The South African facilitation team is expected in the country next week to consult with parties in Global Political Agreement (GPA) on the contentious election roadmap and timelines, amid a fierce war over issues like the election date and security sector reforms.
Report by Everson Mushava
This comes at a time President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have tasked Constitutional Affairs minister Eric Matinenga and Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa to prepare a political and legal election roadmap through effective consultations of all political parties in the inclusive government.
MDC GPA negotiator and secretary-general Priscilla
Misihairabwi-Mushonga confirmed the visit of the facilitation team on April 30.
Matinenga said he was also aware of the April 30 visit by the facilitation team, but did not have details of the visit.
“I don’t have the details of the meeting,” Matinenga said.
He said he was yet to meet Chinamasa to prepare the election roadmap that would include views of all political parties.
“I have not met minister Chinamasa to prepare the election roadmap. I think he has been a bit occupied. We will map a way forward as soon as we meet,” said Matinenga.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said Sadc was no stranger to the Zimbabwe political crisis and should be taken as stakeholders if Zimbabwe was to avoid a repeat of the 2008 sham election.
After snubbing MDC leader Welshman Ncube in a meeting that tasked Matinenga and Chinamasa to prepare a roadmap, Tamborinyoka said the Cabinet Committee would present its report to principals who would include Ncube.
“The Cabinet Committee will engage all parties at the negotiating forums. After they agree on the roadmap, they will present it to the principals’ meeting that will now include Prof Ncube,” Tamborinyoka said.
Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba said Chinamasa and Matinenga would only be preparing timelines for elections in line with the country’s laws.
“Essentially what the ministers are doing is to prepare the election roadmap on the basis of the law, map timelines on the basis of what is provided at law. You cannot negotiate your way out of the law,” Charamba said.
On the exclusion of Ncube after being snubbed in the previous meeting, Charamba said: “Ncube has made his concerns clear and I hope the principals are attending to them. If you go by the past, at every stage of the crucial decisions taken by the principals, Ncube has always been involved.
“That is why the principals ended up having two meetings, one on Monday for government leaders and the Tuesday one for political leaders. I don’t think there has been any departure from that.”
Zanu PF has stuck to its guns, remaining adamant that the security sector would not be reformed, with party hardliners pushing for elections before June 29.
South African President Jacob Zumba recently said parties would be bound by their agreement and reforms of the security sector would be unavoidable.
Charamba hit back yesterday, saying: “Elections are a national process that cannot be subjected to the facilitation team.”