One Year on GPA Shows Little Sign of Progress
The Global Political Agreement (GPA) is one year old today but still, there is little for Zimbabweans to celebrate.
There were hopes that by now there would be real change in the country and that the power sharing government, that was formed as a result of the signing of the GPA, would spell the end of political violence and media repression, and bring in a new constitution that would pave the way for free and fair elections. But one year on, it's clear there is still a long way to go.
Some have argued that the MDC 'walked into a trap,' and their distinctive voice has since been muffled by ZANU PF. Although they have received a few concessions from Mugabe's party, the MDC says there are still several outstanding issues blocking the implementation of the GPA.
Since the signing on September 15th last year, MDC legislators and supporters continue to be victimised and arrested, and some like Godknows Dzoro Mtshakazi and Joseph Munyuki have lost their lives. There is also the ongoing dispute over the appointments of the Central Bank Governor and the Attorney General, the swearing in of Governors and the MDC-T Deputy Minister of Agriculture nominee, among other issues.
Political analyst Professor John Makumbe said: "The implementation of the GPA is something like - two steps forward one step back. There is very little progress being made in actually sharing power. It is now a year down the line and little has changed that can be said to be meaningful in terms of the governance of the country."
A delegation from the European Union, which visited the country this weekend, said there is still some way to go before the lifting of targeted sanctions against members of the Mugabe regime can be considered.
However, there are some positive changes that have been noted as a result of the formation of the power sharing government. Many sceptics would have doubted that this deal between the rival political parties would have lasted a full year, but it has.
Professor Makumbe agrees that some areas have changed for the better. He said despite the on and off strikes by doctors and teachers, the educational and health sectors are now operating reasonably well, even though they are still handicapped by many problems. He also said: "The most important change is the end of the hyper-inflationary socio economic situation, which is not as a result of the power sharing government, but as a result of the dollarisation of the economy." The dollarisation has meant there is now food in the shops and the prices of basic commodities have to some extent gone down from where they were a year ago.
But the analyst said there is a need for the MDC, civil society and churches to put pressure on ZANU PF to agitate for the full implementation of the GPA.