Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Zimbabwe News Bulletin: Western-backed Opposition Declines Offer; ZANU-PF Urged to Form Government

MDC-T declines offer

Herald Reporter

MDC-T yesterday said it will not submit names for ministerial posts to President Mugabe for the formation of an inclusive Government, but its national executive will meet on Friday to conduct a post-mortem of the recommendations of the Sadc Extraordinary Summit held in Sandton, South Africa, at the weekend.

MDC-T spokesperson Mr Nelson Chamisa said they would not forward any names.

"I think that invitation has not come. We cannot be invited to be passengers in a vehicle we are co-driving," he said.

However, the Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity, Cde Bright Matonga, said MDC-T could not continue to hold the nation to ransom with its flip-flop politics after the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in July.

"They signed the MoU. They are the ones who requested that the matter be referred to Sadc. It was also their proposal that the Ministry of Home Affairs be co-chaired and Sadc made a ruling in their favour. They are saying we do not care about the suffering of the people and they want the people to suffer more," he said.

"If they are not interested, I do not see why there cannot be a Government. They will never hold this country to ransom."

Cde Matonga also blasted MDC-T for disrespecting Sadc and African heads of state in refusing to abide by the regional body’s ruling.

The Extraordinary Summit of Sadc Heads of State and Government in South Africa over the weekend recommended that an inclusive Government be established urgently and President Mugabe has since invited names from the two MDC formations.

Mr Chamisa said the MDC-T national executive and national council would meet on Friday and make a resolution on the outcome of the Sadc summit.

The summit ruled that the Ministry of Home Affairs, which is at the centre of dispute between Zanu-PF and the MDC-T, be co-chaired, a decision rejected by MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, who wants sole control of the portfolio.

"The MDC national executive and the national council, the party’s supreme decision-making bodies, will meet this week to deliberate on the outcome of the extraordinary Sadc summit meeting held in Sandton, South Africa," said Mr Chamisa.

"The 44-member national executive and the 128-member national council will meet to deliberate on the Sadc summit and the future of the dialogue process."

Insiders say there are moves within the MDC-T to approach the African Union and the United Nations, a position confirmed by Mr Chamisa.

"Sadc has no final say. There are two guarantors (in the September 15 political settlement): Sadc and the AU. If Sadc cannot handle it, we still have other African institutions. In the event we are not satisfied, there is still the AU and the UN," he said.

Mr Chamisa slammed Sadc, claiming it had done nothing to resolve the political impasse.

"Sadc has not done anything and as a party we differ with that kind of approach," he said.

It is MDC-T that requested a full meeting of the Sadc summit to iron out outstanding issues but the opposition party is now refusing to abide by the regional body’s recommendations.

Zimbabweans across the political divide have called on Mr Tsvangirai to put aside self-interest for the benefit of the suffering masses.

‘Opposition MPs getting away with falsehoods’

Herald Reporter

ZANU-PF Chief Whip Cde Joram Gumbo yesterday expressed concern over some MDC-T Members of the House of Assembly whom he said were being allowed to get away with falsehoods during debates in Parliament.

Cde Gumbo said misleading of Parliament by any person was in violation of the provisions of the Standing Orders.

His concern was in response to a contribution by St Mary’s Member of House of Assembly Mr Marvellous Khumalo who, in his speech, had made reference to the effect that MDC-T leader, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai had won the March 29 harmonised presidential election.

Contributing to a motion on the President’s speech that he delivered when he officially opened Parliament in July this year, Mr Khumalo, in his salutation, congratulated MPs for winning the elections together with Mr Tsvangirai.

This resulted in Cde Gumbo rising on a point of order, saying the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had clearly pronounced President Mugabe as having won presidential polls and not Mr Tsvangirai as Mr Khumalo claimed. He accused Mr Khumalo of trying to mislead the House and the nation.

Speaker of the House of Assembly Mr Lovemore Moyo, however, ruled against Cde Gumbo, saying there was nothing irregular in what Mr Khumalo had said.

Cde Gumbo had to rise more than an hour later just before the House adjourned and drew legislators to section five of Appendix B of the schedules of the Privileges, Immunities and Powers of Parliament Act as contained in the Standing Orders.

The section makes it an offence for any member to present to Parliament or a committee any false, untrue, fabricated or falsified document or thing with intent to deceive Parliament or committee.

"We take great exception at what is happening because some of what is being said in this House is not true and in violation of the Standing Orders," said Cde Gumbo.

During debate on the President Speech, legislators bemoaned the low cash withdrawal limit which they said was now being compounded by the fact that businesses were no longer accepting cheques.

Zengeza East Member of House of Assembly Mr Alexio Musundire (MDC-T) said several business enterprises had since ceased accepting cheques as a form of payment, thus seriously affecting ordinary persons.

Chikomba Central MP Mr Moses Jiri (MDC-T) said the cash withdrawal limit did not take into account people like rural teachers and the rural banking public who have to board buses to go to the nearest growth point or town to withdraw their money.

‘Form inclusive Government now’

Herald Reporters

ZIMBABWEANS from all walks of life have urged President Mugabe to immediately form an inclusive Government as recommended by the Extraordinary Summit of Sadc Heads of State and Government, who met in Sandton, South Africa, over the weekend, whether MDC-T wanted to be in or out.

Political analysts, church leaders and ordinary Zimbabweans said the summit resolution was a de facto directive for Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations to form a Government as a matter of urgency.

