Wednesday, January 02, 2013

(STICKY) (NEWZIMBABWE, RAU) Second unity government on the way?

COMMENT - Just in case you're wondering, with the readers of Newzimbabwe.com, who the heck is Derek Matyszak of the 'Research and Advocacy Unit' in Harare. He has a South African accent, so I guess he is part of the MDC's (Anglo-American De Beers) machinery. (Also see: YOUTUBE - Indigenisation of Zimbabwe with Derek Matyszak.)

He has worked for/with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) (also see here on the KAS website), an 'NGO' that receives 90% of it's funding from the German Government (think: Namibia) and is associated with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Quote:
" The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, sometimes referred to as the German NED, is a non-profit foundation associated with the Christian Democratic Union. It receives over 90% of its funding from the German government. "
Is this where the shadowy RAU receives it's grants from?


Second unity government on the way?
22/12/2012 00:00:00
by Derek Matyszak

THE preamble to the resolutions which emerged from the recent Zanu PF conference noted that “the GPA and the Inclusive Government, legally and constitutionally, ought to have come to their end after the expiry of the two years reckoned from the inception of the Inclusive Government”.

This observation by the Conference is simply wrong. In fact, the GPA provides a start date only – the date of the signing of the agreement (September 15, 2008) – and has no end date. The existence of the GNU is specifically stated, in Schedule 8 to the Constitution, to be contingent upon the existence of the GPA. Thus, the GNU lasts for so long as the GPA is in existence.

The misconception that the GPA provided a two year life-span for the GNU arose from Article 6 of the GPA. Article 6 set out a specific 18 month timetable to be followed for the making of a new constitution for Zimbabwe. The process was to commence within two months of the inception of the GNU, and thus should have been concluded about two years after the signing of the GPA.

However, the GPA does not state that a general election must be held after a referendum on the new constitution. The GPA does not in fact mention the timing of the next general election at all. It is thus not a constitutional requirement that a referendum or a new constitution must take place before general elections can be held.

So when does the GPA, and consequently the GNU end, and when must elections be held?

The GNU will end if any party withdraws from the GPA, which may be done at any time. With the termination of the GPA (for whatever reason) Schedule 8 to the Constitution, and thus the GNU, fall away.

The obvious intention of the current Constitution is that presidential elections and parliamentary elections be held simultaneously. It is also clear that the life span of Parliament is generally five years, beginning on the day the President entered office following elections, on June 29, 2008. The Constitution, including Amendment 19, requires that elections must be held within four months of the dissolution of Parliament.

Furthermore, section 23A of the Constitution provides that, every Zimbabwean has the right free, fair and regular elections. A failure to hold elections after the dissolution of Parliament would contravene this provision. Schedule 8 to the Constitution, on the other hand, provides that the Office of President “shall continue to be occupied by President Robert Gabriel Mugabe.”

There is obviously no point in holding a presidential election if Mugabe is to continue in office notwithstanding any contrary result of that election. It must thus be assumed, even though the badly drafted GPA does not state as much, that the GPA and GNU will not continue after any election. But the precise date of its termination is not known. Should it end when Parliament is dissolved, or should it end once the results of the next election are announced?

At the latest, however, the GNU must, by implication, come to an end, with elections. The next question, then, is when must such elections take place, as a matter of law? We have seen that elections must take place within four months of the dissolution of Parliament. This may be the automatic dissolution after five years, or an earlier dissolution by the President, which must be with the consent of the Prime Minister, if the GPA is still in place.

However, the life of Parliament, the President’s term of office, and thus the GNU could be extended by a constitutional amendment. The amendment might, however, be subject to challenge on the basis that elections are a fundamental feature of Zimbabwe’s constitutional democracy and cannot be suspended by agreement between political parties. The extension of the life of Parliament in this way would clearly appear motivated by political self-interest and expediency and undemocratic.

However, the current constitution making process suggests some other means of continuing a unity government which avoids the disadvantages of that outlined above.

One way will be to make the necessary constitutional amendment as suggested above, to hold a referendum on the new constitution, and, assuming that the constitution is acceptable to the electorate, to use this time of continuance of the GPA/GNU to harmonise the relations between the new constitution and the existing laws, with all the implications for reform ahead of future elections. This, of course, could be an exceedingly lengthy process, and it will be crucial to decide, in the amendment to the Constitution, which will be the necessary reforms.

Alternatively, the parties involved in negotiating the provisions of the new constitution may announce that there is a deadlock, and they are unable to agree a final constitution for the country. Instead of a final constitution, the negotiating parties could then indicate that the solution is to agree an interim constitution.

This interim constitution would contain the provisions for a GNU II and contain clauses which create the conditions for free and fair elections within a stipulated time frame. The interim constitution could provide for the sharing of executive power and that all sitting legislators retain their seats until the elections. If the interim constitution were successfully put to a referendum, the arrangement could be held to have democratic legitimacy.

The key issue, in the interim before elections with either of the above two approaches, will be the reforms oft-mentioned by SADC, and, critically, which reforms will be necessary to providing the conditions for elections that will be acceptable to Zimbabweans, SADC, and the international community at large.

As has been argued before, there needs to be realism in what will constitute “minimum conditions”, for the reforms necessary for full democracy may not be essential to the holding of genuine elections. For example, Security Sector Reform is a considerably longer process than Security Sector Governance: ensuring that the security forces are wholly under civilian control is a much shorter process than trying to deal with the reform of the army, the police, and the intelligence services.

Again, ensuring the media are open is more easily done by through agreements about the governance of the state media and similar bodies than allowing the setting up of independent radio and television stations: hate speech and misinformation can be controlled more easily by regulation than by allowing competing sources of propaganda.

Thus, the key issue for short-term stability is the question of what will be the nature of the interim constitution, and here Zimbabwe might take a lesson from South Africa and the processes that led up the elections in 1994. The quality of the elections will depend on the quality of the transition rather than the obverse: bad processes rarely lead to good outcomes.

Derek Matyszak is a Senior Researcher with the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU)

From the RAU 'About US' page:

About Us

The Research and Advocacy Unit [RAU] is an independent, non-governmental organisation. Its Mission is to provide high-quality research for the purposes of relevant and current policy change. RAU is run by a Management Committee composed of experienced researchers and advocacy experts.

RAU’s work to date has focused on three major areas that are important in the current crisis in Zimbabwe: Women, Displacements, and Governance. RAU works with a wide variety of Zimbabwean, regional, and international partners in connection with the above areas. RAU also provides independent analyses of important current issues in Zimbabwe, ranging from elections, the Global Political Agreement, legal matters, etc.

Set up in 2006, RAU has produced over 100 reports and opinion pieces on a wide variety of topics. Some reports are issued in RAU’s own name, whilst others are issued in the name of our partner organisations. RAU is a member of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and has a long-standing partnership with Idasa.

RAU also runs a programme for assisting victims of organised violence and torture, the Tree of Life [ToL]. The programme revolves around a victim-to-victim healing and empowerment process, and, to date, has assisted over 800 individuals, begun community assistance to four communities, provided training to 11 organizations, and trained 62 facilitators. ToL itself has directly assisted 289 survivors.

RAU, in pursuit of better advocacy, also produces documentary videos to compliment the reports that it produces. In partnership with New York-based WITNESS, RAU has produced two widely respected documentary films.

On their funding, they state rather briefly:

Funding

RAU’s funding comes from a variety of different sources, both from foreign aid sources and independent funding agencies.


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1 Comments:

At 12:17 AM , Blogger MrK said...

http://www.kas.de/simbabwe/en/publications/18528/

is now available at:

http://web.archive.org/web/20110810082326/http://www.kas.de/simbabwe/en/publications/18528/

 

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