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GPA implementation first before polls

GPA implementation first before polls –– MDCs

Friday, 25 February 2011 07:32

Faith Zaba/Brian Chitemba/Paidamoyo Muzulu

THE two MDC formations yesterday told South African President Jacob Zuma’s 
facilitation team that the Global Political Agreement (GPA) should be fully 
implemented first  before fresh elections are held to ensure intimidation 
and violence-free polls.

Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC and smaller MDC formation led by Welshman Ncube and 
the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) met separately 
with Zuma’s facilitation team.

A Jomic member who declined to be named said Zuma’s facilitation team said 
they were concerned about the sluggish approach in implementing the GPA’s 
outstanding issues.

“The facilitation team is keen on seeing improvement in interaction among 
parties to the GPA,” the Jomic member said. “They want the GPA to be 
implemented fully and urgently.”

MDC-T spokesperson Nelson Chamisa told the Zimbabwe Independent after a 
two-hour meeting with  former cabinet ministers Charles Nqakula, Mac Maharaj 
and South African ambassador to Zimbabwe Mlungisi Makhalima yesterday that 
they demanded some guarantee from Zuma’s team that the process of drafting 
the roadmap to elections would not be “another talk-shop and futile 

The facilitation team is in Zimbabwe gathering information regarding the 
elections roadmap.

“The roadmap must be an agreed document,” Chamisa said. “But we made it 
clear that the GPA must be implemented to the full first before we can have 
elections in Zimbabwe. Non fulfillment of the GPA undermines the roadmap to 
elections. The GPA is a prescription to a free and fair and violence-free 
election,” said Chamisa, who attended the meeting with MDC-T negotiator 
Elton Mangoma.

MDC-T has 21 minimum conditions for a free and fair election which they 
presented and these include drafting a new constitution, guaranteeing the 
security of people, an end to violence, the introduction of a biometric 
voters’ roll, a transparent and impartial delimitation process, full audit 
of electoral processes, Sadc monitors six months before and six months after 
the elections and security sector reforms and its realignment to prevent 
political abuse by the military, intelligence agencies and youth militia.

It also wants media freedoms, prevention of Zanu PF abuse of state 
resources, in particular diamonds in Chiadzwa, and an impartial and 
professional Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

MDC-N secretary-general Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and Deputy Minister 
of Foreign Affairs Moses Mzila-Ndlovu met the South African facilitation 
team on Wednesday and made it clear that the full implementation of the GPA 
was paramount to ensure a credible, free and fair election.

“We told the team that the outstanding 23 GPA agreed points should be 
implemented first before any fresh elections,” Mushonga said. “We also 
proposed that a team be set up to come up with a road map that would be 
forwarded to facilitators and Sadc, the guarantors of the agreement.”
Some of the outstanding issues include media reforms, deregulation of 
broadcasting, operationalising the Human Rights Commission, electoral 
reforms, security sector reforms and constitutional reforms.

Sources close to the meetings said the facilitation team told them that 
conducting free and fair elections was Sadc’s mandate and they would not 
support anything short of a credible and undisputed poll.

“They were very clear – they told us frankly that Zimbabwe’s instability was 
a threat to the region and they would want to make sure that elections are 
free and fair and they would not accept anything less. They also told us 
that we are destroying our own country and economy through violence that 
erupted in recent months and they want it to stop,” the source said.

“We asked them for a reassurance to ensure that this whole exercise is not a 
futile one where we agree on a roadmap and Zanu PF refuses to implement. 
They told us that it will be implemented without any doubt, but they couldn’t 
tell us how they will make sure Zanu PF implements the GPA and roadmap.”

Sources who attended the meeting with Jomic said Zuma’s facilitation team 
said Zimbabwe was not ready for elections this year due to several critical 
electoral and democratic reforms that needed to be implemented first.

The team –– led by Zuma’ international affairs advisor Lindiwe Zulu, 
insisted that elections were not feasible this year.

Co-Jomic chairperson Mangoma confirmed that Zulu and her team agreed that 
the roadmap for elections could not be fully implemented this year.
He said Zuma’s facilitation team said there was an urgent need for reforming 
state institutions such as the army and the ZEC to make them non-partisan to 
avoid officials tilting poll results in favour of certain political parties.

“The facilitation team was clear that it was impossible for Zimbabweans to 
go for elections this year given that we need a new constitution, reforming 
State institutions and establish laws that give power to institutions like 
the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission,” said Mangoma.

Last week, Zulu said Zuma was concerned about the wave of political violence 
gripping Zimbabwe, adding the current political climate was not conducive 
for free and free elections. Mangoma said Zulu and her team said they feared 
a repeat of the 2008 orgy of politically-motivated violence if critical 
reforms were not put in place.

He said Jomic and the South African facilitation team agreed that a voters’ 
roll was in shambles and needed an overhaul. Earlier this year, it emerged 
that the voters’ roll was shambolic with babies and the dead appearing on 
the register.

Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa has said US$20 million is required for a 
new voters’ roll. President Robert Mugabe has reiterated that he wants 
elections this year with or without a new constitution and has once 
threatened that he would dissolve parliament and call for elections.

Zanu PF has already launched its campaign across the country code-named 
“Operation Ngatizivane”.

“The facilitators want to see the crucial reforms implemented before 
elections and as Jomic we support that,” said Mangoma.

Zanu PF met Zuma’s facilitation team, but the Independent could not get 
details of the deliberations at the time of going to press last night as the 
party’s negotiators Nicholas Goche and Patrick Chinamasa were not answering 
their mobile phones.


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