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Mugabe, Tsvangirai agree talks


Zanu PF's Robert Mugabe and MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai have signed a pact to start talks to resolve the current political crisis in Zimbabwe.

Arthur Mutambara of the minor MDC faction also signed the agreement to start talks that could lead to a new government being formed and start tackling the country's multitude of problems.

I think this is a good move because nothing has been happening for some time now and yet things have continued to get worse for the ordinary people because there has been a leadership vacuum in Zimbabwe for some time now.

I think the MDC didn't have much of a choice but I think the mediator should have been changed from South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki to somebody else and if they wanted somebody from a neighbouring country they could have gone for one of Botswana's former presidents.

Mbeki doesn't seem to see the gravity of the situation in Zimbabwe and he appears too sympathetic to Mugabe but I hope that this is his last chance to mediate in this situation.

I don't think a government of national unity will be a good thing unless its term is limited to something like two years but I would happy that there would be a transitional government that will organise another set of elections in six to twelve months.

I think Zanu PF will go for a unity government because as opposed to a transitional government because if free and fair elections are held again chances of them winning are very slim moreso after the recent violence.

On a positive note the good thing about MDC in government is that they will be able to foresee the whole process and make sure that nobody is above the law.

Fairness is critical in Zimbabwe where the opposition has been treated so badly that you would think they are an illegal party but I hope these talks will realise that the current problems cannot continue to go on but its time to start solving although that wont be easy.

We will see what happens in two weeks time and I hope they will agree on a new constitution that will take the country on a new path.


Related documents:


Jul 08 Memorandum of Understanding

mbareboy
,...while I am not very optimistic about the outcome of the negotiations and what they will offer Zimbabweans in terms of a paradigm shift, it is nonetheless a good first step..

I pin my hopes on the constitution review. If the parties can sit together in Parly and revamp the constitution to a democratic one that recognises and safeguards property rights, freedoms etc, that should set the stage for building nationhood.

Mugabe has destroyed the basic tenents of good citizenry and has planted distrusts, self-mocking, corruption, thuggery, battering etc and all the inhuman acts you can think of.

All the people want is to get their self-respect and dignity back,...that would be a good start.

I know Mugabe and his bandits wont go away now, but what is needed is to set the wheels of change in motion. Setting a two week tight program like that shows that most of the issues have been thrashed already. Can somebody confirm that the "dinner" really took place?

Mugabe's behaviour is unprecedented in this age and time....what a maniac Thanks Morgan for causing the climbdown........looks like Thabo is getting somewhere after all
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Wes
I agree with you Mbareboy on the need for wheels of change and its important that above everything else the constitution in such a way that nobody can hold the country at ransom like what happened after the March elections and also that people are guaranteed real freedom, freedom of movement, freedom of speech - basically all the freedom they need to lead a normal life.

Never again should so much power be vested in one person because that person can easily abuse it to his/her advantage and it has happened so many times over the recent years.


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mbareboy
I had put great faith in the talks making the first significant steps towards the resolution of the political and economic disaster that Zimbabwe is at the moment. I am getting skeptical as each day passes by because the course of the negotiations is turning into the validation and accommodation of personal interests at the expense of the wishes and desires of the Zimbabwe populace.

ZANU as a minority party can not demand amnesty, monopoly of power through the control of key ministries, and use the MDC to clear its mess and claim credit.

ZANU have already won because the pressure has eased off of them a bit. I still emphasize the constitution revamp and the ability to enforce it as the only way out of the jaws of the monster whose head is Mugabe.

It would be absurd for two parties that have completely tangential ideologies to serve a full term jointly managing a process of radical transformation - its like trying to move a car forward when the hand brake is on.

We want accountability. MDC is in the right by demanding control of the Justice and Police functions so as to implement the rule of law, and they will get the amendments they want if they play their cards well in Parliament.

To me, the GNU should just be there to facilitate the creation of a conducive environment for the conduct of a democratic election process. You cannot reward thuggery and corruption by engaging in a amnesty process whose basis is meant to serve individual personalistic goals at the expense of nationhood.

Civil societies should use the revamp of the constitution to solidly organise themselves and become more powerful and recognised so as to improve civil vibrancy, that come new elections and a new government they should use their new power to lead prosecution processes.

Its difficult to expect one party to prosecute another party. Down the line, somebody should answer in the dock in Hague why they engaged in such madness. I believe this is not the time to look up to self-anointed intellectuals - they have been a big letdown, Mugabe included, Mbeki, Welshman Ncube, Jonathan Moyo, etc.

At independence, Zimbabwe had the most PhD holders of any Cabinet in the world and they have all been a disgrace. We want leaders with a conscious passion to succeed. Its not about self-interest - honouring Mugabe with power, Tsvangirai an executive position, accommodating Mutambara - its all not endurable in the eyes of the suffering innocent Zimbabweans.
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Wes
Thanks Mbareboy for the comment. I think because they have to negotiate there will be some compromises here and there and some of them will surprise a lot of people.

I think this is why Zanu PF had on a violent to make sure that their candidate Mugabe got elected so that they had something to negotiate with.

However, that result does not mean much because had the election been free and fair then I think Tsvangirai would have won easily. But at the moment all that is forgotten in an effort to come up some of agreement to get the country forward I suppose.

This is why I think whatever agreement is reached it should lead to a transitional government for between a year and two and that transitional government will be tasked with rewriting the constitution to come with one that is people centred and not leaders centred like the current one.

