It's war again

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s warring political protagonists are heading for another clash over outstanding Global Political Agreement (GPA) reforms following the historic pact on a new draft constitution.

While the two MDC formations in the fragile coalition government contend that negotiations on security sector, media and the repeal of draconian pieces of legislation should resume before the referendum, Zanu PF says the door is shut for such reforms.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told the Daily News on Sunday that the “outstanding issues are still alive”.

“Now that the constitution is in place we are turning to the outstanding issues. They are still on the table and subject to more discussions,” said Mwonzora.

“Although we have not been talking about things like security sector reform, media and the repeal of other legislation such as the Public Order and Security Act that have a bearing on elections, all parties are aware that these have to be negotiated,” Mwonzora said.

He said the negotiations on these issues will have to be done before the referendum.

“The draft constitution is just but one of the reforms that are supposed to be implemented under the GPA. We are sure our partners in the coalition government agree that before we can talk of a legitimate and free and fair election, we need to make sure the ground is as level as possible,” said Mwonzora.

The issue of security sector re-alignment is likely to be another long drawn session of heckling and negotiations with President Robert Mugabe previously having indicated his hatred of tempering with Zimbabwe’s belligerent military.

Tsvangirai’s demands for soldiers to return to the barracks stem from allegations that the army was the power behind the bloody 2008 run-off elections in which the MDC leader pulled out at the last minute citing systematic violence and murder of 300 of his supporters.

However, Zanu PF chief negotiator to the GPA, Patrick Chinamasa said his party will not allow any more negotiations.

“How can we be worried about issues we have not agreed on? Yes, they were on the table, but we are not going to keep on negotiating or allowing the MDCs to renege on agreements they have made.

“The issue of Posa you are talking about is dead. That law is a result of negotiations, every bit of it. We are not going to allow unending negotiations,” Chinamasa told the Daily News on Sunday.

Industry minister Welshman Ncube-led MDC formation’s party deputy secretary general and National Healing co-minister Moses Mzila Ndlovu revealed that it had been agreed on Tuesday the conclusion of the draft was just one of the items in the roadmap to free, fair and credible elections.

“Our understanding is Zanu PF is aware that we do not have much time and will not drag the process any further than necessary. The issues like security sector and repeal of legal instruments such as Posa that give undue advantage to others need to be completed with haste.

“These are grey areas on the GPA roadmap and need attention, including the staffing with security personnel of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

“We need to deal with these issues before the expiry of the term of the current Parliament on June 30 and hope by then, we would have expunged Posa,” Mzila Ndlovu said.

Analysts say with Mugabe and Zanu PF seemingly not willing to let go of their hold on the military, it remains to be seen whether the former guerrilla movement will agree to any law or change of law that will take away their advantage.

Comments (1)

Dont forget the voters role. That piece of fraud always has ina smith and my dead mother arising from the grave to vote for zanu pf in all the elections. Something neither would do.

wordwriter - 3 February 2013

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