MDC Confirms No Unity Government Until Outstanding Issues Resolved
SW Radio Africa (London) There has been much confusion about the status of the power sharing deal, since the Tsvangirai MDC National Council resolved on Friday that the party will only join the inclusive government once certain issues have been resolved.
The Tsvangirai MDC said; "Given the lack of sincerity and lack of paradigm shift on the part of Zanu PF, the MDC shall participate in a new government once Constitutional Amendment No. 19 has been passed and effected into law."
This created confusion in sections of the media with people not knowing if this was a new condition, outside the usual demand for the equal distribution of cabinet posts, and if this meant the MDC would automatically join the unity government once the Act was passed by parliament.
The spokesperson accused certain sections of the media of distorting the truth and reading their resolution in isolation. Clarifying his party's position, MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa says the enactment of Amendment 19 is not the only issue, but one of a host of outstanding concerns that were not given 'fair and just' attention by regional leaders who met recently in South Africa.
He said the concerns and conditions of the MDC are not inseparable and "until all areas are sorted we are not going to be found in this government because we are not going to be in a government wounded and in pain."
The MDC conditions include: • The legal passage of Constitutional Amendment No.19; Chamisa said both ZANU PF and MDC have different interpretations of this saying: "ZANU PF thinks that Mugabe is going to be both Head of State and Head of government. We feel that the agreement is about Mr. Tsvangirai being Head of Government and Mr. Mugabe being Head of State so that there is equitability in the sharing of powers."
• Equity in allocation of governors: MDC says this must be done according to who won particular provinces. But Robert Mugabe has already appointed the governors who are all from his party.
• The equal distribution of 10 ministerial portfolios: • The constitution and composition of the National Security Council • Appointment of senior government like Ambassadors and Permanent Secretaries • Corrections to be made to the 'illegally' altered agreement signed on the 15th September 2008 The MDC insists it respects African institutions but accuses the Southern African Development Community of not following the principles of justice and common fairness, when the regional body recommended the setting up of a unity government but overlooked the unresolved issues. Chamisa said if decisions lack fairness, then they have to be revisited.
The MDC is calling for the urgent opening of parliament, which was forced to adjourn last Tuesday to 16th December because of severe water shortages. Hungry legislators from outside Harare had to be fed by a donor agency because Parliament is broke and cannot pay for their meals. But Chamisa said the present economic and political challenged facing the nation call for the urgent reconvening of parliament. He said: "Waiting for the 16th is unacceptable and just impossible."
(SW Radio Africa, London)