Zanu PF, MDC-T set to prolong unity govt
ZANU PF and the MDC formations are set to renegotiate the GPA in 2012 with a
view to extending the life of the coalition government as the parties fail
to agree on implementation of minimum political and legislative reforms
necessary for the holding of free and fair polls.
The shaky coalition government has been on the edge for the better part of
2011 with the partners constantly squabbling and threatening to walk out
over disputed constitutional, media and security sector reforms as well as
the amendments of Posa and the Electoral Act, among other issues.
Zanu PF appears to be trapped in a time warp and has publicly announced that
it will not concede to any further reforms except the constitution and
However, President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF ended this year by conceding
that they had failed to force elections in accordance with the party’s 2010
Zanu PF has realised that polls will not be possible without full
implementation of the agreed reforms.
As a result, the strange bedfellows have co-habited a little longer since no
one seems to have the stamina to contest an immediate election.
Despite having failed to hold elections in 2011, Zanu PF continued to
grandstand at its conference in Bulawayo declaring that polls would be held
in the first half of 2012 with or without the agreed reforms.
Political analyst Ibbo Mandaza sees an improved political climate with the
major protagonists acknowledging that the GPA was the only alternative to an
internationally acceptable election.
Mandaza said: “I foresee elections not happening in 2012. Elections will
reverse everything that has been gained so far, therefore there will be a
greater push for revision of the GPA and strengthening of the coalition
government. They will reorganise the GPA into a GPA 2.”
National University of Science and Technology lecturer Lawton Hikwa agreed
with Mandaza that the parties had to renegotiate a Zimbabwean solution since
Sadc could not do anything more than it has already done.
“There has to be a political will among the political parties to move
forward and implement the outstanding GPA reforms like the constitutional
review, referendum and various legislative amendments necessary for the
holding of free and fair elections,” said Hikwa. “I don’t see Sadc pushing
them beyond what they have done so far. The solution ultimately will have to
be Zimbabwean,” he said.
South African mediation continues albeit with less speed to resolve the
impasse immediately. President Jacob Zuma and his facilitation team have
shuttled between Pretoria and Harare without much progress except keeping
all parties at the negotiating table.
Mandaza and Hikwa’s projections tie in with MDC-T’s national executive
member Eddie Cross’s recent article implying that his party was ready to
renegotiate the GPA.
However, Cross said the renegotiation would only be done post-Mugabe whereby
Zanu PF suggests a replacement to allow for movement on contentious issues.
Cross wrote: “Zanu PF will immediately open talks with the MDC to engineer a
soft landing. At the very least this will involve a presidential election as
soon as possible, the retirement of Mugabe and eventually the entire Joc
structure. It will lead to another GNU but this time led by new leadership
and no longer a divided house. This will give the young Turks in Zanu PF as
well as the moderates in their present leadership an opportunity to try and
rebuild the party before the next harmonised, free and fair elections in
perhaps five years time.”
Kent University Law lecturer Alex Magaisa is convinced that there would be
no elections and that from the onset Sadc had intended the GPA to last until
“The option available is actually the renegotiation of GPA in the event that
there is another disputed poll as witnessed in 2008. It should be remembered
Sadc always had a plan to give the coalition government a full term. This
was meant to make sure that any future election in Zimbabwe would be as far
away from 2008 as possible,” said Magaisa.
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