[DEBATE] : (Fwd) MDCapitulation (sez Madhuku)
dominic.tweedie at gmail.com
Fri Sep 26 06:53:42 BST 2008
This guy Madhuku is only an analyst or a Muzorewa at best. He exposes
More to the point, why does Gonda or anyone else want to interview him as if
he is a player?
2008/9/26 Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za>
> SW Radio Africa Hot Seat Transcript
> Violet Gonda's guest is civic leader Dr. Lovemore Madhuku. She discusses
> his reservations on the power sharing agreement. This is followed by an
> interview with one of the negotiators, Priscilla Misihairabwi- Mushonga.
> Broadcast: 19 September 2008
> Violet Gonda: Today on the programme Hot Seat my guest is constitutional
> law expert and chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly Dr Lovemore
> Madhuku. We have invited him on the programme to give us his assessment on
> the agreement signed by the rival political parties in Zimbabwe . Welcome on
> the programme Dr. Madhuku.
> Lovemore Madhuku: Welcome. Thank you very much Violet.
> Gonda: You have had a chance to read the power sharing agreement – what do
> you make of it?
> Madhuku: For a start I think I can say it is a very puzzling agreement
> because you will see there are issues that go beyond the ambit of political
> parties and then on the other hand there are issues that you'd say yes the
> parties must talk about. But what is puzzling is the extent to which the
> agreement wants to be very broad and then ends up covering issues that are
> problematic. Take the broad range of issues covering land, sanctions, issues
> about freedom of expression, freedom of association, issues to do with the
> constitution making - these are areas which when you analyse them have very
> little to do with the ultimate focus which was to distribute government
> Gonda: You say it is puzzling, so in your view is the deal workable?
> Madhuku: I don't think the deal is workable and the reason why I am saying
> it is puzzling is that you get a one sided focus. Most of those preliminary
> points that are raised relating to land, relating to sanctions, to freedom
> of expression and so on reflect one side. What we have always heard ZANU PF
> saying is reflected there and that is why I am saying it is puzzling. But
> then it is coming in as an agreement between ZANU PF and the two MDC parties
> which would seem to suggest that all along the MDC and ZANU PF have been
> seeing things the same way.
> But when it comes to do with issues to do with power and so on you find an
> attempt to try to take into account the concerns of the other parties in a
> very careful manner but in the end still reflecting ZANU PF dominance. This
> is why I say it is puzzling because from a person who has studied the
> history of the MDC , where it has been coming from, you'd still have to
> wonder if it is party to that kind of agreement.
> Gonda: Since you have been studying the MDC why would you think they would
> sign a deal that does not give them real powers and that is one sided?
> Madhuku: I think my explanation is really focusing on what I believe to be
> capitulation by the MDC . It is difficult to explain in any other way other
> than capitulation. For example why would the MDC simply accept that our
> problems in the country have been western sanctions on the basis of the land
> reform programme, or explain the isolation of Zimbabwe on the basis of the
> pressure by the United Kingdom ? And then you get the creation of the post
> of the Prime Minister who is neither Head of State or Head of Government and
> so on. It's really a capitulation here.
> Some MDC people have not been telling their supporters and the rest of the
> world that they were tired, that they were no longer really determined to
> continue with the struggle that they have been fighting and indirectly just
> giving in. This is capitulation.
> Gonda: Now if we are to go to Article 18 - section 18.5, subsection F of
> the power sharing agreement, it says the civil society must not use violence
> or coercion to canvass or mobilize for or oppose any political party – what
> are your views on this?
> Madhuku: That is a typical ZANU PF mentality - for example if you go for
> demonstrations those will be regarded as violent. What they have always
> believed is if you want to campaign for any cause and you mobilise people
> and they have peaceful protests the police come and break these peaceful
> protests saying 'you were violent.' And this is what that paragraph
> reflects. In other words it is an attempt to restrain political mobilisation
> in the country. And the puzzling thing is why the MDC will be party to that
> because that is completely a false basis for understanding the politics of
> the country since 2000.
> Gonda: What about the issue of the national youth service – which was used
> to attack the opposition but according to this agreement the politicians
> want it revised. Should the national youth service be reconstituted to
> reflect the 'noble' ideas of this agreement?
> Madhuku: It is very difficult to see the reasons for the national youth
> service. When that national youth service was introduced the purpose was to
> try and orient the youths towards a support for the ruling party, orient
> youths towards a programme that could go against opposition politics here.
