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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.
Jul 08 Memorandum of Understanding
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.