Zimbabwe marks second anniversary of unity government

mugabe_tsvangirai_mutambara1Two years ago to this day, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC party took the political risk of their lives and joined a unity government with Robert Mugabes ZANU PF party. The other MDC formation led by Arthur Mutambara, also joined the inclusive government.

But after the signing of that accord, Zimbabwe is still a country in a crisis and people are despondent and losing patience with the shaky government.

The good news is there is food on the table for people. The bad news is that the violence, that forced Tsvangirai to drop from the presidential race which led SADC to arm-twist him to join this government, has flared again. I hope this wont force SADC to come up with another unity government, one analyst told us.

While the coalition government has brought some achievements, many Zimbabweans are becoming increasingly irritated by its lack of progress. Most of this progress has been in stabilizing parts of the economy, but the continued violation of civil and political rights is undermining the countrys ability to move forward.

Clifford Mashiri, a political analyst and academic, says the principals in the Global Political Agreement have lost momentum in delivering the badly needed reforms to address Zimbabwe underlying problems, and are failing to face up to the big decisions needed to bring about change.

Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara signed a power-sharing agreement in September 2008 in an attempt to resolve the political crisis that has been developing for over a decade. Despite the unity government, human right organisations still accuse Mugabes ZANU PF party of exercising the tactics it has long used to silence opponents and terrorize innocent Zimbabweans while the guarantors of the GPA, the African Union and SADC look on in silence.

Human rights lawyer and pro-democracy activist, Dewa Mavhinga called on SADC to urgently establish a select committee to replace the Joint Monitoring and implementation Committee (JOMIC), which he said has dismally failed to discharge its mandate to monitor to the effective execution of the GPA. The select monitoring committee should be based in Zimbabwe on a fulltime basis, traveling the length and breadth of Zimbabwe independently gathering information on the performance of the inclusive government in fulfilling its promises, Mavhinga said in an opinion article in the Crisis Coalition of Zimbabwe weekly report.

Mavhinga added; Its two years of existence have been fraught with difficulties, some of which have threatened to rip it apart. In addition to the catalogued 27 outstanding issues which supposedly have an implementation matrix, deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambaras refusal to relinquish his government post following an ouster at his party deals a further blow to an inclusive government tottering on the brink of collapse.

Zimbabwes MDC-T ambassador to Nigeria, Mabed Ngulani says he would never wish a coalition government for his worst enemy because it hardly works. Speaking to a Nigerian newspaper recently, Ngulani said such governments cause a lot of stress and strain.

In any major decision making you will consult, negotiate and agree first. It slows decision making and slows proper functioning of government because of constant friction, Ngulani said.

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