Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Coalition on the brink: PM’s strong letter to Robert Mugabe

Coalition on the brink: PM’s strong letter to Robert Mugabe

THE following is a leaked draft detailed and strong letter written by the Zimbabwean coalition government’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to Zimbabwean ageing tyrant Robert Mugabe

MEMORANDUM TO: H.E. President Robert Mugabe

cc: D.P.M. Mutambara

FROM: The Right Honourable Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai

RE: Status of the Inclusive Government

Date: 2 February, 2012

Your Excellency, in just over a fortnight, the Inclusive Government will have been in existence for three (3) years. I believe that it is proper for us to reflect on the state of the Inclusive Government particularly over the last twelve months in order for us to chart a way forward.

Although there have been some notable achievements that have been made by the Inclusive Government, it is undeniable that this Government has not “fully” achieved what it set out to do in February 2009. This Memo brings to your attention some of the critical issues that we need to address although the list is not exhaustive.

1.0 The GPA

In 2008, we entered into an agreement which amongst other things sought to achieve two broad objectives.

(a) Restoration of Economic Stability

(b) Restoration of peace, stability and implementation of democratic reforms including a new constitution.
The pursuance of the above broad objectives were intended to prepare the country for a fresh election, which is free, fair, credible and respects the will of the people.


2.1 Restoration of Economic Stability

We have largely restored basic services although more work is needed

We have recorded modest growth rates

Our industrial capacity utilisation is improving although we still face challenges of liquidity in the economy and access to credit lines

(i) Sanctions and Measures

The parties to the GPA agreed that all measures must be removed. SADC on its part has been engaging the EU and the USA without success. On our part we established a Reengagement Committee headed by our Foreign Affairs Minister and no progress has been made to date. Your Excellency, I believe that we should resuscitate our committee in order to keep this matter alive. I believe it is only through dialogue and our unwavering commitment to the implementation of our agreement that will resolve this matter.

(ii) The Government Work Programme (GWP)

Non-attendance by Ministers to the Council of Ministers’ meeting

There remains a disturbing trend where some ministers and in particular Zanu-PF ministers are not attending the Council of Ministers, thereby derailing the implementation of the Government Work Programme. Some of the ministers who have been invited to be part of my tours have not shown up. This trend, Mr President, if allowed to continue, will make this government totally dysfunctional. It is also disturbing to note that some of the Zanu Pf meetings, especially the Central Committee meetings, have been slated for days meant for the Council of Ministers’ meetings. We must speak with one voice in urging all Cabinet Ministers to respect our State institutions.

(iii) The Land Commission

Cabinet in 2011 mandated the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement to recommend to the Principals and Cabinet persons fit for appointment to the Land Audit Commission which will be given the task of undertaking the Land Audit.

The Minister of Lands has not recommended any names as directed. Neither Cabinet nor the Principals have yet received any recommendations relating to this resolution.

I must point out, Mr President that the failure to fully implement these decisions impacts on the extent of government’s ability to fund and source other support for the agricultural sector. Secondly, the maximum utilisation of the land cannot be ensured when government remains in the dark on the current patterns of land possession and use. May I implore you to urge the Minister to comply with Cabinet decisions?

2.2 Restoration of Peace, stability & implementation of democratic reforms including the constitution making process

(i) Violent Acts

Your Excellency, up until the tripartite Meeting of the parties and Government, there was tension in the country with reported incidences of violence in urban areas, some of which occurred in our Parliament Building. Whilst the perpetrators of these acts of violence are known, both the Attorney General and the police are yet to act. May I implore you to urge the Police to act.

(ii) Disruption of PM’s Government Programmes

The Prime Minister’s supervision of Government programmes such as the Marange Diamond mining operations or drought mitigation programmes in the provinces have been deliberately disrupted by public officials including the police. Of note is the police role in the Lupane incident on Saturday, October 29, 2011. I was prevented from touring St. Paul’s Hospital in Lupane after police unlawfully barricaded the entrance with chains.

Hospital staff were chased away from the hospital premises by armed riot police who threatened to shoot and intimidated residents gathered there. This happens nowhere in the world where a Prime Minister is treated like a common criminal. May I implore you to instruct the police to respect members of the Executive in the discharge of their duties.

