No end in sight for Zim deadlock

2010-04-02 07:49

Zimbabwe faced another deadlock this week after inter-party

negotiators were abandoned only two weeks after President Jacob Zuma boasted

they have reached a “package of agreements”.


Negotiators prepared a report late on Wednesday afternoon

explaining the latest deadlock to Zuma. But Pretoria stated earlier it will not

accept such a report if parties fail to incorporate Zuma’s agreement

package.


Zuma as mediator will now have to go empty handed to Armando

Guebuza, Mozambican President and SADC troika chairperson, to report on

Zimbabwe. This is in contrast to his briefing to SADC leaders in Windhoek last

week about how he has reached a “package of agreements”.


According to sources in Harare, countless rounds of negotiations

ended in bickering this past week and talks were abandoned by Wednesday.


Brian Raftopoulos, a politcal analyst, warns that the Global

Political Agreement (GPA) will buckle under its own weight if this deadlock

continues.


“Outside this agreement there is only violence and state

oppression,” he said.


A key issue to the most recent spat is sanctions by western

countries. Even Zuma has made this mantra calling for the sanctions to be

dropped at two recent state visits to Britain and Uganda.


“If this issue of sanctions is not resolved this agreement will

die,” Raftopoulos warned. Even Zanu-PF leaders at the party’s politburo stated

this week no concessions will be made until targeted sanctions are lifted.


Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai confirmed the failure of the talks

in a statement issued on his website late on Wednesday.


“After the most recent round of negotiations it appears that the

issues that have stalled progress for more than a year are still being used to

avoid creating the open, free and prosperous society that our people demand and

deserve,” Tsvangirai said.


“If this situation continues, I will ask President Zuma to call

upon SADC to break the deadlock once and for all. We cannot allow our nation to

be trapped indefinitely by the failed policies of the past, while countries

around us prioritise people’s rights, economic development and the rule of law,”

said Tsvangirai.


Meanwhile, Zimbabwe President Mugabe has sworn in members of the

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the Human Rights Commission.


The swearing-in took place at State House on Wednesday morning.

Tsvangirai attended the ceremony along with the country’s two vice presidents

and two deputy prime ministers.


The swearing-in of the independent commissioners comes at a time

when pressure has been mounting on Mugabe to show there was movement in the GPA.


“Mugabe has always play games (sic) that is a given... It is

important that these bodies urgently open another arena where accountability can

be raised,” said Raftopoulos.


According to him, Zimbabwe has always missed deadlines before and

they will simply set another deadline. The incompatibility of the coalition has

forced Mugabe and Tsvangirai to concede the only way out was an election which

would usher in a democratically elected government.


But Raftopoulos warns early elections will only mean Zimbabwe will

return to the violence of 2008.


“There is a need for all parties to restate their common position

around sanctions. Sanctions has not helped. It has not stopped the violence or

ensured reform in Zimbabwe. It has been highly ineffective.


“Mugabe uses this issue of sanctions to control debate. It needs to

be resolved and parties should focus on the full implementation of the GPA,” he

said.

 

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