Another stand-off looms with President Robert Mugabe pointedly stating last Friday that dates for harmonised elections would be announced this week and that Justice and Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa, from his own Zanu PF party, was now solely in charge of the poll roadmap, completely excluding Constitutional Affairs minister Eric Matinenga (MDC-T) from the process.
This exclusion goes against the purpose of having an inclusive government. Exclusivity and inclusivity cannot co-exist. What message are they sending? That they are going it alone?
Our understanding is that all the three parties in the inclusive government — the MDCs and Zanu PF — would jointly drive the process with the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) as an arbiter in the event of disputes.
The Global Political Agreement (GPA) cannot be that open to interpretation as to mean totally different things to different people unless someone’s party is there to deliberately obfuscate and frustrate. Doing so is against the letter and spirit of the GPA and is guaranteed to result in another disputed outcome.
In circumstances where the last election was highly disputed — and legitimately so — sanity would have pointed to a consensual route towards the polls, not this legalistic posturing.
Kenyans learnt a hard lesson from the bloody polls of 2007 and said never again. All parties made concessions — real ones, not posturing — to achieve this.
That is why this time around the results were not disputed, close as they were. The East African nation can now move forward with new-found political maturity.
But here key reforms stipulated in the GPA and clearly worded as such are still to be implemented; worse, the Zanu PF component of the inclusive government is mendaciously denying the existence of such when Mugabe himself appended his signature to it. Such obfuscation has been the hallmark of Zanu PF.
To compound this, even the current voter registration has been tainted by allegations of lack of transparency and manipulation. Sadc has not been spared; it was barred from attending a Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) meeting last month and has been variously accused of interference for merely mediating as stipulated in the GPA.
There just is no political will.
It appears that their intention all along was to hold off as long as possible and then turn around and say: “The inclusive government has lapsed, the GPA has expired; we are back to pre-February 2009” — when they were solely in charge and did as they wished. They put obstacles all the way. This a clear example of lack of good faith. They have shown bad faith and won’t tire of it.
It’s high time other parties called Zanu PF’s bluff. They can go to the extent of boycotting elections called under such trickery and deception.