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Principals agree to start GPA implementation

Faith Zaba

THE three political principals in the inclusive government have agreed to start implementing the 24 agreed principles in the Global Political Agreement in accordance with timelines set out in the implementation matrix they adopted in August last year.

This comes as South Africa, the Sadc-appointed facilitator of the Zimbabwe political crisis, said this week it will not allow President Robert Mugabe to hold elections until outstanding issues of the power-sharing agreement are resolved, including the enactment of a new constitution.

Marius Fransman, South African International Relations deputy minister, on Tuesday said disputes over the appointment of provincial governors and Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, hiring of central bank governor Gideon Gono, and the swearing in of MDC-T treasurer Roy Bennett as deputy agriculture minister should be resolved before polls are held.

“The South African position and that of Sadc is to ensure that the next elections as envisaged in the GPA are held under a new constitution that would have the product of the constitution-making process supported by the Zimbabwean electorate through a referendum,” he said. “In this regard, any calls for elections without the finalisation of the constitution-making process are in breach of the GPA as well as the constitution… which gives legitimacy to the inclusive government.”

Top government sources said Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara agreed at their meeting last Friday to follow the implementation matrix they agreed on in August during the Sadc Summit in Windhoek.

The inclusive government failed to meet the timelines they set out in the implementation matrix after Zanu PF said it would not make any more concessions until sanctions are removed.

Zanu PF said the implementation of the agreed principles should be done concurrently and simultaneously with the removal of sanctions.

Mugabe has said he will never swear-in Bennett and neither will he fire Tomana and Gono.

“The principals agreed to implement the 23 agreed issues as these form the basis of the roadmap to elections. These will be done within the timeframes they set out and some of these should be done within a month. Implementation was supposed to start this week,” one of the sources said.

According to the implementation matrix contained in a document sent to Sadc mediator South African President Jacob Zuma on August 5 2010, the three principals agreed to implement most of the 23 issues either immediately or within a month.

They agreed to implement the sanctions removal strategy on a continuous basis.

All media issues, which include regularisation of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) board, the appointment of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH) board and the constitution of the Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust (ZMMT) are supposed to be done within a month.

Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu in September last year appointed boards to various state-run media institutions without consulting his deputy, who then was Jameson Timba.

MDC-T lambasted Shamu for what they described as the militarisation of BAZ and ZBH.

In addition to the appointment of several retired military personnel to the institutions, Shamu appointed former chairperson of the disbanded Media and Information Commission, Tafataona Mahoso, to chair BAZ, which is responsible for issuing broadcasting licences.

The principals agreed to end hate speech in the media and put a stop to attacks on ministers implementing government programmes. This, they said, should be done on a continuous basis.

According to the implementation matrix, security sector reforms should be implemented on continuous basis. They agreed to ensure that the commissioner-general of the police, state security organs and the Attorney-General should comply with Articles 11 and 13.

Article 11 deals with the rule of law, respect for the constitution and other laws and Article 13 states that state organs and institutions do not belong to any political party and should be impartial in the discharge of their duties.

Some of the issues they agreed to implement within a month include the appointment of a land audit commission, ministerial mandates ––assignment of Acts –– and appointment of a national economic council.

The principles which are supposed to be implemented immediately include endorsement of cabinet and council of ministers’ rules, guidelines and procedures as agreed on by the negotiators and rectification of the Prime minister’s transport arrangements.

They also supposed to immediately speed up the process of vetting, training and engagement of security personnel for the Prime Minister and his deputies, regularise the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and appoint the Anti-Corruption Commission and ensure that the permanent secretary of information is apolitical.

The Minister of Justice is supposed to immediately gazette the full text of the Constitutional Amendment No.19 as approved by parliament, while the commissioner-general of the police and co-Home Affairs minister are supposed to reaffirm the right to freely organise political activities.

The amendments to the Electoral Act are supposed to be immediately finalised.

Government is supposed to implement within two months the following –– land tenure systems, expedite adoption of non-partisan and inclusive principles and framework for the selection of national heroes.

Meanwhile, sources in the negotiation teams told Zimbabwe Independent that only MDC-T and MDC-N have presented their proposals to the roadmap on elections, with Zanu PF saying they should follow the roadmap outlined in the GPA.

According to the GPA, the processes leading to elections include drafting a new constitution, a referendum followed by elections.

In statements issued by Zanu PF no mention has been made on the roadmap, which Zuma is supposed to present to the Sadc troika meeting expected end of March.

Mugabe this week said: “Things must be done properly within the GPA.”

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