Zimbabwe: D-Day for inclusive Govt
Posted: Sunday, January 18, 2009

Herald Reporters
Monday, January 19, 2009
The Herald

IT is D-Day for the envisaged inclusive Government with both Zanu-PF and MDC-T intimating at the weekend that today's Sadc-brokered meeting could be the last attempt to make the broad-based agreement work.

In statements made over the weekend, Zanu-PF and MDC-T said today would be the last effort to make the deal work.

On Saturday, President Mugabe told The Sunday Mail that the meeting should be decisive, but indicated that Zanu-PF would not make further concessions while the MDC-T national executive met yesterday and called for finality to the talks, whether in success or failure.

South African President Cde Kgalema Motlanthe, Mozambican leader Cde Armando Guebuza and the Sadc-appointed facilitator, Cde Thabo Mbeki, are expected in Harare this morning for the meeting.

Sadc executive secretary Dr Tomaz Salamao arrived last night.

Cde Motlanthe attends the meeting in his capacity as the Sadc chairman while Cde Guebuza is the deputy chair of the regional bloc's Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.

Cde Mugabe said Zanu-PF had complied with all Sadc resolutions on the formation of the envisaged inclusive Government.

"This is the occasion when it's either they accept or it's a break. After all, this is an interim agreement," he said.

He said MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC counterpart Professor Arthur Mutambara could be sworn in as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister after today's meeting pending enactment of Constitutional Amendment (Number 19) Bill into law.

Yesterday, MDC-T spokesman Mr Nelson Chamisa said the party's national executive had emphasised at its meeting in Harare on the need to resolve the inter-party discussions.

"The national executive reiterated that there has to be finality on the protracted dialogue, either in success or in failure, because Zimbabweans cannot continue to be arrested by an inconclusive process.

"The executive also reiterated that all outstanding issues should be resolved first before an inclusive Government is formed," he said.

Asked if his party would support Constitutional Amendment (Number 19) Bill set to be tabled before Parliament, Mr Chamisa said there was need to address differences at the political level before bringing anything to Parliament.

"We will not put the cart before the horse. First things first. Let's clear all the political impediments and Parliament should become a platform for a smooth flow of political agreements," he said.

Constitutional Amendment (Number 19) Bill seeks to give legal effect to the broad-based agreement signed by the three principals on September 15 last year.

The Bill could be presented before Parliament when it resumes sitting tomorrow.

Sadc has urged MDC-T to urgently join the envisaged inclusive Government, but the opposition party is adamant that it cannot be part of the political arrangement until all its demands are met.

According to MDC-T, outstanding issues include appointment of provincial governors, ambassadors, and permanent secretaries; allocation of ministries; and release of terrorism suspects whose cases are in court.

But President Mugabe reaffirmed Sadc's position that any issues MDC-T deems as outstanding should be addressed when the inclusive Government has been put in place.

Presidents Motlanthe and Guebuza and Cde Mbeki will have to narrow the differences between Zanu-PF and MDC-T given the positions they have taken ahead of today's meeting.

The three will meet with President Mugabe, Mr Tsvangirai and Prof Mutambara.

The three parties' negotiating teams are expected to meet after the principals' consultations to iron out outstanding issues.

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