> Which is why if you go into the streets in Zimbabwe and in the villages they
> normally refer them the Border Gezi people – referring to the person who
> started this programme who was a ZANU PF organiser. So that programme should
> simply be disbanded and when the time comes for it to be reintroduced it
> should be under completely different circumstances when the country is
> clearly committed to developing youth skills. Currently it is highly
> politicised and no amount of reform will make it a respected programme…
> Gonda: I was going to ask you that some have said this national youth
> programme is like trying to put lipstick on a pig but it is still a pig. So
> can it ever be reintroduced in your view and knowing what it has done?
> Madhuku: If it were to be re-introduced it would be re-introduced in a
> different era by a completely different government with the right focus and
> not as youth training in the way it is done. I think the skills that the
> youths need, the skills that the unemployed need and the skills that we
> would want for the broader population can be re-organised. So I don't see
> how you can have this kind of programme.
> Gonda: What about the reports quoting Mr. Tsvangirai saying members of
> ZANU-PF could face trial over political violence but not Robert Mugabe?
> Madhuku: I really haven't heard that but I understand that part of the
> understanding in the deal is that for Mugabe to agree to any settlement he
> himself must not be touched. But I don't also believe that there is any
> agreement that the other person must not be prosecuted. What we understand
> is that in terms of this deal nothing will be done along the lines of
> prosecuting people. So if Mr. Tsvangirai has made that remark he may still
> be trying to convince those who are wondering why he signed the deal to say
> 'we are still on the right track,' but I doubt that would be a sincere
> Gonda: On the other hand some may say these were individuals who were
> involved in these brutal attacks. So can Mugabe in his personal capacity be
> held accountable for crimes committed by others?
> Madhuku: Legally he can be held accountable but the problem is there is no
> one who can take him to court. In this government if he is still head of
> government. Tsvangirai has no powers whatsoever under the current
> arrangements to even talk about prosecuting some people and not prosecuting
> others. That is why I am really not keen to continue commenting on the
> statement because it does not seem to be a serious one.
> Gonda: Speaking about powers, I spoke with the MDC spokesperson Chamisa on
> Thursday and he said cabinet talks are deadlocked because ZANU PF wants all
> key ministries. Chamisa said the key ministries that ZANU PF wants are the
> Defence, Information, Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Agriculture,
> Justice, Mines, Higher Education, Youth and Women's ministries. What are
> your thoughts on this? Did the MDC sign prematurely something which didn't
> give them a safe package?
> Madhuku: I think even their own supporters were very clear to Morgan
> Tsvangirai before he signed that he should only sign a deal when everything
> had been settled. I know for sure that on the day before the signing - that
> was on Sunday - he told the National Council of the MDC that there would be
> no signing before all issues had been resolved and this included issues to
> do with governors as Mugabe had already appointed governors and those were
> not covered in the agreement. It also had to do with issues specifically to
> do with ministries. So there is no doubt that it was unwise for them to sign
> before finalising key matters such as the allocation of ministries because
> the so called power sharing component of the agreement is related to the
> distribution of government posts.
> And so as you see ZANU PF insisting on that, what they want to do at the
> end is for ZANU to end up with the real key ministries. They might not
> insist on all those key ministries that could be creating the deadlock at
> the moment but they raise them as a bargaining process. So you haggle and
> haggle and when you get tired they will give you one or two of those and
> then you settle. That is the style they use. They say 'no' to chairing of
> cabinet, 'no' to any changes to the Head of State status and at the end of
> the day they will say 'ok it's fine you can supervise all ministers.' And
> then you believe that you have compromised. There is no compromise.
> Gonda: From what you have seen in the agreement, if it is breached by
> either party - like what seems to be happening with the cabinet posts - what
> recourse is there for the aggrieved? What legal clout does this agreement
> Madhuku: Well this is a political agreement. It has no legal basis in any
> way. It will only have a legal basis when its elements are made into law.
> Like the elements in the agreement going all the way to the constitution -
> the so called Amendment no19. It is only after that stage that it can have
> some legal weight but as it stands it is a political document and if it is
> breached by any of the parties the remedy for the other party is to go
> political. You exert your political muscles. For example I think that will
> be withdrawing from the agreement and going back to the trenches and putting
> I think ZANU PF is very much aware that the MDC is at its weakest having
> already signed the agreement without those factors.
