Some Zimbabweans have reportedly welcomed as a step in the
right direction calls by the international community for a negotiated
settlement between President Robert Mugabe and the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC). They however, warned that a negotiated settlement that
would lead to a government of national unity would not work since they claim
President Mugabe had on previous occasions disbanded all such inclusive
governments. This comes after over 30 African heads of state and government
meeting in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm El Sheikh unanimously called for peace negotiations between the
opposition and the government to resolve Zimbabwe's internal problems. Gordon
Moyo is the executive director of the Bulawayo project, a non-governmental
organization in Zimbabwe's commercial capital. He tells reporter Peter Clottey
the call for possible negotiation should focus on addressing the concerns of
issue of a negotiated settlement is quite welcome, but the question is what
kind of a negotiated settlement? The people of Zimbabwe would not welcome a government
of national unity as signified by the overtures that are being made by various
heads of state. Zimbabwe would not want to have the solution that was brokered
in Kenya imposed on them. The people of Zimbabwe would want a kind of situation
whereby there is a transitional mechanism that is going to prepare for the
election," Moyo noted.
said Zimbabweans would want to participate in a vote that would be credible and
would want to vote; they didn't participate in the elections over the past two
days. So, any negotiation that is going to allow for an electoral process that
was began in March to be continued would be welcomed, but anything less than
that would be tantamount to dismissing the people's will," he said.
said a possible negotiation between the government and the opposition would
need a credible and an unbiased mediator.
is no substitute for a negotiated settlement now. Negotiations are just
important, but they are significant and essential in Zimbabwe now, but what
would be needed is a mediator who is credible. The mediation led by the SADC
(Southern African Development Community) through the president of South Africa
was a suspect and it lacked the credibility because the president of South
Africa seems to be politically blind to the plight and calamities of the people
of Zimbabwe," Moyo pointed out.
said Zimbabweans would welcome a mediator that would be backed by the
international community among others.
we need now is a mediation that is supported by the African Union. The
mediation that has a number of leaders and evidenced from outside even SADC,
that is what we need in Zimbabwe," he said.
said the possible negotiated settlement by the two opposing parties should lead
to a pragmatic constitutional reform.
people of Zimbabwe are looking at what I will call the principles of
engagement. When the MDC and ZANU-PF are engaging, there must be certain
fundamentals that should be respected. One of them is they must agree on making
sure that the priority in their discussion is a constitutional reform. Number
two the people of Zimbabwe would want to vote, so they are expecting to go back
to the polling stations as soon as possible. That is very critical to all
Zimbabweans. Thirdly, the people of Zimbabwe are tired of the hostilities that
are going on in the country, the structures of cohesion, the structures of
manipulation, the structures of violence should be dismantled, and the people
of Zimbabwe are looking towards that. And the people of Zimbabwe are hungry
they are starving they are looking forward to the government allowing the
international agencies that have been distributing food in Zimbabwe to continue
their work," Moyo pointed out.