The International Crisis Group has warned in a new report that Zimbabwe could slide back into turmoil if President Robert Mugabe and hardliners in the security establishment remain intransigent and block political and economic reforms.
The ICG report on Zimbabwe’s political and security transition said “hardline generals and other Mugabe loyalists in ZANU-PF are refusing to implement the government’s decisions, boycotting the new national security organ and showing public disdain” for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the dominant formation of the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change, now sharing power.
Among blocked initiatives the ICG cited a proposed land audit to help rationalize the agricultural sector after a decade of land reform, the appointment of MDC governors, an end to arbitrary arrests, regular meetings of the National Security Council (a new body intended to to succeed the Joint Operations Command of top security officers under power-sharing - public outreach on constitutional revision, and electoral reforms.
In Harare, meanwhile, indigenization regulations rammed through by ZANU-PF have increased tension within the unity government. The 2007 Indigenization and Empowerment Act calls for indigenous blacks to acquire a controlling 51 percent stake in all companies. A showdown over indigenization was looming on Thursday in the Council of Ministers. But sources said Mr. Tsvangirai was under pressure to defer discussions to an extraordinary Council meeting at a later date.
Trade Minister Welshman Ncube accused Indigenization Minister Savior Kasukuwere of promulgating the new regulations prematurely. Ncube said the matter was still before the Cabinet committee on legislation. President Robert Mugabe has declared that there is no going back on indigenization, but Mr. Tsvangirai has objected to the publication of the rules without Cabinet approval and called the initiative economically counterproductive.
Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of Mr. Tsvangirai’s MDC formation said the party’s National Executive is to discuss the crisis over indigenization.
Political analyst and University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Munyaradzi Gwisai told VOA Studio 7 reporter that Kasukuwere’s action in gazetting the regulations was lawful but not politically correct.