He said despite countless meetings among the Principals, countless press conferences, numerous correspondence and trips to the SADC plus a SADC summit, non-compliance and toxic issues continue to impede the transitional government.
Instead, we have seen total abuse and disrespect of the GPA and in particular of the MDC. Ministerial mandates have been changed unilaterally, government internal rules have not been changed to recognize the new reality. Over and above this, some government agencies, in particular few components in the National Security forces, still behave as if the old order exists. The National Security Council itself has met only once in nine months, the Prime Minister said.
He added: We are also aware of the extensive militarization of the countryside through massive deployment of the military and the setting up of bases of violence that we saw after the 29th March 2008. Over and above this, we are aware of over 16 000 of Zanu PF youth functionaries who have been imposed on the government payroll.
The Prime Minister went on to say his party had papered over the cracks and sought to persuade the whole world in the last eight months that everything is working, putting at stake their reputation, credibility and trust. This was in order to restore hope to Zimbabweans. But he said the re-arrest of MDC Treasurer General Roy Bennett has brought home the self-evident fact that Zanu PF sees us as a junior, fickle and unserious movement.
This latest crisis in the coalition government has brought more questions than answers. How will ZANU PF respond to this boycott and will SADC, the guarantors of the GPA, finally do something? While the Prime Minister says his party is only boycotting executive duties between the two parties and will continue participating in parliament, how will the political parties avoid each other in a ministry like the Home Affairs, that is shared by the two parties? Is this the end of the inclusive government as we know it?
Critics like civic leader Dr Lovemore Madhuku say the MDC should withdraw fully, or not at all. There is no such thing as half pulling out. On the eve of Tsvangirais announcement Madhuku told SW Radio Africa that it was a senseless move and that the MDC must make up their minds, either they are in government or they are completely out of it. There is no concept of a half-way house.
Others say the consequences are severe if the MDC pulls out completely, because ZANU PF wants this government to collapse so it can continue to maintain its power over the nation.
Political commentator and lawyer Arnold Tsunga said the MDC response is not surprising as the government was becoming seriously dysfunctional and the final straw was Bennetts imprisonment.
He said: It has been a game of political calculation on the part of both ZANU PF and MDC. ZANU PF wanting to continue to prevent the MDC from gaining any semblance of power, whilst the MDC hoping that by being in government theyd show good faith and that they would be able to influence ZANU PF to begin to look at the national democratisation process and allow Zimbabweans to begin to see fundamental freedom. But that has not happened.
Tsunga pointed out: The problem with getting out completely is that once you surrender the policy space and once you surrender the macro-economic governance space – which (Finance Minister) Tendai Biti has ably occupied you will find that you surrender that space back to ZANU PF.
Meanwhile, Roy Bennett was granted bail on Friday by the High Court in Harare but was still waiting to be released from remand prison in Mutare.
It remains to be seen if the MDC will maintain the boycott; until all the outstanding issues are resolved.Post published in: News