Zimbabwe Groups say power-sharing deal flawed and elitist

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The National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) on Monday ruled out an immediate end to Zimbabwe’s mounting political and humanitarian woes despite a power sharing deal.

NANGO said the power sharing deal reached between Robert Mugabe and the two formations of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was a flawed and elitist pact that may yet fail to address the needs of ordinary Zimbabweans.

“It is NANGO’s considered view that a Government of National Unity founded upon an elitist power-sharing agreement is no guarantee that the humanitarian and other needs of the people of Zimbabwe will be addressed and healed,” NANGO.

“In light of this (agreement) NANGO will continue to rally its membership and broader civil society to press for structural reforms in pursuit of constitutionalism, improved social service delivery, transitional justice and adherence to international standards and norms of rule of law, respect for human rights and good governance.

The NANGO, which represents more than 1 000 NGOs operating in Zimbabwe said it hoped the agreement would at least provide an environment that would in the interim ensure the rule of law as well as allow for conducive environment for civic bodies to carry out humanitarian, civic education and developmental programmes without undue restraint.

In June, Mugabe’s government ordered humanitarian organisations to suspend operations after accusing NGOs of using food aid to sway voters against his party in elections.

Mugabe’s party lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in 28 years.

The ban on NGOs was lifted two weeks ago but authorities imposed stringent measures including regular submission of details relating to their funding and stocks.

Today, Tsvangirai said as Prime Minister his first major task would be to see to it that all food that has been donated but not yet distributed would be released to suffering Zimbabweans.

Mugabe, opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara signed the power-sharing agreement in front of African leaders.

Details of the agreement are set to be released later today.

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