HomeLocal NewsPressure mounts on Mugabe to finally act

Pressure mounts on Mugabe to finally act

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President Robert Mugabe has been given 30 days to deal with outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) threatening to scuttle the continued existence of the delicate government of national unity.
At a summit in Windhoek, Namibia, yesterday, Sadc came hard on Zimbabwe’s leaders including Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai ordering them to resolve the contentious issues and craft a roadmap that would lead to a free and fair election.
Impeccable sources said Sadc resolved to develop a template to be used when conducting future elections.
The Sadc facilitator to Zimbabwe’s political crisis, South African President Jacob Zuma, presented a report in which he committed himself to ensuring all niggling issues were resolved within the proposed 30 days.
The sticking issues include President Mugabe’s refusal to swear in MDC-T national treasurer Roy Bennett as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, unilateral appointments of Gideon Gono as Reserve Bank governor and Johannes Tomana as Attorney General, provincial governors, overlapping ministerial mandates, removal of targeted economic sanctions and “pirate” radio stations.
Although the regional bloc did not give a time frame for the holding of fresh polls, President Mugabe and his archrival Tsvangirai are already campaigning for elections while Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara seems reluctant.
“The parties to the GPA must come up with a roadmap after the summit that will lead to elections. But there was no timeline,” said a source close to the deliberations. The roadmap to free and fair elections is espoused in the GPA signed by the three principals in September 2008.
They signed an agreement committing themselves to creating a “genuine, viable, permanent, sustainable and nationally acceptable solution to the Zimbabwe situation…and charting a new political direction for the country.”
The road-map encompasses the crafting of a new constitution, undertaking a national healing exercise, creating an environment where Zimbabweans are able to engage in political activity freely, ensuring the rule of law is strictly observed, ensuring state institutions do not become partisan and that parties do not brook external interference in the country’s affairs. The parties also committed themselves to working together to restore Zimbabwe’s relations with the rest of the world, to ensure a thorough land audit was carried out and that the economy was stabilised.
The summit also resolved that there should be a stronger thrust to ensure sanctions were lifted. Western countries imposed economic sanctions and travel restrictions on President Mugabe and his inner cabal to force them to adhere to democratic principles.
But President Mugabe says the punitive measures were aimed at effecting regime change and replace him with a candidate of their choice.
Incoming Sadc chair Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba was tasked with constituting a new team to engage the West on sanctions.
Zimbabwe’s refusal to obey rulings by the Sadc Tribunal also came under the spotlight in Windhoek.
President Mugabe has refused to obey rulings in favour of displaced white commercial farmers saying his government did not have an obligation to recognise rulings handed down by the Windhoek –based regional court.
The incoming chairperson of the Sadc Council of Ministers Hage Geingob, who is also Namibia’s Minister of Trade and Industry, told journalists in Windhoek that: “When the ruling was made from here about the farmers, people were saying the Windhoek ruling as if Windhoek owns the Sadc Tribunal.
“The court is your court that is based here. People say Namibians are against Zimbabweans or President Mugabe but we signed the Sadc Treaty, Zimbabwe signed and if you sign there are obligations that come with signing and we will say this to Zimbabwe but diplomatically of course.”
The Sadc Tribunal was established in 2003 by a regional treaty. Its duty is to provide legal recourse to aggrieved citizens not given an ear in their countries.

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