Zimbabwe Leaders Still Talking
Those so-called stalled talks are still going on in Harare between Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara.
Like I have said before, the talks will result in a new government by the end of this week. The cost of failure is simply too ghastly to contemplate. It has been clear since last Friday that the reason for this so-called stalling of talks is MDC secretary-general Tendi Biti, who is eyeing the Home Affairs ministry. According to sources extremely close to the MDC core team of Tsvangirai, Biti and Khupe, Biti demanded that, if the Home Affairs portfolio goes to Mugabe, then he, Biti, should be given one of the Deputy Prime Ministerial posts. He is reportedly prepared to see the deal fail if this is not done.
On other developments: It is now impossible for people to buy food, just the basics. The collapse of the national payment system has seen shops refuse cheques (most banks are not issuing chequebooks to those who have run out anyway). The swiping system is also now practically non-existent. There are only two shops in the whole of Harare that are accepting debit cards for payment and they, as can be expected, have absolutely nothing to sell. Nothing that a family needs to feed itself, anyway.
So, expect to see people starving to death while they have sizeable amounts of money in the bank. The maximum withdrawal limit per day per person is now $50 000, but a loaf of bread now costs $20 000, and the US dollar can be bough for Z$15 000 cash or $15 000 000 through cheques.
Ninety percent of Harare has now gone for a month without a drop of water coming through their taps. There have been deaths from cholera all over this city. Women can be seen daily carrying jerry cans on their heads as they go to and from the nearest fetid streams all over the city. Most of these streams are polluted with industrial waste, since Zimbabwe has no respect whatsoever for environmental protection in the cities. Even the Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe refuses point blank to publish evidence of the industrial effluence that is being poured in to the city's rivers by industries.
The only hope left is this agreement. If it fails, which I am still certain it will now, then this will b the end of Zimbabwe as we know it. Before the year is out, Zimbabwe will make Somalia look like a first-world country.