Zimbabwe parliamentarians from both the
ruling party and the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are expected to debate the law to
form a unity government today (Thursday). Today's debate forms part of the
first step towards an all inclusive government between the opposition MDC and
President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF. This follows a meeting between the
opposition leader and South Africa's President Kgalema Motlanthe to address
concerns raised by the opposition. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he as
content with the meeting with the South African leader to clear the obstacles
of the power sharing deal with Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party. Nelson Chamisa
is an opposition member of parliament and spokesman for the MDC. He tells
reporter Peter Clottey that he expects a smooth debate to pave the way for a
were supposed to debate this amendment number 19 on Tuesday, but because there
had been some misunderstanding between ourselves and ZANU-PF with regards to
when and how this bill was supposed to be brought to parliament, we argued that
the outstanding issue has to be resolved. Fortunately, those issues have been
resolved and in fact the negotiators yesterday in South Africa managed to deal
with those issues. So, today we are supposed to debate and have amendment
number 19 on the floor of the national assembly," Chamisa noted.
said when the bill becomes law it paves the way for an all inclusive between
President Mugabe's ZANU-PF party and the opposition MDC.
it goes through the senate, hopefully it would be passed into law, paving the
way for the formation of the inclusive government, which is going to be marked
by the swearing in of the prime minister and deputy prime ministers as well as
cabinet ministers later after the 11th that is on the 13th.
Then the government is supposed to be in place," he said.
said today's debate would go smoothly because of what he describes as cleared
obstacles of the power sharing agreement between the opposition and the
"I don't quite see
controversies or any impediments because this is basically the giving of legal
effect to a political settlement. Something that has been agreed upon by the
political parties involved in this process. So, I just expect a smooth sailing
on the flow of this amendment in parliament and in the senate and then we wait
for the next step," Chamisa pointed out.
He said the release of the
opposition political prisoners would be a sign of benevolence by the ruling
"In fact what becomes
critical is then the release of the abductees or those who were arrested
against their will because again it is going to be a big issue. A significant
gesture of goodwill, a manifestation of a new direction and a new dispensation
and a new page that we have turned to and I think it is going to be critical in
signaling that indeed there is an atmosphere of good faith. And that there is
sincerity and that indeed we have opened a new chapter as a people," he said.
Chamisa said Zimbabweans
should be hopeful after concerns of the opposition party over disagreements in
the power sharing talks were resolved.
"It is a dawn of a new era.
The sun is rising and we all need to get ready to work for our country and we
have to be hopeful and optimistic. I have no doubt that the people of Zimbabwe
given the chance and the opportunity always comes second to none. In fact we
are going to shine as a nation we are going to be the beacon of Africa and
indeed the whole world as the haven of democracy and a guardian of freedom and
justice. And I have no doubt in my mind that given the opportunity Zimbabweans
always rise to the occasion," Chamisa pointed out.
He said the people of
Zimbabwe are ready to face any challenges to rebuild the country.
"Of course we are going to
have challenges, but we will overcome those challenges. We have a lot of opportunities
for the people of Zimbabwe because of our hard work, industriousness, education
and the peace loving nature of our people. And those things are going to be
important ingredient for the blossoming of this great nation," he said.
debate paves the way for a unity government amid calls by the African
Union and the South Africa for
international sanctions against Zimbabwe to be lifted to assist in reviving the
country's economic malaise.
who just ended a summit in the Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa pushed for
sanctions to be lifted against Mugabe's regime after the MDC agreed to join the
government last Friday.
embattled President Robert Mugabe said the formation of an inclusive government
involving his ruling ZANU-PF and the opposition MDC is consistent with
Zimbabwe's progressive record of nation-building reaffirming his commitment to
the establishment of the anticipated inclusive government in line with the
broad-based agreement signed on September 15 last year.
Under the power sharing agreement, Mugabe remains the
head of state and government, and commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defense
Forces as well as the chair of Cabinet and the National Security Council,
formerly the Joint Operations Command. MDC faction leader Morgan
Tsvangirai comes on board as prime Minister while another faction of the MDC
led by Professor Arthur Mutambara assumes the mantle of deputy prime minister.