The Global Political Agreement (GPA) principals yesterday agreed on a raft of measures to ensure the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference on the draft constitution is a success as preparations for next year’s harmonised elections gather pace.
Report by Everson Mushava
President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara reportedly reached agreement at their traditional Monday meeting.
MDC leader Welshman Ncube once again did not attend the meeting after he was informed a few hours before it started.
He had already left Harare when he received the invitation at 1pm and his party warned it would not respect the agreements.
The three agreed that Parliamentary and Constitutional Affairs minister Eric Matinenga must engage Copac to ensure the conference to be held later this month is not disrupted like what happened in 2009.
A successful All-Stakeholders’ Conference will see Zimbabwe edging closer to
a referendum in November and elections possibly in March next year.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said the GPA principals wanted to see progress in the constitution-making process.
“The principals expressed hope that the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference would be successful and Matinenga should work with Copac to ensure a violence-free indaba,” he said.
Tamborinyoka said although the principals did not agree on Mugabe’s proposals to call for elections in the last week of March, they had agreed to meet the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) to assess their preparedness for fresh polls.
“They will meet with ZEC to check on the commission’s readiness to the holding of elections and find what needs to be done to ensure free and fair elections,” he said.
“They will also meet with ZMC to check on how the commission is assisting with media reforms and try to tackle the issue of hate speech that has remained rampant in the media.”
Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba was not reachable for comment last night.
Mutambara confirmed the meeting, but said he could not disclose the details of what was discussed. Mugabe last week indicated in a High Court application seeking to delay by-elections in three Matabeleland constituencies that harmonised elections were set for March.
But his coalition partners rejected the timeline, saying the environment was not yet conducive for free and fair elections.
Tamborinyoka said the principals also agreed that Parliament must resume sitting to speed up reforms necessary before the polls.
He said Tsvangirai and Mugabe also agreed on the appointment of Morgan Komichi, the MDC-T deputy organising secretary, as Transport and Infrastructural Development deputy minister.
Komichi would replace the late Tichaona Mudzingwa who died in April.
Meanwhile, MDC deputy spokesperson Kurauone Chihwayi said the agreements reached by the three were not binding to his party because of Ncube’s exclusion.
“They had the whole week to advise Professor Ncube of today’s (yesterday’s) meeting and they did not,” he said.
“They are not keen to carry the country forward, but whatever they agreed is not binding.”
In another development, High Court Judge President Justice George Chiweshe is today set to hear Mugabe’s application to further extend the deadline to call for the by-elections that elapsed on Sunday.
Justice Chiweshe yesterday ordered lawyers representing the three former MDC MPs — Njabuliso Mguni, Norman Mpofu and Abedinicho Bhebhe — to make further submissions in their challenge to Mugabe’s application.