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'Sanctions are the major outstanding issue,' says Prof Moyo

by Hebert Zharare
01 May 2013 at 05:54hrs | Views
The continued existence of the West's illegal economic sanctions regime is the major outstanding issue in the implementation of the GPA and the greatest threat to the country's efforts to conduct free, fair and credible elections, analysts have said.

The sanctions were imposed to influence voting patterns through protest votes.

Analysts say Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai should have taken his gallivanting to western capitals and not bother Sadc which knows that the issues he is raising will be addressed by the new Constitution expected to be adopted and become national supreme law this month.

They dismissed Mr Tsvangirai's call for an extraordinary summit on Zimbabwe saying all the so-called outstanding issues will be addressed by the new Constitution.

If Sadc was to meet, they said, it should be seized with the threat posed by the Renamo insurgency in Mozambique not politicians crying wolf.

Tsholotsho North legislator and Zanu-PF politburo member, Professor Jonathan Moyo, said the key issue that needed urgent attention was the unconditional lifting of the illegal sanctions.

He said the PM Tsvangirai, as leader of Government business in Parliament, left the country during a critical hour to "gallivant in regional capitals" yet there was critical government business of ensuring the Constitutional Bill sailed through Parliament.

"The fact that he is gallivanting in regional capitals when he is supposed to lead this serious Government business reflects gross negligence on his party. He wants Sadc leaders to assist him do his job. It shows he does not understand his role as PM ..... he has wrong priorities," he said.

Prof Moyo said most of the matters the PM was raising would fall away once the new Constitution becomes operational, adding the PM was supposed to know that the Constitution was more important than the Acts of Parliament.

"It is absurd, more absurd that the PM claims there are more outstanding issues from the Global Political Agreement. All issues outstanding are in the hands of Zimbabweans and were dealt with and are now in the new Constitution.

"The only outstanding issue that could not be resolved by the new Constitution is the continued existence of the illegal sanctions, that has not been done because Zimbabweans cannot remove the embargoes. This is in the hands of foreigners. Sadc and the AU have done their part. Their role in Zimbabwe is over. They assisted Zimbabweans to find each other and they have done that very well. Now Zimbabweans themselves as GPA and as a nation can solve their problems," he said.

Prof Moyo said Sadc and the AU had no mandate to govern Zimbabwe describing the PM's regional tour as a futile exercise as the two bodies were just guarantors of the GPA.

"The PM should understand that Sadc cannot guarantee the GPA beyond the lifespan of Parliament.

"There should be a harmonised end to that and that day has come. It is undemocratic for the PM to demand Sadc to have the implementation of an agreement that has come to an end.

"Our constitution does not say government should stay until it finishes all its issues, neither does it also say Parliament should stay until it finishes debating all the Bills.

"Any pending motions automatically lapse, they die naturally.

"Similarly all pending reforms, ideas or policy naturally die with the term of office of that Government. This notion of saying no elections until some reforms are implemented is absurd. Its dictatorship . . . If your time is up, pack your bags and leave," he said.

University of Zimbabwe political scientist lecturer, Dr Charity Manyeruke, concurred with Prof Moyo saying the problem with PM Tsvangirai was over-reliance on outsiders when the country has structures for home-grown solutions to the challenges.

"The sanctions are real and they are a threat to free and fair elections in the country. As long as the Head of State and Government President Mugabe is on sanctions list, it means Zimbabwe is under threat from the international community. The poll results will come with a lot of prejudices.

"It is critical that the PM campaign for the removal of President Mugabe from sanctions. We would like a free environment ahead of elections without barriers for some political players," she said.

National University of Science and Technology academic, Dr Lawton Hikwa, criticised Mr Tsvangirai for approaching the region before he exhausted all internal remedies to the problems he thought were affecting his party.

He said it was clear that most of the issues the PM wanted the region to solve were automatically going to be dealt with by the new Constitution.

"The sanctions are divisive ..... They are a threat to the desired free and fair elections.

"They are illegal because they never went through the UN Security Council. Some say they are restrictive measures, but the truth is there are illegal economic sanctions here.

"This Government does not get aid through treasury ..... Government to organisations relations skirt through this process. You cannot run Government that way," he said

On Sunday PM Tsvangirai embarked on Sadc and AU tour, reportedly to apprise them of the situation in Zimbabwe and so far reports say he met South Africa President Jacob Zuma and Tanzanian leader Mr Jakaya Kikwete in a bid to drum up support for an extra-ordinary summit on Zimbabwe pursuant to postponing impending harmonised elections.

The PM wants to end his tour by visiting Mozambique and Namibia.

Source - theherald