Government in Harare will not collapse


Zimbabwe’s inclusive government will not collapse despite the bickering which has seen Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic change partially withdrawing.

Tsvangirai said last Friday his party would remain in government but would boycott government functions that involved the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front until the Global Political Agreement which brought the parties together in the inclusive government had been resolved.

Political commentators, however, said the inclusive government would not collapse because no one was ready for elections. Even if a new constitution was drafted and agreed upon, the elections might be held as late as 2013 or even beyond.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce President Obert Sibanda said the inclusive government was not likely to collapse because none of the key players really wanted to quit.

“It’s like a marriage, couples squabble now and again but they stay together with one of the partners even claiming they will hang on for the sake of their children. From time to time you hear some bickering, but this is nothing to worry about. I think it is just grandstanding,” he said.

Political scientist, John Makumbe said the priority was to get a new constitution. This might be delayed by six to nine months but the country should have a new constitution and a referendum by 2011.

While admitting that the political climate was very fragile, Makumbe said the inclusive government would not collapse because no one was ready for elections now.

“It is very likely that we will not have any elections until 2013. My fear is that the legislators might decide to say why hold elections now let’s hold them in 2015. The only difference now is that if elections are delayed this is going to be by agreement not because ZANU-PF wants it,” Makumbe said.

“No one wants to hold elections now, but ZANU-PF cannot stop the elections. After the referendum, the GPA says if any one of the parties pulls out of the GPA, elections must be held in 90 days, this is what will hold them together because, no one really wants to hold the elections until the climate is right.”

Jobert Mudzumwe, national chairman of the Arthur Mutambara faction of the MDC said the inclusive government was the best thing that the parties could come up with after failing to secure an outright winner in the 2008 elections.

But he said no one should take advantage of the people by prolonging the life of the inclusive government as only three parties were in government yet there were other smaller parties that participated in the elections.

“I am part of the inclusive government but I do not think that those in the government should take advantage of the people. How different will we then be from the Mugabe regime that we are seeking to remove?” Mudzumwe asked.

“I know some people are dragging their feet because they a benefiting. Some people from ZANU-PF did not want this inclusive government in the first place, now that they realise they are benefiting they want it to continue indefinitely.

“There were some people that were benefiting from the anarchy. They too want things to continue that way. That is unacceptable. We are building this country for the future generation, not to suit our personal interests.

“The national healing committee is doing a good job by going around the country. If by the time we have our new constitution people feel they need more time to heal the wounds, then it will be OK.”


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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