Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) will meet with the ruling ZANU-PF party today to resolve
what it describes as outstanding issues ahead for a unity government. Today's
meeting is expected to pave the way for a constitutional amendment, which would
allow opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to be sworn in as prime minister. The amendment is set to be tabled in parliament Wednesday, amid calls
from the African Union as well as South Africa for
international sanctions to be lifted to help
revive the country from an economic meltdown. MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa
tells reporter Peter Clottey that he is hopeful for a compromise to be reached
at today's meeting.
our negotiating team from the three different political parties would be
meeting to try and find common grounds on the outstanding issues; the issues of
the allocation of governance, the issue of the National Security Council Bill,
for which issues are still outstanding and have actually said to be issues that
would want to be resolved before a government is formed. So this is basically
in line with the SADC (Southern African Development Community) communiqué and
it is to make sure that we then pave way for Wednesday where the amendment
number 19 is anticipated to be brought to the floor of the house of the
national assembly as well as the senate for passage and also enacted by the
president," Chamisa noted.
said it would not be easy to predict how fruitful today's discussion would be.
very difficult to tell, but again it has to be located within the matrices of
perception and within the matrices of commitment by ZANU-PF, and in fact we
have witnessed a deficit of sincerity on the part of ZANU-PF. We are hoping
that finally, there is a realization that there is profit and value in working
together in an inclusive transitional government to try and create a democratic
state. To try and create a platform for humanitarian assistance. To try and
create a platform for national healing," he said.
said there is hope that today's meeting would send a message to all Zimbabweans
that state institutions are meant to serve them.
doing all that (creating the various platforms) we are then able to say to
ourselves, indeed we have institutions that have been built to serve the people
of Zimbabwe because this inclusive government is about responding to the
desires and needs of the people," Chamisa pointed out.
He said the opposition MDC
is grateful to SADC for its intervention in reviving the stalled power sharing
talks. The revived talks facilitated next week's implementation of a unity
government after opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pledged his consent to
joining the government.
"We are necessarily
delighted at the fact that SADC made a communiqué, which communiqué fulfilled
the issue of amendment number 19 to be enacted before the swearing in of the
prime minister, which was a concession. As you may be aware, ZANU-PF was
insisting on having the swearing in first, then amendment later, with the
possibility of that amendment being forsaken. So that is concession number
one," he said.
Chamisa said SADC also
intervened for both opposing parties to discuss issues concerning the staunch
positions taken by both parties on governance.
"Concession number two
becomes the issues of the governance. ZANU-PF didn't want to have this matter
opened for debate. But the fact that we are debating it is a significant shift
on the part of the ZANU-PF. And of course, acknowledgment has to go to SADC for
that movement, and we are hoping that finally we are going to resolve this
matter and put it behind us," Chamisa noted.
He said the opposition was
of the view that issues of national security need to be addressed to ensure
"Thirdly is the issue of the
National Security Council, which we have said needs to be enacted as a bill in
parliament because we need the composition and constitution of that National
Security Council to be legislated. So that there is accountability by the
security organs in terms of issues that have to do with the security of persons
and the respect for human rights," he said.
Meanwhile, the parliament is
expected to pass the constitutional amendment bill Wednesday to pave the way
for the formation of an inclusive government comprising the ruling ZANU-PF and
two wings, or formations, of the opposition MDC.
Lawmakers in both Houses are
generally expected to support the proposed legislation, as their respective
parties have already confirmed their participation in the inclusive government.