MDC Pullout: Press Statement by MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai

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It is exactly 264 days since the extra-ordinary summit of SADC of 26
January 2009 that directed the formation of the transitional
government, which government started work on the 13th February 2009.

Harvest House, Harare

That same SADC summit directed that the government be formed by the
swearing in of the Prime Minister, ministers and deputy ministers on
11 and 13 February 2009 respectively. That same summit directed that
the issue of provincial governors, the Reserve Bank governor and the
Attorney-General be resolved by the parties forthwith. That same
summit directed that the allocation of ministerial positions be
reviewed after a period of six months.

264 days later, outstanding, non-compliance and toxic issues continue
to impede the transitional government. Despite countless meetings
among the Principals, despite countless press conferences, despite
numerous correspondence and trips to SADC and SADC leaders and despite
a SADC summit, the above issues remain outstanding.

It is regrettable to note that provincial governors have not been
appointed to date despite agreement on every item. Equally, it is
unacceptable that the issue of the RBZ governor and the AG have not
been resolved despite the self-evident illegality in their
appointment. More indecently is the fact that even the government
itself has not fully been constituted due to the failure to swear in
the deputy minister of Agriculture.

Perhaps more embarrassingly is the fact that there has been no review
of the GPA nor of the ministerial positions six months after 26
January 2009.

In this period, we have seen a complete lack of paradigm shift on the
part of Zanu PF. Instead, we have seen total abuse and disrespect of
the GPA and in particular of the MDC. Ministerial mandates have been
changed unilaterally, government internal rules have not been changed
to recognize the new reality. Over and above this, some government
agencies, in particular few components in the National Security forces
still behave as if the old order exists. The National Security Council
itself has met only once in nine months.

We are also aware of the extensive militarization of the countryside
through massive deployment of the military and the setting up of bases
of violence that we saw after the 29th of March 2008. Over and above
this, we are aware of over 16 000 of Zanu PF youth functionaries who
have been imposed on the government payroll.

In addition, we have seen the continuous selective and unequal
application of the rule of law. Seven MDC MPs have been persecuted and
convicted on shadowy charges whilst several others are on remand.

The public media, in particular The Herald and the ZBC continue to
treat the MDC and our leaders in government as if they were a
third-rate treasonous and sell-out element instead of a genuine and
equal partner in the transitional government.

The slow rate of movement and execution of positions agreed in the GPA
is also as worrying as it is unacceptable. Indeed, the lack of real
movement on the key issues of democratization of the media, the
Constitutional reform process, the land audit and the rule of law
issues in the GPA are issues that stick out like a sore thumb.

On our part, we have papered over the cracks and have sought to
persuade the whole world in the last eight months that everything is
working. We have sought to persuade our constituencies that the
transitional government was on course and was the only business in
town. In the process, we have put at stake the reputation, credibility
and trust of our movement and to ourselves as leaders.

We have done everything in order to make this government work and we
have done so purely for one reason, the need to restore hope and
dignity to our people; the need to give our people a new start and a
new beginning. This overwhelming obligation remains as factual and as
fundamental to date.

The present arrest and detention of our party treasurer Roy Bennett
has brought home the fiction of the credibility and integrity of the
transitional government. It has brought home the reality that as a
Movement, we have an unreliable and unrepentant partner in the
transitional government. It has brought home the self-evident fact
that Zanu PF sees us as a junior, fickle and unserious Movement.

The truth of the matter is that it is our Movement that won the
election of 29 March 2008. It is our Movement that has the mandate of
the people to govern this country. It is our Movement that has
strategically compromised on that mandate by executing the GPA and by
entering into the transitional government. It is our Movement upon
which the hope and future of millions of Zimbabweans is deposited.

However, it is now time for us to assert and take our position as the
dominant party in Zimbabwe. In taking this path, we are guided by the
fact that we are the trustees of the people’s mandate and therefore
the only one with the mandate to remain in government.

For that reason, this party for now cannot renege on the people’s
mandate. However, it is our right to disengage from a dishonest and
unreliable partner. In this regard, whilst being government, we shall
forthwith disengage from Zanu PF and in particular from Cabinet and
the Council of Ministers until such time as confidence and respect is
restored amongst us.

This will include the full resolution of all outstanding issues and
the substantial implementation of the GPA. We are aware of the
Constitutional implications of our decision, in light of the
foundational element of the transitional government that executive
power is shared between the President, the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

However, it is a Constitutional crisis which should be resolved if
Zanu PF and its leadership know that there is a price to pay for
procrastination. Naturally should this Constitutional crisis escalate,
then the self-evident solution would be the holding of a free and fair
election to be conducted by SADC and the AU and under UN supervision.

We reiterate that this Movement will stand embedded in its social
democratic principles and values. It will remain loyal to the cause of
our struggle and it will continue with the struggle for real change in

May God bless you.

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