(iii) Arrest of Ministers

During the period under review, two Cabinet Ministers from my party namely Hon. Elton Mangoma the Minister of Energy and Hon. Jameson Timba the Minister of State in my office were arrested on flimsy charges which our courts threw out. The same kind of harassment also visited three Ministers from MDC-N who were kept at a police station for hours for no justifiable reason. This environment of harassment Your Excellency does not promote cohesion and mutual trust amongst parties in the same government. May I implore you to instruct the police not to be overzealous in the discharge of their duties and to be sensitive to the fragility of our transition.

(iv) Attorney General’s Office

The Attorney General’s Office Bill has been passed by both houses of Parliament yet the responsible Minister Hon Patrick Chinamasa has not caused it to be gazetted as required by law. A professionally managed and fully equipped Attorney General’s office is a key ingredient of our stability. May I implore you to urge the Minister to gazette the bill.

(v) Appointment and promotion of Service Chiefs and other Security personnel

Your Excellency, I believe you are aware that our amended constitution requires that all appointments that you have to do under the constitution or any act of parliament have to be done in consultation with the Prime Minister. I deal with some of the recent appointments and also under separate cover and as an annexure to this memo bring to your attention the issue of the impeding appointment of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander and the Commissioner General of Police whose terms of office have expired.

(a) Promotion of Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba

In June of 2011, a senior member of the Zimbabwe National Army, Brigadier-General Nyikayaramba labelled me a security threat in an article that received prominent coverage in the Herald newspaper. He then proceeded to state that Zanu-PF and the security forces were inseparable. The Minister of Defence then issued a statement dissociating the security forces from Nyikayaramba’s. I am of the view that Nyikayaramba’s statements should have attracted sterner action from his superiors other than a mere repudiation of his statements.

It was with a sense of shock and profound sadness that I learnt through the press in December that you had promoted Brigadier-General Nyikayaramba to the rank of Major General, barely six months after he had committed what can be at the very least described as a serious act of misconduct. 
The impression that his promotion creates in the minds of the public is that not only do you condone the statements that he made in June 2011, but that you have also rewarded him for making them. This inevitably undermines the Inclusive Government.

(b) Appointment of the ZDF Commander and the Commissioner General of Police.

See attached letter.

(vi) State Visits to Zimbabwe

Your Excellency, we have an embarrassing situation in which foreign Heads of state visit our country and there is no courtesy from your office to advise my office of an impending visit. In most cases the delegations of the Head of State would send emissaries to my office when my office is not briefed. I believe this matter needs to be regularised to avoid embarrassing our country.

2.2.2 Implementation of Democratic Reforms Constitution Reform Process

The Constitution Making Process is at drafting stage as you are aware. It is important that you and I ensure this process continues with minimum disruptions so that we can proceed to a referendum in the shortest period of time and thereby prepare the next phase which calls for the realignment of some of our laws which might be in conflict with the new supreme law. Media Reforms

The reforms that we have agreed to as Principals have failed to take off. For instance:

(a) Mass Media Trust Board

The 7 trustees were to be selected on the 3:3:1 agreed ratio. To date notwithstanding the letter written by the Chief Secretary to the President instructing the Minister of Media to facilitate the same nothing has been done. (See attached letter). May I implore you to urge the Minister to comply with our directives without further delay.

(b) Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe Board (BAZ)

The negotiators, the principals and the Prime Minister and the President agreed that the board was unlawfully constituted and that the Minister was supposed to regularise the same in terms of the law. Several attempts by myself and yourself to have this done have fallen on deaf ears. The issue of the BAZ Board has been further complicated by the fact that the current board, which the Minister of Media has failed to reconstitute despite express instructions for him to do so by Cabinet and the Principals, has issued radio licences in circumstances that have generated controversy.