> Gonda: I will come back to the issue of what happens if the deal collapses
> but the MDC spokesperson also told me that the issue of the allocation of
> the cabinet posts had been referred back to the negotiators. Does it mean
> every time they disagree they go back to the negotiators?
> Madhuku: I think that is simply a trick to try and buy time on the part of
> ZANU PF. The negotiators no longer exist in terms of the agreement. Once the
> agreement was signed you have the agreement to look to. So the mechanisms
> for resolving any disputes must be the mechanisms put there in the
> agreement. There is a committee that they agreed to set up which would
> supervise the implementation of the agreement unless the negotiators then
> becomes the review mechanisms in the agreement but we don't see that coming
> in there. We believe that in referring the matter to the so called
> negotiators they are just simply buying time and then hoping that with time
> you could then still come back with pressure from the people. But if you
> take it back after the euphoria arising out of the agreement on Monday the
> 15th of September we are already going into the second week without any
> cabinet, and the people still hearing disagreements.
> The idea is that if you refer to the negotiators there might be pressure
> especially on the MDC to give in to ZANU PF's dealings.
> Gonda: You know there are others who have said it appears the power sharing
> process is couched in parallel processes which are creating multi-layered
> bureaucracy that may impede the process – as you mentioned earlier there is
> the joint monitoring and implementation committee - I think they are calling
> it JOMIC and there is another committee that will be set up to review the
> mechanism periodically. Do you think this will be effective because some say
> if this is the case why don't they just make the negotiators as the
> 'executive' of the country since right now they are going back to the
> Madhuku: Yes you are right, and people are right to suggest that you get a
> multi-layered mechanism for dealing with the agreement and I think all that
> it indicates is that it is going to be very difficult to have the agreement
> work. But as I have said, if you refer the matter to the negotiators you are
> simply buying time because the issue at stake is not about the negotiators,
> it is about the Principals. Here you are allocating appointment processes –
> which party gets which ministries. I think it is very much to do with how
> the leaders of govern, in this case the President and possibly the Prime
> Minister would want to see themselves working together. So it is a matter
> that must remain with the Principals.
> Gonda: Can the MDC go back to say Mugabe is illegitimate if things fail
> since they endorsed him in front of the world when they signed that deal?
> Madhuku: I think they will not be taken seriously if they were to do that.
> At the moment they just have to ensure that they go with the decisions which
> have already been reached more or less at an irreversible stage, where they
> have said they will accept Mugabe as President and Head of State. All these
> other people will have to be installed and Mugabe had already been installed
> on the 29th of June 2008 – that's what is implied by that agreement. He is
> President in terms of that installation. So I think you cannot blow hot and
> cold over the issue of the legitimacy of Mugabe. So I think they cannot go
> back without being taken less seriously than before.
> There is a time in the political process when you have to take the
> consequences of your actions. The consequences of their actions all along
> have been to clothe Mugabe with legitimacy and they have to work along those
> If they pull out they will have to raise other issues about Mugabe other
> than his legitimacy, which they can still do.
> Gonda: Like?
> Madhuku: Like he is a person who is difficult to work with, he breaks
> agreements, things like that. You would really be insulting the public if
> you say he is illegitimate and we will not talk to him, then you give him
> legitimacy but when things go bad then you get out of the discussion and
> start again the illegitimacy argument. I think that won't be taken seriously
> by people. So they have to raise other issues if they were to break the
> Gonda: And in his speech at the signing ceremony Arthur Mutambara said
> there is no longer an opposition in Zimbabwe – do you agree with that?
> Madhuku: Well I don't know what he meant by that. There will always be
> opposition in the country. There may not be an opposition party, so to
> speak, in the model of the MDC . I do not believe that in terms of this
> agreement the two parties have an equal standing. I think in the eyes of
> many people the MDC will still be seen as an opposition which has seconded
> some of its people into the government, and that is how we see it.
> But to say that there is no more opposition is also misleading because even
> though the MDC may not be opposing ZANU PF during the course of the
> agreement there are so many voices outside government who would be prepared
> to oppose moves that are bad – for example civil society groups including
> the labour, the churches. They will be speaking out against that. They may
> not be opposition parties but there will be a lot of opposition voices.
> Gonda: What about the Mutambara formation itself? Is it now a crucial part
> of the 'governing' coalition, given the fact that even Arthur Mutambara
> didn't run and in fact supported Simba Makoni in the presidential elections?
