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This is the eighth in our series of The peoples guide to the Global Political Agreement, an accessible breakdown of the agreement holding our nation together, compiled by The Africa Community Publishing and Development Trust (ACPDT). In it we will be looking at how the agreement should be carried out and reviewed.

Article 22 of the agreement deals with implementation mechanisms. Below are the specific areas it looks at:

22.1 To ensure the full implementation of the letter and spirit of this Agreement, the Parties will set up a Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) made up of four senior members of each of the three Parties, with gender taken into account.
22.2 The committee shall be co-chaired by persons from the Parties.
22.3 The Committee shall have the following functions:
– To ensure implementation of the letter and spirit of this Agreement;
– To assess the implementation of the Agreement from time to time and consider steps to ensure its speedy and full implementation.
– To receive reports and complaints related to implementation and enforcement of the Agreement;
– To serve as a catalyst in creating and promoting an atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding between the Parties;
– To promote continuing dialogue between the Parties.
22.4 JOMIC shall be the main body responsible for monitoring the Agreement, and the Parties agree to channel all concerns related to the implementation of this Agreement through JOMIC, and not to do anything which would weaken the spirit of co-operation necessary for the fulfilment of the Agreement.
22.5 The new government shall ensure that the security forces know the Constitution of Zimbabwe and other laws relating to public order and security.
22.6 The implementation of this Agreement shall be guaranteed by the Facilitator, SADC and AU.
22.7 The Parties and the new government shall seek the assistance of SADC and AU in mobilising the international community to support the new governments economic recovery plans and programmes including the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe and some of its leaders.
22.8 The Parties agree that they will get Parliament to amend any legislation necessary to implement the Agreement fully.

Periodic review mechanism
In relation to the objectives and priorities of the new government as set out in this Agreement, the Parties agree that:

a) They shall set up a committee made up of two representatives of each party to review annually progress on the implementation of the priorities this Agreement, namely: Economic, Political, Security and Communication; and
b) The committee will make recommendations to the Parties and new government on necessary actions to fully implement this Agreement.
c) This Agreement and the relationships agreed to will be reviewed at the end of constitution making process.

23.2 The Parties will continually review the effectiveness and any other matters relating to the functioning of the Inclusive government set up by the Constitution in consultation with the Guarantors.

Most people would appreciate the statements about ensuring implementation of the letter and spirit of this Agreement.

However, four months after the Agreement was signed, Zimbabweans have not yet seen the improvements they would have expected. As we pointed out in earlier chapters, in spite of the inspiring preamble and introductions to each section, the following problems are still being experienced:

The Economy
– During the five months it took to put a new government in place, economic decline has worsened. Inflation is so high that it can hardly be measured, and the Zimbabwe dollar is hardly worth the paper it is printed on.
– Bank queues during much of the last quarter of the year were unbearable.
– The farming season has been described as a disaster due to lack of inputs; contributing further to hunger.
– An audit of land reform has not yet been carried out.
– Conditions for democracy are not yet in place, so Zimbabwe is not yet able to receive a large aid package.
– More professionals are joining the impoverished classes, earning wages less than US$1 a month.

Peace and unity
– There is not yet a national healing process.
– Intolerance, destructive attitudes and behaviour and violence have continued, especially in rural areas.
– Displaced people returning home have been harassed.
– Towards the end of the year, 38 abductions were carried out.
– The security forces are not yet adequately controlled and educated for their role in a democratic society.

Rights and services for all
– Human rights abuses have continued, with 2442 cases recorded by ZPP in September and October.
– Discrimination continues, and MDC councillors and MPs in many rural areas prevented by traditional leaders, youth militia and war veterans from carrying out their roles.
– Food is still being distributed unfairly to members of one party.
– Basic services such as water and sanitation, education and health care have collapsed. One of the effects is widespread cholera and many children unable to attend school.

Freedom of assembly, association and expression
– This right is not yet being enjoyed in Zimbabwe, with MDC meetings not allowed in most rural areas, and people being punished for expressing their views or using alternative sources of information. The state radio and newspapers continue to use hate speech and provide coverage of only one party. Journalists and media workers have been harassed. The Zimbabwe Media Council is not yet in place, yet the Minister of Information introduced excessively expensive accreditation fees.
Constitution and law

People have campaigned for more than 10 years for a democratic constitution-making process. However the process proposed in the Agreement is driven by parliament and politicians, not citizens.

The Rule of law is not yet being enjoyed in Zimbabwe, with court judgements being ignored when inconvenient, and people being kidnapped and illegally detained and tortured in violation of their rights.

– How the Inclusive government will work effectively is not yet clear, neither are the roles of the President, Prime Minister, Cabinet and Council of Ministers.
– The government proposed is huge and will be very expensive, yet Zimbabwe is impoverished.
– Gender equity is not integrated throughout the document (which was produced by men).
– The negotiator from one party changed three sections of Article 20, after Parties had signed it on September 11.
– To prevent further violence, the Agreement states that no by-elections should be held for a year, yet the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is already preparing by-elections.
– SADC had not yet made a decisive stand on violations of the Agreement.

To sum up, the Preamble and objectives of each section are most welcome, but the means to practically achieve those objectives are not yet clear, and no indicators (signs of progress) are in place. It is also of concern that citizens organisations continue to be excluded from official discussions of the Agreement, when they could play a constructive role, especially in relation to monitoring. Though consensus and joint monitoring are proposed, it is not clear how problems will be resolved. The role of SADC and the AU as guarantors needs to be strengthened.

i) What has your overall experience been of the impact of the Agreement in your area?
ii) How much longer must we wait for a way out of the crisis?
iii) What did you think about the sections of the Agreement covered in this chapter?
iv) What sentences had most/least meaning for you?
v) What can you do, and how can you convince your local leaders to contribute to an effective process of getting the objectives of the Agreement realised?
vi) How can you, through family members in Southern Africa, or regional organisations you belong to such as churches and trade unions, encourage the people of Southern Africa to convince their leaders to be more supportive of Zimbabwean efforts to build democracy?
vii) In relation to the Agreement, what sections should be prioritised in order to give the people a genuine chance of rebuilding their livelihoods?

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