The applicants who were not awarded radio licences by the un-constituted BAZ Board have since petitioned the Administrative Court seeking the nullification of the awarding of the radio licences. The letter and spirit of the GPA is such that we must immediately process applications for new broadcasting licences for new players. We also agreed that in order to deal with the issue of extra-territorial broadcasting, we should encourage Zimbabweans working for those stations to operate locally. One of the companies operating outside the country applied for a licence and it was denied. May I implore you to urge the Minister of Media to comply with our directives and reconstitute the Board which must in turn licence other broadcasters in a fair manner.

(c) Hate Speech

As a direct consequence of the Minister of Media’s refusal to implement the Media Reforms that we have agreed on, the State controlled media has embarked on an overt and relentless campaign to demonise and denigrate me and the party that I lead. This onslaught has been led by The Herald, The Sunday Mail and the ZBC.

The state media routinely propagates hate speech against me whilst occasionally publishing stories that are designed to incite public disharmony. Only a few weeks ago, the ZBC ran a story falsely accusing me of bribing some journalists in the independent media in an effort to induce them to run favourable stories about me.

This story was gleefully published by the Herald on their front page when it should have been abundantly clear to them that these allegations were totally without substance. All this is happening under the watchful eye of the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity.

I must emphasise that I do not expect special treatment from any media institution, state controlled or otherwise.

A democratic society requires a vibrant, impartial press. The manner in which the state-controlled media institutions are operating, however, is unacceptable in any peace-loving society. The Minister of Media must take full responsibility of this current state of affairs and I implore you to urge him to regularise this matter before our political environment is further poisoned before the next election.

(d) ZBC Board — The 12 Board members were to be selected on a 5:5:2 ratio.

Your Excellency, the principals agreed that in the spirit of inclusivity we should appoint a new Board for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings. We agreed this had to be done on the basis of the above ratio. To date, the Minister of Media is yet to facilitate this notwithstanding the letters written to him by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet. (See attached letter). May I implore you to urge the Minister to comply with our directives.

(e) Reform of Media Laws

Your Excellency, in 2009 we adopted a Government Work Programme that had a comprehensive legislative agenda. One of the key pieces of legislation that required attention was the media law AIPPA. It was agreed that two bills would replace it i.e. a Media Practitioners Bill and a Freedom of information bill. To date nothing has been done, instead the Ministry of Media have come out public in the media that such reform is not going to take place. May I implore you to urge the Minister to comply with a government programme. Electoral Reforms

  • The Draft Bill is now in parliament and must stay there until enacted
  • Parliament has decided to exercise its independence as a way of resolving differences within the Executive on certain clauses, particularly the one referring to polling station based voters roll. Let us allow our Parliament to go through its normal process and assist us in resolving any disputes amongst the executive on aspects of that bill.

NB. We must also resolve other electoral discussions left outstanding by the negotiators.

Your Excellency, all the issues that I have mentioned above deserve our urgent collective attention and I propose that we discuss them on the occasion of our next meeting. I am of the view that failure to address these issues effectively will undermine the efforts of the entire Government as well as the public confidence in our collective willingness to fully implement the GPA. I believe that you have the authority to instruct and censure any of your nominees to government who are incapable or unwilling to carry out Cabinet decisions on our programme to fully implement the GPA. Failure to do so might be construed to mean that they are defying us and Cabinet with your blessing.

3.0 Election Road Map Issues

Your Excellency, our negotiators have met countless times and there are still areas of deadlock which we must resolve. 
These areas can be summarised as follows:

3.1 Enhancing free political activity

My party and our coalition partner MDC-N agree that there is need to enhance the freedom of our people by amending those aspects of our Public Order and Security Act which curtail freedom of association. Your party does not seem to see the need for increasing the freedoms of our people. It is my view that we must facilitate the amendments by our Parliament through an Amendment Bill to be presented to our Parliament as this will be beneficial to all parties. The fastest way of dealing with this matter is for our negotiators to inherit the Private member’s amendment Bill currently in Parliament and agree on the required amend-ments.

3.2 Realignment of our Security Establishment to a multi-party democracy

Your Excellency, I have no doubt in my mind that you are a firm believer in the doctrine that the military must subject itself and owe its allegiance to the civilian authority. During our struggle for independence and after it you have always maintained that “Politics leads the Gun” and not vice versa.

