21.3.2009

Regional Leaders aim to break Harare deadlock

arare - Regional leaders will next week resume efforts to break Zimbabwe's political impasse after marathon talks failed to get President Robert Mugabe and rival Morgan Tsvangirai to form a unity government. After 12 hours of talks, Mugabe told reporters early Tuesday he had accepted a Southern African Development Community (SADC) proposal. But Tsvangirai said that crucial issues remained to be resolved. The agreement proposed by the SADC - and published in state media Tuesday - would have seen Tsvangirai sworn in as prime minister on Saturday. But it left the opposition's points of contention to be ironed out by a power-sharing government. "Unfortunately, there's been no progress because the very same outstanding issues on the agenda... are the same issues that are creating this impasse," the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader told reporters. "We are committed to the power-sharing government, subject to the resolution of these issues," he added. Following Monday's failed talks, leaders of the 15-nation SADC agreed to hold a new summit next Monday, January 26, in a fresh bid to break the deadlock, the group's executive secretary Tomaz Salomao told reporters.

For Tsvangirai, one key point that has to be resolved is the distribution of key cabinet posts such as the home affairs ministry, which is responsible for the police. Mugabe, who unilaterally gazetted ministerial appointments last year, told reporters that it had been the MDC's refusal to agree to the swearing-in of Tsvangirai and deputies had led to the failure of the talks. "We agreed to that proposal from SADC but MDC-T (Tsvangirai) did not. They came with counter-proposals, so the meeting broke down," he said. Mugabe, who on Sunday had threatened to cut off the talks, nevertheless said that both sides would keep talking ahead of next Monday's regional summit. "We will continue with discussions here at home," he said, after Monday's talks, which were mediated by South African President Kgalema Motlanthe. "We shall continue to exchange ideas and see where the differences are with the SADC proposal." Regional leaders see the unity pact as the best chance for breaking Zimbabwe's political deadlock and curbing the once-prosperous nation's stunning economic collapse. The SADC proposal at Monday's talks suggested that outstanding issues could be dealt with by a joint grievance committee outlined in September's power-sharing deal, and by the inclusive government after formation.

But MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa told reporters on Tuesday that the swearing-in of Tsvangirai and his deputies was "putting the cart before the horse". The key conflict areas needed to be resolved, he said. "It's crucial where there is mistrust. We do not want to go into a government as a ritual," he said. Tsvangirai argues that since his party won a majority in parliament and he defeated Mugabe during a first-round presidential vote in March, the MDC should wield more influence in government. The result of the first round of the presidential election was followed by a brutal wave of political violence that left more than 180 people dead, mostly MDC supporters, according to Amnesty International. Citing the violence, Tsvangirai pulled out of the second-round run-off, leaving Mugabe to declare a one-sided victory in June. Since then, Zimbabwe has plunged ever deeper into crisis. More than 2 200 people have died of cholera, caused mainly by broken water and sewage pipes in the city and refuse that has laid uncollected for months. The impasse has further dimmed the chances for ordinary Zimbabweans to ease their daily struggles, with half the population dependent on food aid and battling astronomical levels of hyperinflation.

Zanu PF’s proposal

Agreement among the Zimbabwe Political leaders on the implementation of the agreement between that Zimbabwe National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) and the two Movements for Democratic Change (MDC formations) on resolving the challenges facing Zimbabwe hereinafter referred to as the Agreement,

After consultations held in Harare, Zimbabwe on the 19 January 2009 the principals hereby agree to the following:

1. To proceed immediately with the formation of an inclusive governments as prescribed in the agreement.
2. To support the adoption of the Constitutional of zimbabwe amendment 19 at the sitting of Parliament on Tuesday 20 January 2009.
3. To swear in the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Ministers by the 24th of January 2009.
4. The MDC-T shall submit a draft bill of the National Security Council for consideration by the 24th of January 2009.
5. At the end of the contracts of the incumbent Governors or should vacancies arise the post will be shared amongst the Parties according to an agreed formula.
6. The allocation of ministerial portfolios shall be reviewed six months after the inauguration of the Cabinet as per the decision of the SADC Extra-Ordinary Summit held in Sandton South Africa on 9 November 2008.
7. Outstanding issues raised by the MDC-T shall be dealt with: a. in terms of article XXII, Paragraph 22.4 of the Agreement which states: "(Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee) JOMIC shall be the principal bodies dealing with the issues of compliance and monitoring of this Agreement. And to that end the Parties hereby undertake to channel all complaints, grievances, concerns and issues relating to the compliance with this Agreement through JOMIC and to refrain from any conduct which might undermine the spirit of co-operation necessary for the fulfillment of this Agreement"
And/Or b. By the inclusive Government after its formation In the witness whereof the parties have signed this Agreement in the English language and six (6) identical copies, all texts being equally authentic

Done at Harare, on this……………….day of…………………….2009

From the MDC

Agreement among the Zimbabwe Political leaders on the implementation of the agreement between that Zimbabwe National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu PF) and the two Movements for Democratic Change (MDC formations) on resolving the challenges facing Zimbabwe hereinafter referred to as the Agreement.

After consultations held in Harare, Zimbabwe on the 19th of January 2009, the Principals hereby agree to the following:

1 Provincial Governors 1.1 New Provincial Governors shall be appointed on the 26th of January 2009 on the following basis and ratio; MDC-T Zanu PF MDC-M Manicaland Mashonaland Central Matabeleland South Masvingo Mashonaland East Matabeleland North Mashonaland West Bulawayo Midlands Harare 1.2 The Parties shall submit the names of their Governors by the 24th of January 2009.

2 Portfolio Allocations 2.1 The ministerial allocations shall be allocated as follows:

MDC-T Zanu PF 1.Home Affairs 1. Defence 2. Finance 2. National Security 3. Media, Information and Publicity 3. Foreign Affairs 4. Local Government, Rural and Urban Development 4. Justice and Legal Affairs 5. Agriculture 5. Lands and Land Resettlement 6. Economic Planning and Investment Promotion 6.Small and Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development 7. Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs 7.Mines and Mining Development 8. Environment, Natural Resources and Tourism 8.Youth, Indigenization and Empowerment 9. Women, Gender and Community Development 9.Transport 10. Information and Communications Technology 10.Higher and Tertiary Education 11. Health and Child Welfare 11. State Enterprises & Parastatal Management 12. Labour and Social Welfare 12. Energy and Energy Development 13. Public Service 13. Science & Technology 14. Water Resources Development and Management 15. Public Works 16. National Housing

Ministry Allocations for MDC-M 1. Industry & Commerce 2. Regional Integration and International Trade 3. Education, Sport & Culture 2.2 All Parties shall submit the names of individuals taking up and occupying ministerial positions by 24 January 2009

3. National Security Council 3.1 A Bill regulating State Security Organs to be known as the National Security Council Bill shall be tabled in Parliament by the 22nd of January 2009 and shall be enacted by the 24th of January 2009.

4. Breaches to the MoU and the GPA 4.1 All persons being held in custody after having been unlawfully abducted from September 2008 shall be released unconditionally by the 24th of January 2009.
4.2 The President designate in consultation with the Prime Minister designate shall agree on the appointment of a new Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor by the 24th of January 2009.
4.3 The President designate in consultation with the Prime Minister designate shall agree on the appointment a new Attorney General by the 24th of January 2009.

5. Constitutional Amendment No. 19 Constitutional Amendment No. 19, with the support of all Parties, shall be enacted into law by the 29th of January 2009.

6. Inclusive Government The President, Vice Presidents, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers and the Portfolio Ministers of the inclusive government shall be sworn in on the 30th of January 2009.

Done and signed at Harare on this 19th day of January 2009 (Zimnews, APF)

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