Zimbabwe told to speed up GPA implemantation

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Friends of Zimbabwe, a grouping of Western countries and institutions advocating for a better Zimbabwe, says lack of progress in addressing outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) undermined the inclusive government’s ability to meet the expectations of ordinary citizens.
“We urge the parties to accelerate the implementation of their outstanding commitments under the GPA,” Friends of Zimbabwe said in a statement issued after its gathering in Oslo, Norway last week.
“The lack of progress in this area undermines the ability of the inclusive government to deliver the change which ordinary Zimbabweans expect, and hampers full re-engagement with the international community.
“Political progress and the implementation of commitments agreed to by the leaders of Zimbabwe are pivotal to peace, prosperity and full engagement with the international community. This is the outcome to which the Friends of Zimbabwe have committed themselves once again today.”
The comments come as principals to the GPA have just failed to reach an agreement on issues referred to them by their respective negotiators.
This week they agreed to call Jacob Zuma, South African president, to intervene.
Contentious issues the principals have failed to address on their own include the swearing in of Roy Bennett as deputy minister of agriculture, the appointment of provincial governors’, appointment of Attorney General Johannes Tomana and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, the role of George Charamba, chairing of cabinet, ministerial mandates and transport arrangements for principals.
Friends of Zimbabwe said despite the shortcomings they would continue to render its assistance to ensure the process succeeded
“We will continue our assistance in 2010 and 2011 both to support efforts to fully implement the GPA and to address the pressing humanitarian, social and economic challenges the country faces.
This support will not at this point in time be distributed via the Government budget,” the group said.
They said they were concerned about the continuing lack of respect for the rule of law, protection of fundamental freedoms, and the slow pace of progress in improving governance.
They said their focus during their Oslo gathering, as friends and development partners, was to see how best they could assist the ongoing Zimbabwean-led process towards transformation and democratic recovery.
“As a group, we resolve to intensify the effort we are making in cooperation with the inclusive government to support the democratisation process, to protect the livelihoods of the poorest people and to improve the provision of basic services in health, water and education.
We are also prepared to support the rehabilitation of key infrastructure which is so essential for economic and social recovery,” Friends of Zimbabwe said.
They said they hoped the outcome of the constitutional process would reflect the views of the people of Zimbabwe.
“A credible constitution, with support from the people in a referendum, would be recognised as a significant move in the right direction,” they said.