|Let's talk - By Vincent Gono|
|Saturday, 16 June 2012 22:01|
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Outstanding issues — The three GPA partners are an outstanding issue
THE description by one political analyst that: “although the idea of trinity is strong and popular in Catholicism, it does not apply in politics’’ was apt.In Catholicism it is believed that God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit work harmoniously together, that there are no disagreements whatsoever and that each of them knows the parameters of their power and sphere of influence without the need to be reminded, and there are no mediators.
However, the same cannot be said of Zimbabwe’s body politic when one looks at the Global Political Agreement (GPA) of September 2008 that ushered in a tripartite political arrangement. It brought about the inclusive Government where the three main political parties formed a Government after a disputed election that was characterised by violence and where there was no outright winner.
The three political parties, however, have completely different political ideologies and their mating in Government was an act that can best be described as that of trying to make oil and water mix easily. Despite efforts from regional bodies such as Sadc, the African Union (AU) and the mediator President Jacob Zuma of South Africa to continuously stir the mix to make it one, the three political parties could not just agree on certain issues.
The conditions that were agreed on in the GPA were never met in full and this has rendered the inclusive Government dysfunctional with the three party principles, President Mugabe of Zanu-PF, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Prof Ncube of the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in agreement that they all want out of the tripartite political arrangement.
Let’s Talk is, therefore, interested in examining whether it is feasible for the parties to agree in a polarised political environment where accusations and counter-accusations of not being sincere, negotiating in bad faith and flexing too much political muscle at the expense of others are flying thick and fast.
Political bickering, greed and grandstanding therefore seem to take precedence over national issues.
There are still certain grey areas that the parties are failing to be humble enough and iron out. Such issues as sanctions, media reforms, security sector reforms and the lingering conclusion of the constitution are some of the contentious issues. These have become known as outstanding issues and it is unfortunate that all the parties are reneging on calls to urgently implement them so that Zimbabweans could witness the fruits of the transitional political dispensation that has outlived its welcome.
While agreeing that the outstanding issues have been the only impediments to the country’s political and economic glory, there is not one solution given to conclude them, giving the sad impression that those entrusted with the running of the country are only interested in filling their pockets and little else.
Some have, however, argued that the whole inclusive setup was bound to fail even at its inception saying it was not feasible to fail to have such kind of dogfight in a political environment like ours.
They said outstanding issues were advantageous to all political parties in Government as they occasionally and quite often use them to block certain things that might see them losing power.
“Issues like security sector reforms and that of sanctions are all being used by Zanu-PF and the MDC-T to maintain a stranglehold on power. Zanu-PF is resisting security sector reforms and the argument seem to be that MDC has ‘NATO’ friends while the MDC is refusing to acknowledge the existence of sanctions that are crippling the country economically. They even do not want to call them sanctions but restrictive measures, who are they fooling, who doesn’t know the grinding effects of the sanctions on the country’s economy.
“These parties should know that the people of Zimbabwe do not eat their disagreements. People are more concerned about bread and butter issues. I therefore, feel that the three political parties are holding the whole nation at ransom, and the earlier they realise it the better. They cannot be allowed to continue taking people for granted. The country should expeditiously conclude the constitution and go for elections, this time people know exactly what they want. They will not vote with their stomachs but their minds,’’ said a political analyst.