Morgan Tsvangirai Plays Tough, Mugabe Ignores Him
Well, it has been an interesting day. Like I said, Tsvangirai wants a complete reversal of the deal he signed on September 15 and that was made clear today.
First off, the MDC leader refused to attend SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) Troika Summit in Swaziland. He does not have his passport back yet and was instead issued with an Emergency Travel Document valid for travel to Swaziland only. He said this was an insult and he would not go.
Emerging from his car at the conference centre where the summit was to take place in Swaziland, Mugabe looked a bit confused as he was told the news. He looked around and behind him in full view of the camera, as if he expected to see Morgan there!!
King Mswati apparently dispatched a jet to fetch Tsvangirai, but the MDC leader sent it back empty, demanding nothing less than his full passport to allow him to travel. Mugabe appears reluctant to give in on this, since he accuses Tsvangirai of globe-trotting to ask for sanctions and "pressure" to be put on Mugabe and his government. He does not want Tsvangirai to go around asking for "more sanctions".
But the passport issue was simply an excuse for the MDC. They betrayed their real reason when the party's Secretary General told the media that this issue could not be solved by the Troika. They have now moved the goalposts, the MDC, and demanding that the ALL SADC Heads of State meet to consider the issue and look at other things that they say show Mugabe is not negotiating in good faith, such as the failure to give Tsvangirai a passport.
This is vexatious and the MDC risks having the SADC leaders turn on them. You simply can not ask Heads of State of other countries to issue a directive to Mugabe to give Tsvangirai his passport. That is such a trifling matter, really.
But the asking for a full SADC summit shows that the MDC now wants to put on the table the issue of getting another mediator. This is unlikely to happen, no matter what they try.
Today, the "transfer rate" for the US dollar reached Z$120 million for a single unit of the greenback. Cash shortages are back and the queues in Harare are simply frightening. I have not seen anything like this for some time now. There economys free fall is now accelerating. Mugabe knows this, as does his so-called Governor of the Reserve Bank, probably the most cold-hearted man in Zimbabwe today. Yet they will not be moved. We can expect that there will be no shift from the restrictions that are making people suffer in Zimbabwe. Businesses now routinely price their products at the transfer rate, in broad daylight and Gono and his people do nothing at all to regulate this. Instead, they turn the screws on the people.
Strap yourselves in. Zimbabwe is has just boarded the express train to the depth of Hades.