Political analyst Mr Eldred Masunungure said the Sadc resolution was final and MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai should abide by it.

"The summit found it in its wisdom during deliberations that Zanu-PF and MDC-T should co-manage the Home Affairs Ministry and it means the three parties should form an inclusive Government immediately," he said.

Mr Masunungure said the issue had been resolved with finality and MDC-T could "not opt in or out".

"The summit resolved the issue with finality and the next stage is implementation. If MDC-T feels aggrieved, there is no scope to appeal to the African Union because the continental body will only use the information they get from Sadc," he said.

The only option for MDC-T, Mr Masunungure said, was to participate under protest and insist over an oversight structure that oversees security matters in the country since both parties cannot trust each other over the portfolio.

"MDC-T is crying over spilt milk as Sadc would not refer the matter to AU as the regional bloc is part of the continental body.

"The AU would be guided by the Sadc resolution, the AU would also guide the UN over the Zimbabwe issue.

"There is nothing remiss or out of order for President Mugabe to form the next Government because the Sadc decision was very unambiguous and very categorical leaving no room for anything, but is actually an order for the formation of an inclusive Government," he said.

Another political commentator, Mr Godwin Mureriwa, accused Mr Tsvangirai of negotiating in bad faith and trying to buy time so that the Western world would intervene in Zimbabwe.

"If you look at what Mr Tsvangirai has been doing, that is, going into the presidential election run-off then withdrawing, boycotting the Sadc Troika meeting in Swaziland and calling for a full Sadc summit then rejecting its decision, it only shows he has a hidden agenda.

"Mr Tsvangirai is buying time so that he gets in touch with the grassroots people whom he expects to sympathise with because of the challenges in the country.

"He is trying to stall the talks so that his friends would intervene.

"He is actually disregarding Zimbabweans and even Sadc while expecting a supreme body to intervene and do more damage to Zanu-PF for his regime change agenda.

"However, the people and time will judge Mr Tsvangirai for holding the people of Zimbabwe to ransom,’’ he said.

Mr Mureriwa urged President Mugabe to immediately announce Cabinet.

The Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference also called for the appointment of Cabinet.

"The Cabinet would be the structure for service delivery given the general hunger, shortage of food and inputs. We risk losing a whole agriculture season."

Others urged the parties to form a Government that would immediately address the economic challenges facing the country.

Mr Stanford Muchiza of Mabvuku said what the people want is a solution to the prevailing economic hardships.

Sekuru Sydney Muchena of Mhondoro said MDC-T should compromise for progress’ sake.

"I came to Harare to withdraw my money from the bank and in two weeks I have not yet withdrawn enough to go back to my rural home. The parties should quickly form an inclusive government that will solve the current challenges we are facing," he said.

Mrs Rhoda Nyambalo of Highfield said it was painful that some politicians chose to bicker when country was in crisis.

"Our children are no longer going to school because teachers are not turning up for their duties, and if they turn up they will be demanding payment in foreign currency.

"We are also being asked to pay rent in forex and facing many other problems. The least that these parties can do is to agree to form a government for our sake," she said.

Mr Sifelani Sigauke of Glen View said the two political leaders should be aware that there is hunger in this country, there is no cash in the banks, there are no teachers in schools and, therefore, should feel the urgency of forming an inclusive government.

"We cannot afford to have more people dying of cholera or because they cannot access drugs in hospitals. The party leaders should have the people at heart and address the current problems being faced by Zimbabweans," said Mr Sigauke.

Implement power-sharing pact: Angola

By Peter Matambanadzo

ANGOLA has urged Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations to respect the resolutions and recommendations of Sadc and implement the power-sharing agreement forthwith for the good of Zimbabwe and the region, Angolan Ambassador to Zimbabwe General Filipe Feliberto Monimambu has said.

He was addressing diplomats and senior Government officials at a ceremony to mark Angola’s Independence Day, at a local hotel yesterday.

"Angola calls upon the political leaders and the living forces of Zimbabwe to commit themselves to implementing the power-sharing agreement signed on 15 September, 2008, respecting all resolutions and recommendations of Sadc on the matter, including those recently endorsed in the Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State held on November 8 in South Africa for the good of the region in general and Zimbabwe in particular," he said.

Gen Monimambu said Angola, which presided over the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security up to August 2008, would continue to follow up the political process in Zimbabwe and support it to improve the prevailing situation.

"The Angolan Government is still concerned with the events taking place in this sister country and is willing to give its collaboration within its power so that the normal constitutional dispensation comes back again in this country for the good of the Zimbabwean people," he said.

Gen Monimambu said Angola hoped that peace and stability could come to all Sadc nations and build and strengthen better relations among the Sadc states for the enjoyment of bilateral and multilateral co-operation. He said the Angola-Zimbabwe relations should be strengthened.

"We feel that the current relations between our two countries are good. However, a general agreement of co-operation was signed 16 years back which needs to be revitalised and implemented because it involves several areas, mainly economic, technique, scientific and cultural issues.

"We hope that very soon conditions will permit for the holding the next Angola-Zimbabwe Joint Commission," he said.

Gen Monimambu also outlined how Angola successfully held democratic elections and had managed to reform the country, which went through a civil war for over six years.

He said Angola was now implementing several programmes, which include guarantee of national unity, cohesion and promoting peace and a patriotic spirit, promoting human development, eradicating hunger and poverty and improving educational and sanitary levels of the people, among others.

No comments: