Saturday, May 12, 2012
by Staff Reporter
THE MDC-T briefed diplomats accredited to Harare Friday, highlighting the need for full implementation of a power sharing pact with Zanu PF as well as concerns over what the party says is growing incidence of violence across the country.
The briefing follows Thursday’s meeting between Zimbabwe and the European Union where the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, commended progress made in implementing political reforms. Ashton also indicated the 27-nation body would review sanctions on Zimbabwe at a meeting in July.
MDC-T secretary for international relations and Minister of State Jameson Timba and party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told diplomats Friday that the Brussels meeting “represents an opportunity for those on targeted measures, to change their behaviour on their role in trampling human rights before the next EU meeting is held in July.”
The EU imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe in 2002, citing allegations of human rights abuses and electoral fraud. The sanctions were partially reviewed in February, with the EU removing a visa ban and asset freeze on 51 of the targeted 150 people and 20 of 30 companies on the sanctions list.
At Thursday’s meeting in Brussels, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the Zimbabwe delegation, which also included MDC representatives and cabinet ministers, Elton Mangoma and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, spoke with one voice on the need for the complete removal of the sanctions.
“We spoke with one voice on the issue of sanctions,” he said. "We pointed out that the sanctions had no justification and should not remain.”
But the MDC-T appeared to be singing from a different hymn sheet on Friday.
“The diplomats were informed on the need for the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the roadmap to free and fair elections,” the party said in a statement.
“The party reiterated that a credible election is one in which the security of the person and the security of the vote is guaranteed and respected.”
Mwonzora, who is also the co-chair of the Parliamentary constitutional select committee (COPAC), told the diplomats the constitutional reforms were on course but expressed concern over “a concerted effort by the state media to denigrate the constitution-making process through Jonathan Moyo and a few securocrats in Zanu PF.”
The MDC-T officials also claimed political violence was on the increase in the country and expressed concern over “treasonous statements attributed to Zimbabwe Defence Forces Chief of Staff Major General Martin Chedondo that the military should interfere in politics and support Zanu PF”.
“The diplomats were briefed on the disturbing increase in violence and the closing of the democratic space in the country especially the banning and disruption of MDC rallies across the country,” the party said.
“Concern was raised on the continued lack of consultation between the President and Prime Minister on key senior appointments.
“A test case on the illegal appointments of governors will be heard by the High Court this month when Justice George Chiweshe will make a determination as to whether Mugabe acted lawfully by appointing the governors without consulting the Prime Minister.
“Justice Chiweshe was the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Election Commission in March 2008 when the announcement of results of the Presidential election where President Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe was withheld for more than five weeks.”