Remarks by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the President of the MDC
The Rt Hon. Morgan Tsvangirai to the SADC Organ Troika Summit on Defence, Politics and Security Cooperation meeting held in Luanda on 1 June 2012.
Your Excellencies, it is now 39 months since the consummation of the inclusive government but relations in the government have been characterized by discord, policy conflict, premature election talk, violence and a breakdown in law and order.
Despite these challenges, my party and I remain committed to the GPA and its full implementation.
Your Excellencies, you will be aware that by May 2011 the parties to the GPA had negotiated and agreed on a roadmap with timelines. This roadmap is a chart and a path towards uncontested, legitimate and credible elections as a precondition to a sustainable Zimbabwe. The roadmap entailed the following;
1. completion of the new Constitution
2. the holding of a referendum on it
3. preparation of a new voters roll
4. delimitation of constituencies based on the new voters roll
5. capacitation of the Zimbabwe Elections Commission and other constitutional commissions namely; the Zimbabwe Media Commission, The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission
6. completing electoral and media reforms including enacting the electoral amendment bill that is already before Parliament
7. realigning our security sector to a multi-party democracy and ensuring that both the police and the army remain non-partisan
8. alignment of any laws that will be in conflict with the new Constitution
9. campaign period
10. actual election
Your Excellencies, it is regrettable to note that without this clear and unambiguous agreement, there has been no movement on any of these except some movement in terms of the Constitution. Failure to implement the roadmap as agreed puts our country in a state of unreadiness in terms of holding a credible and legitimate election.
Mr Chairman, it is imperative that the agreed positions in the roadmap be implemented to ensure a legitimate election that we all crave for.
In this regard, any call for an election that is oblivious to the roadmap and to SADC resolutions respecting the same roadmap is not only a breach of agreements but is dangerous and lays the basis for further instability in Zimbabwe.
In short, Your Excellencies, any election in Zimbabwe must be processed-driven and process-determined. None of us has a right to impose any date that has no relation to the conclusion of agreed processes.
In any event, the GPA says that at the end of the constitution making process the three political parties should meet to determine the duration of the GPA.
In short, the Constitution-making process and reforms are a precondition for the holding of the next election. It is very irresponsible to call for elections before the completion of the new Constitution and other reforms given the time and resources invested into the process and the support given by SADC. There is a deliberate effort to consequently unilaterally collapse the GPA and resort to an election under the old Constitution. Zanu PF is keen to collapse the inclusive government even it means going it alone.
This will be a betrayal of the painstaking efforts by the AU, SADC and the facilitator to bring a solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe.
Mr Chairman, you also recall that over and above the roadmap, the parties have agreed in several documents on several issues.
An agreement was reached on 24 issues post the Maputo Troika Summit of 5 November 2009 and further agreements were reached by our negotiators in Cape Town on 6 May 2011.
It is disappointing to report that on all these issues where agreements were reached, there has hardly been any implementation, a fact pointed out to the facilitation team.
As recently as 8 February 2012, we reached an agreement as Principals on a raft of key issues in respect of the GPA. Sadly, none of the agreed issues has been implemented.
It is now clear that an implementation mechanism that reports to Cabinet on a weekly basis and that has the ownership of the facilitation be established as a matter of urgency. Without this, another 12 months will be wasted at the same time delaying our obligation to holding a legitimate election in Zimbabwe.
Regrettably, Your Excellencies, I have to say that much of the non-implementation has arisen out of deliberate inaction by President Mugabe and Ministers belonging to his party.
A good example is the continuous refusal by the Minister of Media, Information and Publicity to implement agreed media reforms.
The President has also made several unilateral actions such as the re-appointment of service chiefs. These people have been re-appointed unconstitutionally without the agreement of the Prime Minister and are therefore serving unlawfully.
Your Excellencies, let me bring to your attention the disturbing issue of unconstitutional and treasonous statements being made by these services chiefs to the effect that they will not respect the constitution and any election outcome which does not favour President Mugabe and his party.
I make reference to statements by Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and Generals Chiwenga, Nyikayaramba and Chedondo.
Most disturbingly, the Minister of Justice, a trained lawyer and negotiator who ought to know better, has been reported legitimizing the armys participation in political and civilian processes.
Clearly the issue of military interference in politics is a cancer that the region cannot and should not tolerate, particularly in a region such as ours which has fairly been stable.
It is therefore important to note that security sector re-alignment becomes imperative and urgent.
Connected to security sector realignment is the re-emerging violence and instability in the country. As of 1 January 2012 our party had recorded an increase in incidences of violence countrywide.
Only this last Saturday, 65-year old Cephas Magura, the ward chairperson for my party in Mudzi, was murdered by Zanu PF supporters. What concerns me and many Zimbabweans is the callous manner in which he lost his life. He was stoned to death. I will be joining his family at his burial this weekend.
This violence is obviously meant to instill fear in the population.
It is self evident that unless and until iron-clad measures are put in place long before the election to guarantee the security of the person, the next election will not be credible, legitimate and sustainable.
In this regard, my party is concerned that the SADC resolution made in Livingstone on 31 March 2011 of deploying three members of the Organ Troika to work with our JOMIC has still not been implemented.
It is regrettable that the SADC resolution made here in Luanda in August 2011, particularly to the application of SADC guidelines on elections is also not being implemented.
You will also recall, Mr Chairman, that there are a number of outstanding issues that were left unresolved and which were captured in the signed roadmap.
These include the amendment of POSA, demilitarization, professionalization of ZEC and security sector re-alignment. It is important that the parties meet as soon as possible to resolve these issues under the leadership of the facilitator.
Addressing the outstanding issues is critical to the credibility and legitimacy of the next election and thereafter.
Your Excellencies, the Zimbabwe crisis has gone on for too long.
It is a crisis that is affecting the economic capacity of the region as Zimbabweans seek economic and political refuge in neighbouring countries. Billions of dollars have been lost in potential investment and there has been massive capital flight as a result of this crisis.
It is a crisis that has seen the economy collapse and the lives of many generations of Zimbabweans put in jeopardy. It is time to put an end to this crisis.
This can only be done through an honest implementation of the issues that we have agreed upon. Violence has to be a thing of the past and the rule of law allowed to prevail.
We need tolerance, respect and political will to implement agreed positions.
There should be no unilateralism and cheap point scoring. In short, we need to follow our roadmap, resolve outstanding issues and implement faithfully and diligently all the things we have signed up to.
The MDC and I remain committed to the GPA. I am not sure whether President Mugabe and/or his party have the same commitment.
I thank you