Thursday, November 18, 2010

Zimbabwe Inclusive Government Doomed From Onset

Inclusive Govt doomed from onset

News Editor
Zimbabwe Herald

The inclusive Government was doomed not to last from the onset because of MDC-T’s insistence on giving it a fixed lifespan, one of Zanu-PF’s negotiators to the inter-party talks has said.

Responding to a query from The Herald yesterday if the parties might reconsider giving the inclusive Government a new lease of life after its February 2011 expiration date, Cde Patrick Chinamasa, said the end of the arrangement was simply a fulfillment of MDC-T’s wishes.

He likened the insistence by Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s party for a deadline to that of a prospective bride who negotiates a divorce before the marriage.

Cde Chinamasa revealed that Zanu-PF had pushed for at least a five-year coalition Gove-rnment to allow the economy and the political situation to improve.

However, this was met with stiff resistance from MDC-T.

The five-year proposal is also in line with the stated desire of Professor Arthur Mutambara’s MDC party.

The Zanu-PF negotiator said: "When they demanded that we write it into the GPA that the inclusive Government would last for just two years, we gave them the analogy of a couple.

"How can two people enter a marriage in which they have set a date on which they will meet in the divorce court?

"It is like a bride negotiating her divorce before any marriage has even taken place?

"How then can the marriage work when the contracting parties are merely waiting for a divorce?"

Cde Chinamasa said President Mugabe’s indication that elections would be held by mid-2011 was simply in fulfillment of MDC-T’s request and that the party should not complain about the timing of polls.

He said Zanu-PF was "ready for the divorce and primed for elections at any time".

Explaining how the GPA ended up having a two-year lifespan, Cde Chinamasa said: "During the negotiations, Zanu-PF argued for a longer minimum period.

"This was out of appreciation of the fact that for about 10 years illegal sanctions had bled the economy and we felt the country needed more than two years to regain former levels of performance.

"Of course, that was also premised on the sincere belief that our partners in the GPA would do their part to get rid of the sanctions that they invited on the people of Zimbabwe.

"When they insisted on two years, we granted them their request.

"They then demanded that it should be written into the GPA, but we argued against it because we felt that this would collapse the whole inclusive Government before it started working."

The GPA subsequently did not put the two-year limit in black and white but gave an operational timeline indicating as much.

Reverting to the analogy of a marriage, Cde Chinamasa said: "We have been with a very unfaithful partner who panders to the whims and caprices of a Western paramour.

"In the two years our unfaithful partner did nothing to consummate the marriage.

"They continued acting as a party in opposition and not in Government and did nothing on sanctions, pirate radio stations and other obligations under the GPA.

"They are not committed to constitution-making, to economic turnaround, or the proper functioning of the State as evidenced by their boycotts of Cabinet and Senate.

"So yes, we are more than ready for elections."

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