Intra-party squabbles increase

There has been only limited implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) during the first seven months of this year.

John Makumbe
John Makumbe

The major reason for this has been that Zanu (PF) has consistently dragged its feet and refused to make any concessions to the two MDC parties as per the resolutions of its December 2010 congress in Mutare.

The former liberation political party is fully aware that any further concessions essentially mean that it will lose power to the two MDC formations. The first seven months of this year have therefore seen the MDC parties being further marginalized – even though they have tenaciously held onto what little power they have thus far acquired.

They are paying a hefty price for staying put in the inclusive government. Their officials have been falsely arrested, detained and even charged on trumped up cases most of which the courts threw out.

The nation has also witnessed a considerable increase in intra-party squabbles. Most notable is the on-going tug of war between DPM Mutambara and his former party now suffixed MDC-N. The embarrassing battle for the leadership of that party has left good old Ago with egg on his face.

To this day, it is a national embarrassment for Mutambara to continue to hold the position of DPM long after his party off-loaded him at a legitimate congress. In Zanu (PF), we have seen Patrick Chinamasa being contradicted when he seemed to agree that elections could not be held this year. Some elements in his party are now questioning his liberation credentials.

Then there is the still simmering case of Tracy Mutinhiri who is accused by her party of consorting with the big enemy, MDC-T. These meaningless intra-party squabbles have sometimes dominated the news – giving the impression that there was something happening in government when, in fact, there isn’t.

Perhaps the only positive move regarding the implementation of the GPA in 2011 was the resolution of the Sadc Troika summit of Livingstone. There was a clear paradigm shift by the Sadc, which hitherto had handled the Mugabe party with kid gloves. Alarmed by developments in North Africa and the Middle East, the Troika decided to tighten the screws on Zanu (PF) and insist that all the provisions of the GPA be implemented.

The outgoing ruling party was shell shocked. It tried in vain to sweet talk Sadc at the Windhoek summit in the absence of the MDC. The Sandton summit served only to confirm the Troika’s resolutions much to the chagrin of Mugabe and his reeling party.

The parties to the GPA are now finalizing the timelines to the agreed roadmap to elections – even though Zanu (PF) is insisting that it wants to have elections in 2011.

The remaining five months of this year are very unlikely to be any different from the first seven months. Few, if any of the remaining reforms that are spelt out in the GPA will be implemented this year. Obviously, the Sadc will be lobbied to keep up the pressure on Zanu (PF), but that is also not likely to yield much by way of positive results.

The writing of the new constitution remains erratic as resources dwindle and the donors become crisis fatigued. Most of the outstanding issues that have long since been agreed upon will remain paper tigers as Zanu (PF) will continue to pursue the senseless sanctions issue.

Meanwhile, paralysis in government will remain the order of the day all the way into 2012.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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