2 August 2012

Zimbabwe: Mutambara Froths Over GPA, GNU

DEPUTY Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara launched a broadside last week at the short-term nature of the country's Global Political Agreement (GPA), which has not given the Government of National Unity (GNU) enough time to bring tangible stability to the nation.

Drawing parallels with the coalition government in the United Kingdom which gave itself five years during which time the parties agreed there would be no policy shifts, Mutambara claimed the power-sharing pact authored by the three parties in the GNU was badly crafted.

"We gave ourselves three years and from 2010 there has been uncertainty," said Mutambara while presenting a paper on the GNU's perspective on doing business in Zimbabwe at the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) annual conference held in Nyanga last week.

Mutambara, one of the three signatories to the GPA, was ironically heavily involved in negotiations that gave birth to the power-sharing pact.

With hindsight, he now says the short-term nature of the agreement made his job of trying to build brand Zimbabwe and convince investors to come to Zimbabwe very difficult. His clarion call for both the private and public sectors to have "a Team Zimbabwe" approach in doing business has been clouded by political bickering in the GNU.

Not so long ago Mutambara also told parliamentarians that the GPA does not state how parties to the agreement were supposed to share power and that the agreement lacks arbitration mechanisms.

Effectively, the GNU could easily collapse, prompting the holding of elections without the reforms stipulated in the GPA.

Mutambara's key functions in the GNU include assisting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in policy formulation, supervision of policy implementation and supervising ministries that fall under the Infrastructure Cluster namely Energy and Power Develop-ment; Information Communication Technologies; Water Resources and Development; Transport and Infrastr-ucture; Public Works; Mining and Mi-neral Development; Public Service; Higher and Tertiary Education. He is also in charge of developing a shared national vision, crafting a new brand Zimbabwe and developing a Natio-nal Infrastructure Master Plan.Mutambara told CZI delegates that critics have been asking: "If you are that smart how come your country is poor?"

"There is a science to doing business. People are judging us using numbers. We are doing badly on all fronts. Let's make sure what we do is co-ordinated," said Mutambara.

As the government shows every sign that it is failing to work as a unit, Mutambara later vented his frustrations during general discussions.

"A people get a government they deserve. If you don't want it (GNU) design and implement the government you want.

"Define the quality and calibre of your politicians. You deserve this government and if you don't like it, create another one that suits you," he said.

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