Another important issue I think would be to ensure that elections are run by an independent body that will not be controlled by somebody who will tell it when and how to announce election results.

I am actually waiting to see exactly what the agreement will say because some of things that we hear today could just be mere speculation but I am always aware that some of them will come to be true.

I don't like a government of national unity because it is just accountable to itself and not to the people. The leaders will enjoy all the perks as they share ministries.

You need a govt that knows that if it doesn't perform it will lose the next election and that doesn't apply to a govt of national unity.


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Edwin
I totally agree with your opinions and that is what most Zimbabweans want.

Some have gone to the extent of saying that we would rather have both Tsvangirai and Mugabe out and have someone from the civil society to lead a transitional authority, which will come up with a new people driven constitution and hold elections within two years.

Even people in the dreaded CIO AND OTHER SECURITY ORGANS are now feeling used and fed up with the situation. People are now deserting the army ,police and other security organs.

We just pray that these things do not prolong and the situation is making it difficult for Companies to plan and make decisions.

Some employees are not reporting for work and you do not ask when they finally come, a lot have left for the streets to change forex and engage in illegal deals and even with the backing of the senior people in government.
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Wes
Thanks Edwin for the comment. I think the idea of somebody neutral in a governor type role leading the transitional authority is not bad. What is needed is an accountable government and that's why the idea of a GNU does not work but if somebody 'neutral' leads the govt then the transitinal authority will not hang on for too long.

But as it is now it looks like its all set for an accommodative bloated govt which I think is the last thing the people of Zimbabwe would like.

Obviously this is affecting business confidence and I agree the quicker its resolved the better.
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Herbert
The idea of a blanket amnesty does not work and you cannot have that kind of situation and especially after the kind of atrocities that were committed after the March 29 elections.

If they want an amnesty then the amnesty must be accompanied by a truth and reconciliation commission like the one South Africa had that will dig out the truth.

What the commission will do is expose all the people who were behind the murders and displacement of people and if they give truthful accounts then they will not be prosecuted but you just cannot have a blanket amnesty. That will send the wrong message not only to Zimbabwe but to the rest of Africa.

People will want to know who perpetrated all that violence because the same people will be part of whatever government is formed.

I hope MDC will stand firm on this otherwise the agreement will be tainted.
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Wes
I think you have said it well there Herbert. Its either prosecution or truth and reconciliation commission. To me that makes a lot of sense and that will pave the way for the healing process to begin.

I also think the commission will have to cover incidences starting from 1980 because a lot of people have a lot of questions going back that far and that must be addressed.
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Edwin
You guys write as if you are in Zim.On Saturday i attended a wedding for the Vice President's daughter where most of the so called Mujuru camp were around, mostly those from Mashonaland East and a few guys from Mash Central.

The issues that were coming out are exactly what you are expressing guys.The feeling was that people need change and if they had a way they would prefer the old man paving way for someone from Zanu (PF) to take a ceremonial presidential role.

The new paper money that was launched on 1 August is quickly disappearing from the banks and people are now getting only coins from banks and I do not know where this will take us.

As for the TRC so many people are guilty and they are afraid.This is an issue which most people from Matabeleland and the Midlands are waiting for and they are saying if the issue is not fully addressed then they will not recognize the talks and its outcome.

Moreover they voted for the opposition on the belief that the Gukurahundi era will be dealt with once and for all.If this is not dealt with, from what is on the ground the we are likely to see more problems emanating from southern Zim.
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Wes
Thanks Edwin for the update on the new money. But seriously coins are actually worse off than the trillions that the people had in July. Surely how many coins can you carry?

This is not surprising though given the fact the nobody is running the economy at the moment and it continues to be in free fall.

I think a TRC or something like that is very important and those who thought that nothing was ever going to be done are obviously worried.
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Edwin
How come there is no more news and updates on Owatalk? What is the people's opinion on Tsvangirai's accident. It seems only the independent has managed to throw a comment, attacking the position taken by the British and the Americans who were quick to say no foul play is suspected. What are the papers that side saying about this issue.

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Wes
Thanks for the comment Eddie, surely I have been able to post a commentary soon enough but I have now done so here. I basically wanted to see how things would go first but thanks for the reminder. Cheers.
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Edwin
Retired General Vitalis Zvinavashe passed away yesterday and some Zanu PF members took it as an excuse not to attend Susan Tsvangirai's burial in Buhera. If the attendance at Susan's funeral is anything to go by and the send off rally at the Glamis Stadium them there is need for Zanu PF to think twice and feel guilt at the same time for they have been doing to the people of Zimbabwe.


What the people now need is complete change today not yesterday, such that the feeling among the people is that the two year transition period is too long.


Zanu PF should no longer have anything to do with Zimbabwean politics,surely in the next election they will disappear into oblivion like Unip and Malawi Congress Party.This time around defections from Zanu will be in mass and very real.
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Wes
I agree that as time goes on Zanu PF will lose relevance as happened to Unip in Zambia but at the moment they still have a chance to do something about it but they seem to be occupied with the trivial issues - arresting and harassing people for no reason. Every year 1980 goes further back and people are not going to be very much interested in things that happened more than 30 years ago when you cannot provide basic things today. And unfortunately one of those basic things Zanu PF has failed to provide is freedom and I was happy to see that Tsvangirai in his maiden speech to Parliament last week talked about restoring freedom back to the people and its about time and people can see that the guy is more forward looking than being forced to history lessons all the time.
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