My party and our partner MDC-N agree that the statements issued by some of our Security personnel to the effect that they will not recognise the outcome of an election where their preferred leader and party is not elected is in conflict with your own belief and our constitution.

In this regard, our negotiators resolved that Service Chiefs should publicly state that they will respect our constitution and the will of the people after an election. Your party seems to think that this must not be done. It is also within your power to ensure that members of the security sector submit to the supremacy of the Constitutional order.

Our two parties also agreed that in order to enhance the public accountability of our State Intelligence services, there is need to enact a law governing them. This is now a trend in the region and recognised as best practice internationally. Your party seems to be happy with the status quo arguing that it is modelled around the British system. Why Your Excellency should we maintain this colonial relic thirty two years after our independence? I believe that we should facilitate the enactment of an appropriate Act of Parliament and also instruct Service Chiefs to publicly withdraw the unconstitutional statements they made.

3.3 Professionalisation of the Zimbabwe Elections Commission Staff (ZEC)

My party and MDC-N agreed that there is need for ZEC to instil confidence in contesting political parties and the generality of the people of Zimbabwe by ensuring that the staff who work for them are considered and viewed to be non-partisan.

My party’s view is that considering that over the years the institution has been staffed by both serving and retired security personnel whose leaders have publicly declared their allegiance to your party it is important that ZEC because of the new order is seen to act on this.

A case in point is Brigadier Nyikayaramba, who is now Major General Nyikayaramba and used to work for the Electoral Supervisory Commission that was succeeded by ZEC whilst still serving and several other security personnel who are still with ZEC. On the basis of this, I believe you will understand the apprehension of the other two parties.

I maintain that we should facilitate the professionalisation of ZEC staff which your party does not seem to support.

3.4 Amendment of Section 121 of the Criminal Code

All negotiators agreed that there is need to amend aspects of the above Section of our criminal code which over the years has been used by the Attorney General to deny bail to members of my party. To date nothing has been done. The responsible Minister to facilitate this is the Minister of Justice and may I implore you to urge him to do so without further delay.

In summary, my views and position on the way forward with respect to the matters I raised above is as follows:

Sanctions and Measures

Let us resuscitate the re-engagement Committee and accelerate the implementation of the GPA
Attendance at Council of Ministers

Let us speak with one voice urging all Ministers to respect Executive State institutions

Land Audit

May I implore you to urge the Minister to comply with decisions of Cabinet.

Violent Acts

May I implore you to urge the police to act on the perpetrators who are known.

Harassment of the PM by the police

May I implore you to urge the police to respect the office of the PM

Arrest and harassment of Ministers

May I implore you to urge the police not to be overzealous and to be sensitive to our fragile transition.
Attorney General’s Bill

May I implore you to urge the Minister of Justice to gazette the bill
Appointment of Service Chiefs (ZDF & Police)

May I implore you to allow a discussion and agreement between us on suitable appointments as provided for in our constitution.
Constitution Making Process

Let us see the process through.

Media Reforms

May I implore you to urge the Minister to comply with all our directives.

Electoral Reforms

May I suggest we let Parliament go through its constitutional role and enact the Electoral amendment Bill as it sees fit.

Election Road Map Issues

(i) Free Political activity (POSSA).

Our negotiators should inherit the POSSA Private members bill in Parliament and agree on amendments.

(ii) Realignment of Security Sector.

May I implore you to instruct the service chiefs to publicly state that they will respect our constitution and the will of the people after an election.

(iii) State Intelligence Service.

Let us enact an appropriate Act of Parliament which our negotiators can agree on.

(iv) Professionalisation of ZEC Staff.

Let us urge ZEC to professionalise their staffing in order to give confidence to all parties.

(v) Amendment of Section 121 of the Criminal Code

May I implore you to urge the Minister of Justice to bring the proposed amendments to Cabinet without further delay.

Finally, Your Excellency, time is not on our side as we move towards the next election. Let us give momentum to our agreement by facilitating the creation of an enabling environment for our people to exercise their right to choose their leaders freely and fairly. This is one of the principles of our liberation struggle and we owe it to current and future generations to ensure that it is upheld.

Morgan Tsvangirai


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