The 6 MDC demands – By Eddie Cross

LATEST MDC DEMANDS – I think the issues are quite clear but I will run through them for you.\r\n\r\nWe have six fundamental demands:\r\n

1. We will not recognise the September 15th Agreement.

This was fraudulently amended after the final meeting on the 11th September when an agreement was actually signed by all Parties at the end of an 18 month series of negotiations. The changes are fundamental and we will only accept a deal based on the original agreement without the changes.

2. We want an equitable split in terms of the allocation of Ministerial
portfolios.

In a government gazette notice Mugabe unilaterally published a allocation of Ministries to each of the three Parties to the GPA. He allocated himself all of the 10 most substantive Ministries, Mutambara two substantive Ministries out of three and none to the MDC. We are simply demanding that we should agree which are the most substantive and then divide these equally between Zanu PF and the MDC. But in addition we are saying that we want our list to include finance (a demand backed by the international community) and if they take Defence, then we want Home Affairs. We also want ministries such as local government = we control 80 per cent of all local authorities and this makes sense.

3. We want the appointment of all Governors rescinded and then reallocated
to the three Parties.

Mugabe has appointed all 10 governors and we are demanding that where a Party won a Parliamentary majority in a Province, it should control the appointment of governors. Under this arrangement MDC would get 5, Zanu PF 4 and Mutambara 1.

4. We want to change all diplomats and those Permanent Secretaries who are
appointed on a political basis. There are 49 diplomatic missions and we want agreement on how many will be maintained – we want to reduce foreign missions by half on budgetary grounds, and we want to replace all political appointees. There are 6 politically appointed PS’s and 3 vacancies, so we want agreement on how they will be appointed – we want professionals appointed by the Public Service Commission (which has to be appointed in terms of the GPA)

5. We want constitutional amendment number 19 passed into law.

Until the GPA is passed into law we have no guarantee that Mugabe will abide by its terms once he is in office and is able to appoint and fire Ministers (including the PM) under existing legislation. So we are saying lets agree what the GPA looks like in legal terms, pass that and then appoint the President, Prime Minister etc with all the required powers.

6. We want the mandate and the composition of the National Security Council
agreed and passed into law.

The NSC will control the security Ministries and have significant powers – it replaces the JOC. In the GPA it has 6 MDC and 6 Zanu members with RG as Chair but MT as Deputy who will act when RG is not available (like the
Cabinet) – we want this clearly described in law.

We will not go into government until all the above are in place. The GPA provides for a substantial shift in power to an elected Cabinet and PM’s office. So it really is a dispute about power – not "squabbling over" the Ministry of Home Affairs as so many are claiming. If we trusted Mugabe and the JOC this would not be necessary – now its essential.

Eddie Cross
25th November 2008