> Madhuku: I think whether they remain an effective portion depends on how
> they relate in the course of the governing process. If for example they
> remain a separate party – a distinct party from Tsvangirai's and from
> issue-to-issue decision making positions, which relate to the issues and not
> so much on the basis that they are either Tsvangirai's group or Mugabe's
> group, they might remain an effective component.
> However if they were to decide that at this stage to say that they will
> always vote with Tsvangirai's group in that case they would have dissolved
> themselves into part of the MDC .
> Gonda: Many people are cautiously optimistic and they want this agreement
> to work but what would happen if it fails. Will parliament be able to carry
> out the work of debating and enacting laws?
> Madhuku: Parliament can still operate as long as there is an indication
> that parliament will not simply block what the government would be putting
> in. I assume in that case the government will still be the government of
> President Robert Mugabe with a parliament having a majority of the
> opposition. If from time to time they accept things like the budget and so
> on they could exist but it will be very difficult.
> If the agreement were to fail I think it will be very important to then
> ensure that we create conditions with international supervision for a new
> round of elections and most importantly under a new constitution.
> Gonda: I was going to come to that issue of the constitution. What about
> the process of making a new constitution?
> Madhuku: The process that is in the agreement is something that is not
> acceptable. It is not acceptable to the NCA, it is not acceptable to most
> groups in the civil society and I think it is not acceptable to most people.
> There is a history in this country about the making of a new constitution
> and that history must always be taken into account when we propose ways of
> making a constitution. The people of Zimbabwe through the activities of 1999
> and 2000 in the 'no vote' have always wanted the process of making a new
> constitution which is not dominated by the politicians, and as long as the
> process is dominated by the politicians it will be rejected.
> This one is dominated by the politicians. They want a parliamentary select
> committee, which will in turn create some subcommittees and only those
> subcommittees will have some membership of the civil society groups and as
> it is described in the agreement 'as necessary' or 'where necessary.' Then
> there is a process which will, at the end of the day, get a draft
> constitution that is debated by parliament and then taken to a referendum.
> So it will mean that politicians form the committee that is the Select
> Committee. Politicians chair the subcommittee - the subcommittees where the
> civil society might be members. Politicians debate the draft before it is
> taken to the people. That is not acceptable. We would want parliament to
> come at the end after the referendum and we would want a commission which is
> made up predominantly by Zimbabweans from all walks of life with politicians
> constituting less than a third of the membership.
> We have insisted on having an all stakeholders' commission that is made up
> of various groups from the civil society and ordinary people with
> representation from parliament and political parties as a small component.
> And that commission must do the rounds, get a draft, take it to a referendum
> and only after a referendum you take it to parliament for enactment.
> But there is also an unwritten component of that section of the
> constitution. The politicians actually want a constitution which was written
> by four people, which they called 'The Kariba Document' and is referred
> several times in the agreement. That Kariba draft is what they would want
> endorsed via that process. So if you go by the process in the agreement you
> will end up with the Kariba document as their by-product but they will claim
> it is from the people. That is why the process will be rejected.
> Gonda: I saw that clause where it appeared there was another constitution
> signed in Kariba in 2007 and they then said they wanted another one, in the
> process that you were talking about just now. Have the needs of the 2007
> constitution differed from the 2008 needs? I don't know if I am making any
> sense here?
> Madhuku: I think you are making sense. The constitution that was drafted,
> the response that they are referring to which is the 2007 draft, was the
> constitution which the parties did. So the four negotiators then did a
> constitution and the parties agreed to it. It has not been shown to any
> Zimbabweans nor even the supporters of the parties involved. They don't have
> any idea what that constitution involves. So in 2008 when they refer to the
> process in the agreement they are not serious about it. What they are
> saying, although not written directly but implied - because in the preamble
> they refer to the Kariba Document - they would want the parliamentary select
> committee to pretend to go to the people and at the end of that process come
> back and pretend to be drafting. And when they draft, the draft that they
> will produce would be word for word the 2007 draft - the Kariba draft. That
> is the strategy and that is why people will be very suspicious of that
> process and would want it to be completely rejected so that we get an
> independent process dominated by the people.
> Gonda: But how will you get that since the political parties have already
> signed this agreement. Is it now too late to have what you called an all
> stakeholders commission?
