Zimbabwe's Inevitable March To The Gallows



So it has come to pass as predicted on this blog: the much-anticipated SADC Troika meeting in Harare has failed to come up with a solution to the impasse. I shouldn't say it, but I will anyway: I told you so.
The question is, who should the ordinary person believe? Over the last few weeks, we have been told time and again by the MDC that they were disputing 10 ministries. The other two parties, ZANU PF and Mutambara's MDC, as well as the facilitator, Thabo Mbeki, all insisted that the only ministry left was Home Affairs. It appears even Tsvangirai admitted this in their private meetings at the Rainbow Towers Hotel, only to tell the nation something else when he emerged from the talks.

The SADC Troika, after their marathon meeting with all the parties on Monday, also came out and said the ministry of Home Affairs was the only issue left on the table. So, everyone else is lying and only the MDC is telling the truth? What, it must be asked, does the Secretary General of SADC have to gain by lying in front of the whole world that all other ministries are settled? If that was not the case, why is it the MDC is keeping quiet when all impartial brokers say Home Affairs is the only outstanding issue? Why oh why is the MDC playing such games with people's lives? What ten ministries are Morgan Tsvangirai and Nelson Chamisa talking about? 

The truth is that there is no such thing. Even some of us who have a lot of sympathy for the MDC and the way Morgan is being treated by Mugabe find this amateurish attempt to hoodwink us completely unacceptable. It is almost two days now since the SADC secretary general announced that Home Affairs is the only issue left. The MDC has not disputed this. So it means Mbeki, ZANU PF and Mutambara were right all along. What does the MDC hope to achieve by playing with the emotions of the people like this?

They know that the people of Zimbabwe will not accept to continue suffering simply because Tsvangirai wants a specific ministry, which, even if he was given, he would have no power over anyway. As I have said before, the Commissioner-General of the police is still appointed by Mugabe, as are the chiefs of the army, air force and all the other uniformed forces. Tsvangirai, with or without the police ministry, will still be a lame-duck Prime Minister. That's fine. He has accepted it and says "there is nothing wrong with the agreement."

Morgan Tsvangiraia and ZANU PF are both holding A LOT of rallies at the moment all over the country. Everyone you speak to is of the same opinion: a new election is on the cards. But this is not going to happen. Mugabe will not allow it. Morgan may dearly wish for it, but even he  should know that this will not happen. Mugabe would rather see this country go up in flames that hold a fresh election.

In fact, the people are so fed up that a new election may well surprise everybody. Our own research shows that, should there be a new election this year for president, the winner will be neither Mugabe nor Tsvamgirai, but Simba Makoni. The poll on this blog is simply one tiny example of the way in which the wind is blowing.

Still, all indications, though, are that this is simple grandstanding. Morgan is making all of us suffer because he wants a passport. He has cleverly managed to pin Mugabe down by having the Troika declare that the next meeting will not be held in Zimbabwe, but in another country. Mugabe now knows that unless the MDC leader gets a passport, he will boycott that scheduled meeting of all 15 heads of state wherever it is held. So, the ball is now in Mugabe's court. Let him show that he is negotiating in good faith by giving the prime minister-designate his passport. The SADC leaders seem to have bought into this strategy. Which means even they doubt Mugabe's sincerity as well, that is why they insist this meeting must be held outside Zimbabwe's borders. It is a test of will and power.

All this does not take away the fact that Morgan and the MDC have miscalculated, prolonged the suffering of the people wantonly. They know they won't get a new election in Zimbabwe. That will never happen. We know Mugabe. Morgan knows Mugabe. That is why he is accepting being made prime minister when in fact he won the election for president. That is why he will accept to be sworn in by Mugabe, although it is he who should have been doing the swearing in. As John Simpson of the BBC, Morgan has been "completely outwitted and outmaneuvered by Mugabe".  It is sad, but the people are willing to live with it.

Let us see how things go in the next three days or so. But do not hold your breath. Mugabe does not like being cornered. If he is cornered, he lashes out like a wounded wild animal and no one at all can predict how he is going to react to Morgan's putting him in a spot over this insignificant passport issue.

But it will not be long before we find out.

Meanwhile, Jacob Zuma is proving a more direct and spirited defender of Robert Mugabe than Mbeki ever was. The short article below is on the SABC news website in the Southern African section:

Zuma lashed out at EU and US
Meanwhile, addressing an audience consisting of investors and foreign policy experts in New York recently, ANC President Jacob Zuma lashed out at European countries and the US who have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, saying sanctions have not assisted the humanitarian and political crisis in that country. 

Zuma said he hoped that the two political parties in Zimbabwe would put their country first and resolve their differences

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