean impasse speedily and in a way that will not just satisfy the Sadc Region but also that would be acceptable to the entire world.
There is a growing impatience within the region as well as the world about the long period of time it is taking us to find a permanent and lasting solution to the challenges that face Zimbabwe.
This report covers the Zimbabwe Peace process and the programme of facilitation. The report focuses on the matters relating to the Global Political Agreement, as well as the Facilitator’s engagement with the role players.
The report follows up from the recommendations by the Troika Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, to the Sadc Summit, held at Windhoek, Namibia, on August 15, 2010. As will be recalled, the recommendations were endorsed by the Summit.
The continued engagement with the Zimbabwe Peace Process relies on the declaration of commitment by the Zimbabwe parties captured as follows in the GPA:
“The Parties hereby declare and agree to work together to create a genuine, viable, permanent, sustainable and nationally acceptable solution to the Zimbabwe situation and in particular to implement the (Global Political Agreement ) with the aims of resolving once and for all the current political and economic situation and charting a new political direction for the country”. [Article II, 2.]
2. ASSESSMENT OF THE SITUATION:
We have been engaged in a process of mediating since the establishment of the GPA in January 2009, and we have not made much progress. As Sadc we need to re-double our efforts in finding a permanent and lasting solution to the challenge that Zimbabwe faces.
There have been moments which have given us hope in the past that a breakthrough would be found but we have been continuously disappointed by the slow pace and lack of progress in areas which are critical. We have been disappointed by continuous backtracking and lack of implementation of resolutions and agreements made.
It is time that Sadc must speak with one voice in impressing to all the parties concerned that this situation can no longer be tolerated. The focus that Zimbabwean parties have placed on elections without creating the necessary conducive climate for those elections an unfortunate side-track.
The fact that Zimbabwean parties are in an electioneering mode, and are more and more agitating for the holding of elections while they have not done enough groundwork towards ensuring that the building blocks and institutions are firmly in place towards the holding of free, fair and democratic elections is counterproductive.
We must dissuade all parties from thinking that they can hold elections in the prevailing atmosphere that is characterised by violence, intimidation and fear.
The holding of elections in this current climate will lead Zimbabwe back to the situation it was in about three years ago when it held its last elections, or even find itself in a far worse situation than before. We cannot have elections when the ground has not been sufficiently prepared.
3. FURTHER ENGAGEMENTS;
In my capacity as Facilitator, and in pursuit of the desire to keep the parties working closely together in the implementation of the GPA and in the best interest of Zimbabwe, I arranged a meeting in Harare on November 26, where I met the Political Principals, President Robert G. Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan R. Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur G.O Mutambara.
Among other things I took up with the leaders, was the Sadc decision “to help Zimbabwe to draw up guidelines for a free and fair election”.
There was agreement among us that a roadmap needed to be developed as a guideline for democratic, free and fair election without violence and intimidation and where the playing field would be level for all.
3.1. Implementation Matrix:
I also raised the matter of the Implementation Matrix (Annexure “A”) of decisions taken by the negotiators and endorsed by the Political Principals, especially those matters which could not be resolved.
As will be recalled, the Sadc Summit endorsed the recommendation of the Troika that:
“ The parties, assisted by the Troika, should discuss the outstanding matters in keeping with the decisions of the Maputo Troika Summit and resolve them within one month as part of a confidence-building measure, based on appropriate consultation (within the ambit of ) Zimbabwe’s law and any other relevant legal instrument.”
I will not go into details about what issues have been points of contention, suffice to say that we are all familiar with those issues as they were dealt with extensively during the last Sadc and Troika Summits.
But of concern to us is the fact that while there are many agreements reached by signatories to the Global Political Agreement there has been a lack of implementation even on the issues that had been agreed upon, which clearly indicate a lack of political will to move the process forward by implementing those things that all parties are in agreement about.
While the Media Commission has been established the biggest challenge is that the Board of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation has not been appointed nor has the Media Trust been constituted.
Those matters, including the absence of enabling legislation, restrict the Media Commission in discharging its functions.
The Media Commission is an important instrument in the creation of a level political field en route to elections, where, among other things, there should be unbiased and equal access by all stakeholders regarding print space and air time, with unfettered access and equal rates for advertising, and where all stakeholders should have a right of reply when subjected to adverse publicity.
The Human Rights Commission was also established, however, the absence of enabling legislation is also undermining the effectiveness of Human Rights Commission.
