Tsvangirai Announces Agreement On Outstanding Issues
Morgan Tsvangirai addresses a Press Conference at his offices earlier today, under the watchful eye of Mugabe. The Prime Minister claimed at the Press Conference that all outstanding issues have been resolvedPrime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has confirmed that Mugabe's Permanent Secretarial appointments are not null and void and have been confirmed in their posts.At a press conference this morning in Harare, Tsvangirai also detailed the other areas on which he, Mugabe and Mutambara and have reached agreement. But he also announced that Mugabe has flat out refused to agree to reviewing the appointments of Gideon Gonoa and the Attorney General.When you look closely at the agreement as announced by Tsvangirai, it becomes very clear that Tsvangirai has basically been defeated substantially by Mugabe.You also understand why Tendai Biti and the Executive of the MDC-T are so angry.
This is simply confirmation of what I told you yesterday, in an article below, that Mugabe insisting that the GPA says priority has to be given to the economic situation in Zimbabwe and all other issues should play second fiddle to this.
That the Prime Minister is willing to accept this is what is angering his Executive at the MDC-T.On Provincial Governors, Mugabe has apparently "relented" and "agreed to appoint" 5 MDC-T Governors and 1 MDC-M Governor. ZANU PF gets 4. But, there is no word on when this will happen. Tsvangirai, at today's press conference, said they would be sworn in "at the earliest opportunity".When will be the earliest opportunity? A year? Six months? One week?It remains to be seen.Roy Bennett's swearing in has also been "agreed on" and he will be sworn in, according to the Prime Minister, "before or on the day" that Provincial Governors are sworn in.On ambassadors, Tsvangirai says the MDC-T has been asked to supply names of people to be "trained" for ambassadorial posts. Which means Mugabe has refused to reorganise the Foreign Service.The Prime Minister, however, says Mugabe has agreed to fill four vacant posts for ambassadors with MDC-T and MDC-M nominees. Again, these will be made at the "earliest opportunity". No word on the exact date.Nelson Chamisa has been given back control over the cellphone companies and ZIMPOST, but ZANU PF has retained control of the Interception of Communications mandate, which leaves them free to spy on everyone from the Prime Minister downwards. Interception of Communications was the real reason Mugabe grabbed the ministry from Chamisa, which means he has got what he wanted, after all.The fact that Mugabe has refused to back down on Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana means that the matter will now be referred to SADC, Tsvangirai announced. Like I predicted earlier today, he claimed at the three principals have, with the backing of their parties, agreed to refer the matter to SADC.But ZANU PF and MDC-M are still saying going to SADC is "premature". Which means, if they insist on this, the matter of Gono and Tomana will simply be left hanging and not be referred to SADC. Tsvangirai has indeed bought Mugabe;s argument that unless they all agree to refer the matter to SADC, it can not be referred there.Significantly, Tsvangirai said absolutely nothing about the continued arrests and detentions of MDC-T activists and officials. He completely ignored the issue.When he spoke about the rule of law, he mentioned continued "taking the law into their own hands" by "some of our citizens" with regards to the Land Reform Programme.He said nothing about what, if anything will be done about it.He was very quick, however, to dismiss, almost in the same breath, the same disturbances, saying "It is important to recognise that progress has been made and continues to be made with respect to rebuilding Zimbabwe."So, to recap:
On media freedoms, Tsvangirai, despite the arrests of journalists like Vincent Kahiya and Constantine Chimakure of the Independent this last week, says the media was reformed on January 11, a month before he was sworn in as Prime Minister and 19 days before the MDC announced its agreement to join the Inclusive Government.He says the Media Commission of Tafataona Mahoso is now null and void. Yet Mahoso still draws a salary and his offices remain open. Parliament, apparently, is in the process of putting in place a new Media Commission which will be announced at a date no one knows.It is important for you to note that none of these things will be implemented. Mugabe will insist that the issue of Gono and Tomana, which will at some point (if ever) be brought before SADC, has to be concluded before he can move to implement the other things he has "agreed" to.I will be very surprised if we see any movement on any of this soon at all.
- Permanent Secretaries are not null and void
- The Interception of Communications, the real reason why Mugabe raided Nelson Chamisa's ministry, remains firmly in ZANU PF's grasp, for them to spy on citizens to their heart's content
- Ambassadors remain at their posts and only the vacant five posts will be filled with MDC-T and MDC-M nominees. The others will be looked at "as they fall vacant" and filled through "a formula to be agreed"
- Roy Bennet will be sworn in at a date no one is sure of, except that it will be before or at the same time as the Governors are appointed
- Governors have been agreed on and will be sworn in at a time of Mugabe's choosing.