> Madhuku: It is not too late. In fact we are going to fight for an all
> stakeholders' commission. There will be a lot of fights. The two parties
> would have agreed and they will be fighting against us. We are mobilising as
> the NCA to reject that. There will be fights there; there is no doubt about
> that. So in that case you will have for the first time MDC and ZANU PF on
> one side, the NCA and other civic groups that support us on the other and we
> will really compete for the views of ordinary people. We very much believe
> that with time, even given three, four or five months ordinary Zimbabweans
> will accept the point that the constitution must not come from politicians.
> That the constitution must come from themselves. So if they insist on this
> process they will get another 'No Vote' at the referendum and so we go back
> ten years.
> Gonda: How do you answer your critics who say you are being too negative
> and that you are being a spoiler and also playing the game from the
> Madhuku: Well I wouldn't know that. I have always reacted to events on the
> ground which I do not agree with and events on the ground which do not
> clearly go in line with the kind of positions that I stand for with the rest
> of the members of the NCA. For me I stand for the position that there should
> be a new constitution which is people driven. What we get in the agreement
> is not a new democratic people driven constitution. The only reason why I
> could stand out as a spoiler is that those who propose solutions or those
> who are in politics continue to do things that are against what I stand for.
> But the moment we get our own way, which we believe is right you see we are
> very constructive because we want progress.
> Gonda: And you said earlier on that the civil society will fight this
> especially on the issue of a new constitution. Are you seeing yourselves as
> the next opposition to the political parties?
> Madhuku: I have always opposed anyone who would want to impose a
> constitution on the people of Zimbabwe . I have always opposed anyone who
> would want to do things in a way where they would not want to give room to
> ordinary Zimbabweans to express themselves. So I can't say I am seeing
> myself as the next opposition. I have always been against. The only
> difference is that when we were opposing certain things done by ZANU PF we
> were on the same side with the MDC . What could only happen here is that we
> might oppose things when the MDC is on the other side and that will not
> necessarily make us the next opposition. It will simply confirm that we are
> consistent in our approach to the way we should bring fully fledged
> democracy in Zimbabwe
> Gonda: Is there anything in the agreement that you would say is a step in
> the right direction?
> Madhuku: There are a few things there which one would stay they are steps
> in the right direction. I think things to do with the very fact that certain
> pronouncements are made which promote the beliefs, although those
> pronouncements are not followed by complete action; I can give the example
> on the area of a new constitution. The very fact that there is a
> pronouncement that Zimbabweans must write their own constitution that is a
> positive thing. The very fact that there is some suggestion that the
> President must not exercise absolute power that is also a positive thing.
> Our only problems with all those positive things is that they are really
> not taken to their logical conclusion.
> Gonda: There is no doubt that many people want change. What is the mood on
> the ground and were there spontaneous celebrations when this deal was
> Madhuku: I think Zimbabweans are not stupid. Most people in their hearts
> knew that there was not much change here. They knew that there was no new
> dawn, there was no new beginning. It was the politicians themselves trying
> to work people to believe that there was a new beginning. And I saw that the
> speech by President Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC wanted to take people to
> the expectations that we were getting something new. But they were not going
> to take it knowing very well that there is a power sharing agreement, Mugabe
> was still in charge because it was written all over the place.
> Even as the signing ceremony was taking place Mugabe was still seen as the
> person in charge. I think it is the understanding of most people that there
> is not much change yet. That's why there is not that excitement. There were
> isolated pockets of celebrations but they have since died.
> As we are talking today a few days after the signing ceremony there is
> nothing and no new government is in place. It's a series of ZANU PF meetings
> with the Central Committee, the Politburo and Mugabe leaving the country to
> go to the United Nations and so people realise that we are back to where we
> So I think that is where the point is. What doe it mean now? It simply
> means that as Zimbabweans we have to wait to see how that government will
> operate because that will be a government where the two parties are
> 'sharing' power. We have to wait to see whether that the two parties - as
> the government - will be able to deliver the kind of needs that Zimbabweans
> have always been looking for; you know food, jobs and democratic freedoms,
> in fact improving the life of Zimbabweans in general. We have to wait and
> see if they can. If that doesn't happen then we will have a difficult
> situation where Zimbabweans will have to say 'so what do you do to a
> government that is not operating in accordance with the promises it made?'
> Gonda: Thank you very much Dr Lovemore Madhuku.
> Madhuku: Ok thank you.
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