Power-sharing agreement on shaky ground

The first review of the Global Political Agreement signed between President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara confirms the power-sharing pact is on shaky ground, a report shows.

The damning report, “The First Review of Progress on the Implementation and Achievements of the Priorities and Objectives Set out in the GPA”, was presented to Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders in South Africa last week.

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The 28-page report, while acknowledging that a measure of macro-economic stability has been achieved, says there is tension within and outside the cabinet presided over by Mugabe.

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“The end of 2010 saw a polarisation of the cabinet on a wide range of issues. This has created a sense of tension both within and outside the cabinet. The tension seems to arise from lack of clarity over an election date,” reads the report.

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The government has failed to come up with a comprehensive, transparent and non-partisan land audit. It is understood there are fears within the Zanu-PF side of government that a non-partisan land audit would expose Mugabe’s controversial land reform, which largely saw his inner cabal and party supporters grabbing the choicest farms from white farmers.

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It would also expose multiple farm ownership by his loyalists and party supporters. The report also reveals that the inclusive government has failed to set up a land commission.

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While some semblance of macro-economic stability has been achieved, with food and basic commodities readily available in supermarkets, major challenges remain, mainly arising from the country’s sovereign debt, lack of foreign investment inflows, obsolete equipment, non-performance of enablers (electricity, water, etc), high unemployment levels and high poverty levels.

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“Internal debate and discourse on sanctions and the way forward remain extremely polarised,” reads the report.

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It noted that International Monetary Fund voting rights have been restored; travel bans on some Zanu-PF officials have been lifted and sanctions over some companies have been lifted. “But the overall objective (to lift sanctions) has not been achieved,” it says.

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The European Union and the United States slammed Mugabe and about 200 members of his inner circle, citing electoral fraud and human rights abuses between 2000 and 2002.

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Both the EU and the US have refused to unconditionally remove the targeted measures, citing the failure by Mugabe to fully implement the GPA. He has refused to appoint governors as agreed under the GPA, among other outstanding issues.

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The Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration has failed in its mandate despite being run by three co-ministers drawn from Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations.

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It is revealed that there is no consensus among political parties on which organ should determine national hero status on deceased persons.

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It further shows that the two MDC formations complain of closure of democratic space, in particular from the beginning of this year. However, the report notes this is being disputed by Zanu-PF, adding that Zanu-PF is still denied access to electorate in the Diaspora due to continuing sanctions and travel restrictions.

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The report further shows that the two MDC formations have raised complaints over alleged arbitrary arrests of members of parliament and activists, alleged unwarranted invocation of section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, alleged selective prosecution of offenders and selective application of the law, and the constitutionality of the failure to swear in Roy Bennett as Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Professor Welshman Ncube as Deputy Prime Minister.

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“Zanu-PF is disputing the truthfulness and validity of the above allegations or complaints and considers these allegations or complaints to be mere propaganda. The two MDC formations complain that some state organs and institutions do not respect the constitutional hierarchy. This is being disputed by Zanu-PF,” it reads.