Monday, December 21, 2009

Zimbabwe News Update: Principals Name Commissioners; Unity Day Celebrations

Principals name commissioners

By Takunda Maodza
Zimbabwe Herald

THE three principals to the Global Political Agreement met in Harare yesterday and agreed to the appointment of members of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and Zimbabwe Media Commission.

Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda announced the appointments yesterday after the meeting of President Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara in the afternoon.

Their meeting came after a Cabinet meeting earlier in the morning.

In a statement yesterday, Dr Sibanda said the appointments followed consultations among the three principals on the list of names of candidates submitted by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Standing Rules and Orders for appointment to ZEC, ZHRC and ZMC.

Former ZBC newscaster and Danhiko Project deputy director Mr Godfrey Majonga has been appointed ZMC chairperson.

He is being deputised by former Daily News editor and National University of Science and Technology lecturer Ms Nqobile Nyathi.

Other ZMC members are Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa, Harare lawyer and journalist Mr Chris Mhike, former Zimbabwe Union of Journalists president Mr Matthew Takaona, former ZBC chief executive officer Mr Henry Muradzikwa, and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe division head Dr Milicent Mombeshora, former Zimpapers board member and NUST lecturer Mr Lawton Hikwa and journalist Ms Miriam Madziwa.

ZEC comprises Mrs Joyce Laetitia Kazembe, who was deputy chairperson, and Harare lawyer Mr Theophileus Gambe were returned from the previous electoral commission.

Other members are Dr Petty Makoni, Mrs Sibongile Ndlovu, an academic Mrs Bessie F. Nhandara, Zimbabwe International Trade Fair general manager Mr Daniel J. Chigaru, UZ Professor of Public Law Professor Geoff Feltoe and Mr Mukhuli Nyathi.

The ZHRC is composed of Dr Ellen Sithole, a law lecturer at UZ, Dr Kwanele Jirira, Mrs Neseni Nomathemba, Mr Elasto Mugwadi, a lawyer; Dr Joseph Kurebwa, UZ lecturer; Mr Japhet Ndabeni-Ncube former Bulawayo mayor and civic leader, Mr Jacob Mudenda, a lawyer and businessman; and Professor Carol Khombe, NUST lecturer.

"Consultations are still underway on the appointment of chairpersons to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission," Dr Sibanda said.

Sources last night said the principals were set to meet again tomorrow to bring finality to outstanding issues in the GPA.

Yesterday’s meeting of the principals is said to have lasted about two hours. The principals met despite failure by the negotiators to prepare a comprehensive report that their leaders were supposed to discuss yesterday.

The only report available was the one sent to the South African facilitators. The negotiators failed to draw up a final report because some of them were out of the country on Government business.

Yesterday’s meeting also followed a meeting a week ago of the principals during which they reviewed recommendations made by the negotiating teams.

Last week, Dr Sibanda indicated that the principals agreed on most issues with regard to the appointment of the commissioners except a few appointees, where consultations on individuals concerned were taking place.

All set for Unity Day celebrations

Herald Reporters

ALL roads today lead to Border Gezi Youth Training Camp in Mt Darwin for the celebration of the Unity Day where the country’s two Vice Presidents — Cdes Joice Mujuru and John Nkomo — are expected to attend.

Newly-elected Zanu-PF national chairman Cde Simon Khaya-Moyo is also expected to attend the unity day commemorations.

The event was organised by the Mashonaland West provincial executive to cherish the importance of the Unity Accord signed by Zanu and Zapu in 1987.

President Mugabe and the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo signed the Unity Accord in 1987 to bridge the tribal gulf that led to political disturbances in the Matabeleland region soon after independence.

Mashonaland Central Zanu-PF provincial chairman Cde Dickson Mafios yesterday said proceedings are expected to commence in the morning. He said invitations had already been forwarded to Cde Mujuru and Cde John Nkomo and Zanu-PF national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo — who would be joined by the party’s 10 provincial chairpersons.

Cde Mafios urged people from across the political divide to attend the celebrations.

Following the success of the just-ended Zanu-PF fifth National People’s Congress in Harare, there was need to enhance and consolidate the signing of the Unity Accord in 1987 between the country’s two liberation parties Zanu-PF and PF-Zapu.

Cde Mafios said entertainment had been lined up.

Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Cde Saviour Kasukuwere said the Unity Accord was an important document that brought unity and prosperity to the people of Zimbabwe.

He said the nation should appreciate the development brought by the Unity Accord.

"As we move forward as a nation, we should continue to cherish the development and peace that was brought by the Unity Accord.

"We have decided as a province to host the celebrations of the Unity Day here in Mount Darwin. Without unity, we would not have reached where we are as a nation. We invited many people to grace this occasion including our two Vice Presidents and the national chairman Cde Simon Khaya Moyo," he said.

Cde Kasukuwere urged the youths to jealously guard the Unity Accord adding that it had brought many benefits to them.

He said it had opened opportunities in various fields that had benefited the youths.

"Our youths should safeguard the Unity Accord because it had opened many opportunities for them. The Unity Accord created a palatable business environment which opened many employment opportunities for our youths," said Cde Kasukuwere.

Zanu-PF Central Committee member Cde Naison Ndlovu said the country’s development hinges on the strength of the Unity Accord.

He said no nation in the world had thrived without unity.

"Unity is very important for the development of every country and the historic Unity Accord signed by President Mugabe and the late Vice President Cde Joshua Nkomo brought great development to our country.

"We should continue to strengthen this unity to defend the nation from our enemies. Our enemies are eager to see the demise of this Unity Accord for them to reverse the gains of independence.

"Our independence is based on the land that we fought for so we have to defend it as a nation," said Cde Ndlovu.

He criticised those who were purporting to be reviving the old ZAPU describing them as "misguided" members of the society.

Cde Ndlovu urged people to continue working for the prosperity of the nation.

"Those who are saying they are reviving the old ZAPU are misguided elements of the society who are doing that for their personal glory. I urge the nation to ignore them and forge ahead for the betterment of our nation," said Cde Ndlovu.

Cde Kembo Mohadi added that disengagement from the Unity Accord could only be done through a congress.

"In 1984 both ZANU and ZAPU held their congresses and people expressed their willingness to be united.

"It is these congresses that resulted in the 1987 Unity Accord.

"So any disengagement from the Unity Accord should be done through a congress but we have not heard of any congress of that nature," said Cde Mohadi.

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