Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's
political party is coming under intense criticism after calling for the African
Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to intervene in
resolving a deadlock in Zimbabwe's unity government.
The move is reportedly
generating more friction in the unity government after supporters of President
Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party dismissed the
call as bogus and premature, a charge the prime minister's party denies.
supporters contend that discussions
between the principals within the unity government have not yet reached a stage
where there is a need for arbitration. But the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) says there is a deadlock that needs to be addressed.
Political analyst Rejoice Mbowenya told
VOA that the time for arbitration is now.
MDC has got a right to turn to the SADC for arbitration because in terms of the
Global Political Agreement and the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) the SADC
is guarantor of the success of this agreement," Mbowenya said.
He said the MDC is in the
right direction by calling for international help to resolve the deadlock with
President Mugabe's ZANU-PF in the unity government.
"Morgan Tsvangirai and his
team have got the right to turn to SADC and I believe they are doing the right
thing because that is the only transient escape route they might have at the
moment," he said.
Mbowenya described as
unfortunate accusations that the prime minister's party overstated it bounds by
calling for international intervention to help resolve the deadlock in the
"That is an unfortunate
position because what the MDC is asking for is the basic acknowledgment that
the political agreement was based on an understanding of a gentleman's way of
doing business," Mbowenya said.
He denied speculations that
both the African Union and SADC do not have leverage to use against President
Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party.
"I believe that is a
misinterpretation. We know that there are certain things that SADC cannot do as
a collective entity, but the most powerful force in SADC is South Africa… in
the first place that singlehandedly brought Mugabe to the negotiating table
when he said he was not going to have Morgan Tsvangirai to the party," he said.
Mbowenya described as best
the agreement that led to the formation of the unity government.
"This agreement is good for
everybody. It's as good for MDC as it is for ZANU-PF because if Mugabe had not
entered into this agreement, his political career would have been effectively
over because the crisis would have completely paralyzed him," Mbowenya said.
He urged the prime minister
to be more forceful to have ZANU-PF cede some grounds to his party in the unity
"I believe that Morgan
Tsvangirai still has got an opportunity to use that critical leverage… to push
the deal further and with a bit of pressure from himself and his executive
committee and SADC for Mugabe's empire would crumble," he said.
The National Executive of the MDC over the weekend referred to what it
described as outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement to SADC and
the African Union for arbitration was to address a deadlock within the unity
The party said the
appointments of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, Attorney-General
Johannes Tomana, provincial governors, ambassadors and permanent secretaries be
revisited, with all the three parties having a say and benefiting from the
appointments. The party also said it wanted a stop to what it said are
political arrests of its members.
The MDC has often accused
President Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party of dragging their feet on the matter.
Meanwhile, the Global
Political Agreement which paved the way for the inclusive government also
created The Joint Monitoring and Implementation
Committee (JOMIC), comprising and co-chaired by members from the three
parties to ensure the implementation of the agreement.