The Commission also suffers from inadequate resources, human and material, including funding.
In addition to these, there are also other important commissions that have not been established yet; these include the Land Audit Commission and the Anti- Corruption Commission.
The challenges we have highlighted are admitted by the Zimbabweans themselves as can be seen in the report of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC), which is attached for your information as Annexure B.
Suspicion continues to dog the campaign for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe, a matter that all parties agreed to in principle.
A sanctions removal strategy was agreed to and Party Leaders, Executive Party Organs and other lower level structures of the GPA partners were instructed to implement that strategy and publicly call for the removal of the sanctions.
That is not happening as regularly and consistently as we envisaged.
The Facilitation Task Team has travelled in and out of Zimbabwe interacting with the leaders there and their parties, as well as other formations, to get updates on matters relating to the GPA and the Implementation Matrix and to pursue the development of the roadmap.
The Team visited Zimbabwe on January 17-18; February 7; February 22-24 and March 15-16.
The first engagement was with the Political Principals and at a time when polarisation in Zimbabwe was creeping in among the GPA partners.
The full implementation of the negotiated positions as encapsulated in the Implementation Matrix, including the outstanding matters, was raised with leaders. Also raised was the construction of the roadmap towards free and fair elections.
The scope of the interaction was broadened to include sessions within Election Commission (ZEC), the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution (COPAC), the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
Those organisations were met as part of preparations for the development of the roadmap.
Given that the question of human rights also speaks to the ability by all concerned to participate in all activities of their country without any fear of intimidation and physical injury.
4. WAY FORWARD
The Zimbabwe Negotiators met on Monday, March 21, and agreed to the following:
They will meet on April 1 and draft the Review Mechanism Report as well as the roadmap towards Harmonised Elections in Zimbabwe.
The Negotiators will meet later at a workshop with the Facilitation Team in order to arrive at a common understanding between the parties as well as resolve outstanding matters.
The agenda of the workshop will include the report of the review Mechanism; the report of JOMIC and the roadmap that is under consideration. The date of the workshop is being finalised.
4.1. Review Mechanism:
The Review Mechanism is one of the instruments created by the GPA to establish peace, security and stability in Zimbabwe. Article 23.2 of the GPA says; “The Parties will continually review the effectiveness and any other matter relating to the functioning of the Inclusive Government established by the Constitution in consulting with the Guarantors.”
4.2. Free and Fair Election:
The Sadc Summit endorsed the view of the Troika regarding elections in Zimbabwe that would be free and fair, on the basis of the following Troika submissions:
“The suggestion (of a Roadmap) is designed to ensure a sustained focus on developments in Zimbabwe towards the elections; the monitoring of the situation and timely interventions to deal with problems if and when they arise.
“Leading to the elections, the inclusive Government should be united in its efforts to ensure everything is ready for the elections.
“The constitution-making exercise, as well as the referendum on that constitution, should be a joint task of all the parties in the inclusive Government. This united action will ensure a peaceful election.
It is important that the Troika recalls the report to the Sadc Summit because, flowing from it are clear instructions to all of us on how to assist to restore peace security, justice and stability to Zimbabwe.
The Troika should call upon all GPA Partners to implement all decisions made to advance the ideals of the GPA, in particular the full implementation of the Matrix, and the creation of an environment conducive to peace, security, and free political activity for all, and the elimination hate speech.
The Troika should call on the Inclusive Government in Zimbabwe to complete all steps necessary to finalise the constitution-making process, including calling for a referendum on the draft constitution, and the drafting and endorsement by all stakeholders of the roadmap with the assistance of Sadc through the Facilitator.
The Troika and Sadc must help Zimbabwe to formulate guidelines that will assist in holding an election that will be peaceful, free and fair and where the political field will be level, in accordance with the Sadc Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.
Given the fact that Sadc is a key guarantor of the GPA, the Troika should recommend that Sadc should appoint a team to work together with the Facilitation Team in order to engage directly and dynamically with JOMIC for purposes of monitoring and ensuring that implementation of all matters that flow from the GPA, including the full implementation of the Matrix.
REPORT BY THE SADC FACILITATOR, PRESIDENT J. G. ZUMA, OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, TO THE TROIKA SUMMIT OF MARCH 31, 2011, HELD AT VICTORIA FALLS, LIVINGSTONE, REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA.