7. February 2009

Analysts Say Power-Sharing Deal Must Work to Save Nation

The power-sharing deal between Zanu PF and the two MDC formations is " irreversible" because the economic crisis in the country forces the political rivals to stick together despite their differences, analysts have said.

The analysts said the setting up of the government of national unity (GNU) could immediately see a reduction in cases of political violence across the country. An estimated 150 people, mostly MDC supporters, have been killed since last year's harmonised elections in political clashes pitting the rivals who will form the joint government by the end of this week.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Simon Badza said the political protagonists would be forced to work together because of pressing issues despite their evident differences. He said the deteriorating economic situation characterised by hyperinflation, shortages of food and cash, strikes by health workers and teachers as well as pressure from the international community would force Mugabe and Tsvangirai to stick together in their "marriage of convenience". "They will work together because of circumstances and not because they want to. There is too much pressure on the two parties (MDC-T and Zanu PF) locally from the starving masses and from the region. People want an end to the crisis," Badza said.

Bulawayo-based political analyst Gorden Moyo said the success of the inclusive government, facilitated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will depend largely on the will of Zimbabweans and the international community. He said although "vultures and hyenas" in Zanu PF want to "deflate and collapse" the agreement they would not succeed. "People in the country now want change; the region and the international community also want to see a better Zimbabwe so it will be difficult to dismantle this deal," he said. Moyo allayed fears raised in some quarters that the MDC would be swallowed up by Zanu PF as what happened to PF Zapu following the 1987 Unity Accord.

PF Zapu led by the late Joshua Nkomo was dragged into the Unity Accord following the massacre of an estimated 20 000 people mainly in the Midlands and Matabeleland by Mugabe's North-Korean-trained Fifth Brigade on the pretext of thwarting dissident activities. "It's impossible to do 'a Zapu' on MDC," he said, adding the 1987 Unity Accord was a merger between the two parties and not a power-sharing agreement. "Within 18 to 20 months there will be a new Constitution and other structures of democracy in place and once these are established it will be difficult to reverse them."

Addressing parliament last week MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti also conceded as much saying the political parties did not have much choice but to work together. "Many of us are not sure whether this is right or wrong," he said. "The question is not whether we are doing the right thing or the wrong thing because that is for history to judge. "In my view, the question is do we have any choice? In my respectful view, we do not."

Former Minister of Information and Publicity Jonathan Moyo said the new GNU was going to work.
He said: "Whenever the people of Zimbabwe dedicate and commit themselves to working together, success is guaranteed. This is a government of former rivals which means you get the best ideas."

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's cholera crisis has reached unprecedented levels with nearly 63,000 people being infected by the epidemic, according to a report by a United Nations agency. The epidemic, which began in August, has already killed more than 3,000 people - the deadliest outbreak in Africa in 15 years, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said. (Zimbabwe Standard)

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