GPA four years of promises, lies

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s wobbly Global Political Agreement (GPA) that formed on the basis of coalition arrangement has survived four turbulent years amid a litany of failures.

Mavambo/Kusile Dawn president Simba Makoni said it is difficult to assess the GPA which culminated in the formation of the Government of National Unity (GNU) because it has not been implemented in full.

“The country is in relative peace and calm but that still needs to be qualified because the peace is only at the surface with people still being terrorised. There is still a lot of fear but what has diminished in the unbridled and open violence witnessed in 2008 and for that they should be given credit. Other than that there is nothing else,” said Makoni.

He said the three political parties that form the coalition government had promised three main things to Zimbabweans but failed on all.

“They promised reconciliation and national healing but we still live in fear of even our government. The GNU promised jobs and stability in the economy and there are no jobs and the shops are still full of foreign goods that our people can hardly afford. "

“We do not have the new constitution they promised but the best this group can do is put their efforts to the creation of a conducive environment for the holding of free and fair election,” said Makoni.

On signing the agreement Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai acknowledged the pitfalls ahead and that it was not a perfect arrangement but made promises.

“I have signed this agreement because I believe it represents the best opportunity for us to build a peaceful, prosperous, democratic Zimbabwe,” said Tsvangirai.

President Robert Mugabe on his part gave his assurance and commitment to the agreement.

“There are a lot of things in the agreement that I did not like and still do not like. Let us be allies. People will want to see if what we promise is indeed what we strive to do ... We are committed, I am committed, let us all be committed,” Mugabe said then.

The President has threatened to pull out of the GNU several times or collapse the whole process and call for elections but his not carried out his threat.

University of Zimbabwe political scientist Charity Manyeruke also said the GPA has failed most probably because on non-implementation of agreed issues.

“On the whole there have been stagnation with regards to development because of polarisation and too much emphasis on constitution-making while neglecting tourism and agriculture it is unbelievable that we are on the fringe of another farming season and the issue of subsidies is not there and I think its counter development,” she said.

A development specialist, Maxwell Saungweme concurred.

“Zimbabweans can only give one conclusion to the institution of the GNU it was a pathetic performance. The government failed to respond to the draught situation, continued collapse of urban infrastructure and social amenities, shortage of water and electricity and lack of meaningful changes in health and education sectors over the past years are some of key indicators of how the GPA has failed on development issues and the evidence if foolproof,” said Saungweme.

He said the GPA is a failed project as it has failed to meet its key objectives among which were the restorations of civil liberties and the rule of law, adding galloping inflation only stopped because of the stability of the American currency.

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