Mugabe was grandstanding on ‘agreed package’

2010-03-31 14:59

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe was today expected to swear in

commissioners for the country’s three crucial independent commissions as it

emerges there was after all an “agreed package” facilitated for implementation

by President Jacob Zuma during his last mediation attempt two weeks ago.

An official from Zanu-PF said the swearing in was likely to take

place after the Zanu-PF politburo which meets every week on Wednesdays and is

chaired by Mugabe.

There had been confusion in the last week over whether or not Zuma

had indeed struck a deal with Zimbabwe’s feuding political parties after Mugabe

publicly disavowed Zuma’s claim of having solved some “package” of outstanding

political agreement issues.

As it now turns out, Mugabe’s utterances were nothing but political

grandstanding and angry reactions to Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s alleged

about-turn on issues of sanctions and gays.

Mugabe emerged from a meeting at his party headquarters breathing

fire last Friday. He totally distanced himself from any possible agreement with

Tsvangirai’s MDC on any Global Political Agreement (GPA) issues saying there

would be no movement from his party until all issues to do with sanctions had

been resolved.

This was after Tsvangirai had told diplomats that he had been

mischievously misrepresented by Zanu-PF and its mouthpieces that claimed that he

had finally called for the unconditional removal of all sanctions.

“Our position as a party has not changed,” Tsvangirai said. His

party’s position has been that sanctions should be removed as a reciprocal

reward – as and when democracy and the rule of law were restored in the country.

There was still a lot to be done in that regard, his party said.

Soon after, Tsvangirai who had pleased Mugabe at a joint rally in

Chitungwiza last week when he stood up to echo Mugabe’s uncompromising stance on

gays, instructed his official spokesperson that his statements on gays had been

his personal view and not a party position.

Mugabe was flabbergasted and furious. He immediately told the

nation no agreement of any kind had been brokered by Zuma and there was no

movement on all the issues that the parties had hoped would be resolved.

It emerged however last night that Zuma had applied more pressure

through his mediation team led by Charles Nqakula and Mugabe had relented – at

least somewhat.

An official in his office confirmed to City Press that the

86-year-old leader would swear in commissioners to serve on various democracy

support structures including human rights, electoral and the media.

The swearing-in was apparently part of the “package” that Zuma said

he had put together for implementation.

The negotiators were expected to have delivered their report to

Zuma on March 29 but this morning the document was not yet ready and

negotiations had not even been concluded.

Zuma’s three-member mediation team is in Harare waiting to take the

report to their principal as soon as it is ready.

They have also dismissed

Mugabe’s utterances as mere pontification saying they were unfazed by the


Zuma is said to be determined to get Zimbabwe and its political

squabbles out of the limelight before the soccer World Cup in June.


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