Bennett warns MDC-T against ‘autonomous’ decision making
By Alex Bell
The Treasurer of the MDC-T, Roy Bennett, has warned his party not to get sucked into a trap of ‘autonomous’ decision making that does not reflect the needs of the people.
Bennett was reacting to last week’s decision by Zimbabwe’s parliament to pass the Human Rights Commission Bill with only minor amendments, in what SW Radio Africa was told was part of a ‘horse trading’ deal with ZANU PF.
This deal is believed to be an attempt to give in to ZANU PF by ensuring no perpetrators of human rights abuses before February 2009 will be brought to justice. This is allegedly to ensure that the Bill is passed so that it is no longer an outstanding issue preventing progress in the unity government.
Another victim in the deal has been the loss of the Diaspora Vote, which has also been left out of the Electoral Bill that is in the process of being passed.
The full implementation of the Global Political Agreement is a major step towards fresh elections in Zimbabwe, but ZANU PF has been resisting the key reforms that it agreed to when it signed the GPA. A source has told SW Radio Africa that these important amendments to the Electoral Human Rights Bills had to be left out, in order to force ZANU PF into agreeing on these outstanding GPA issues.
SW Radio Africa was also told last week that these decisions were already made by the principals in the unity government and any debate by MPs would not have mattered.
Bennett said on Monday that this kind of “autonomous decision making” is a “trap” that prevents the real needs of the people from being heard.
“The grassroots elected their leaders in parliament and a good leader is there to voice the needs of his constituents,” Bennett said.
He also added that any decision that allows impunity for the years of human rights abuses suffered under ZANU PF was a “betrayal” to the same constituents who elected their leaders to Parliament.
“Being a victim myself, I believe there needs to be accountability and justice for the country to move forward. In my capacity as an elected official I would not agree with impunity for human rights abusers,” Bennett said.
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