MDC minister warns of another GNU
By Richard Chidza
HARARE – Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Eric Matinenga
has warned that there would be another government of national unity after
next elections, most likely next year, because security chiefs won’t let go
Matinenga said Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party was certain to
win the next elections, but taking power remained another story.
He said Zanu PF’s desire to see President Robert Mugabe die in office, as
well as the continued military dominance on state affairs could derail
smooth transfer of power to Tsvangirai if the former trade unionist won the
“Looking at the crystal ball, what I see at the horizon will dampen some of
your enthusiasm and spirits,” Matinenga told people gathered for a United
States embassy discussion on Refining the Justice System in Zimbabwe Lessons
“It is not a nice picture to look at. Zimbabwe is heading into another unity
government after the next elections,” said Matinenga, a Tsvangirai appointee
to the coalition government.
Bitter rivals Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a coalition in February 2009
after the African Union rejected a disputed presidential election runoff in
June 2008 and tasked regional grouping Sadc to oversee the negotiation of a
Tsvangirai, who had won first round voting, had boycotted the runoff citing
violence that he claimed killed at least 200 of his supporters.
Churches, civil society and election observers blamed the military and Zanu
PF gangs for the violence, an allegation Mugabe denies.
Policy differences have left the coalition dysfunctional, with both Mugabe
and Tsvangirai agreeing on the need for an election.
Mugabe, turning 88 next month and reportedly suffering ill-health, wants
the election this year.
But Tsvangirai and Sadc say elections can only be held after the completion
of democratic reforms, including a new constitution as agreed under the
power sharing Global Political Agreement.
“How can one explain Zanu PF’s rush for elections with or without credible
reforms, an election anyone in that party will tell you they have no chance
in hell of winning,” queried Matinenga, a veteran lawyer before joining
“The only logical conclusion one can draw is they want another chaotic
election whose outcome will obviously be disputed and then we will be drawn
into another long winding negotiation routine that will result in another
inclusive transitional authority,” Matinenga said.
The military, which held fort after Mugabe’s March 2008 election defeat
continued enjoying vast powers, an issue not helped by Mugabe’s refusal to
implement security sector reforms meant to depoliticise state security
institutions, Matinenga said.
“You have Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa declaring that there will be no
security sector reform in Zimbabwe yet the country’s constitution through
Amendment 19, which gave birth to the current arrangement, is very explicit.
“The constitution is very clear that there shall be need to reform state
apparatus so that they conform to the new dispensation and tenets of a
democratic state,” he said.
Matinenga said he had been disappointed by some of the country’s judges who
have allowed themselves to be compromised.
“It is disheartening to say the least to see a judge who has benefited from
the land reform exercise sitting on farm “A” agreeing to sit down and hear a
matter in which his neighbour on farm “B” is being tried for unlawful
“It is the worst conduct for any judge to be manipulated in the manner that
our judiciary has allowed itself to be,” said Matinenga
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