Morgan addressing a press conference in South Africa yesterday, January 15, where he announced he will go back to Zimbabwe and meet with Mugabe to finalise the power-sharing deal.
NOTE: You will notice I have reverted back to the original design of the blog. This was after some of our readers, including Dave in South Africa, indicated that the new design was giving them problems in viewing using FireFox. I hope this fixes the issue. Internet connection has been patchy for me of late, hence I have not been able to interact with you as much as I would like, but I hope this changes this coming week with measures we have now put in place not be reliant on one source for connections.
In Zimbabwe, on Tuesday this week, Robert Mugabe, who is on leave and did not chair the Cabinet meeting on that day, met with senior members of his Politburo, three "cabinet ministers" and four Provincial Chairmen as well as Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono, who had just returned from a meeting with South African Reserve Bank Governor, Tito Mboweni.
Mugabe asked those present to do all they can to ensure that Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC are frustrated into dumping the power-sharing deal.
The biggest reason he gave was that, with the measures put in place by Gono for the dollarisation of the economy, Zimbabwe was now on it's way to "complete recovery". An astonishing statement that came from him during the meeting was, "There is nothing wrong with this country except the economy."
During the meeting, it was revealed that by March this year, all civil servants will be paid in foreign currency. Gono told the meeting that he was now seeing "a good inflow of foreign currency" into the Reserve Bank. These were mostly proceeds from the shops that are selling goods in foreign currency. He also revealed that he would be able to sustain salaries for civil servants of between US$150 and US$800 per month if things continued as they are now. The average salary will be around US$600 per month.
He is also said to have told them that the demands being made by South Africa for Zimbabwe to join the Customs Union were "not onerous" and could easily be met.
As a result of the alleged strengthening of the economy, Mugabe now says he is "desperate" to keep the MDC out of government. "But they must do it to themselves," was what Mugabe told his audience, according to one of the people present.
The banditry charges are helping, he says. He has told the South African president that he can not interfere in the process because "I must respect the rule of law." More MDC supporters are being arrested, as was evidenced by the mass arrests of MDC activists last week in Manicaland province. And this trend is set to continue.
Mugabe also states that the issue of ministries is closed, no more ministries will be given to the MDC. He is of the opinion that this should also help in keeping the MDC out of government while keeping SADC on his side. Apparently this is because SADC agrees with Mugabe with that the issue of ministries was closed when the regional body made its ruling on November 9 last year about the sharing of the Home Affairs post.
On Governors, which is another sticking point for the MDC, Mugabe says he will "most probably agree" to let go of only three. But in those three provinces, and if MDC "insist on joining government", he then wants the offices of ZANU PF Provincial Chairmen considerably strengthened, to the extent where they become pseudo-ministers, allowing them to buy the loyalty of the population directly.
Mugabe also revealed the trump card that he has up his sleeve. He says if, despite all the impediments, Tsvangirai joins and becomes Prime Minister, his future in government is bleak because he is going to be arrested once the trials of Jestina Mukoko and other activists starts.
The timing is as follows: the start of the trial will see evidence being led by the prosecution and videos of confessions being aired. The "evidence" will include "confessions" on video by the accused that the MDC and Tsvangirai led the process of recruiting bandits for training.
Once these "confessions" are made public, the police will move to arrest Morgan Tsvangirai and other leaders "implicated". Should this happen, Mugabe says he will not immediately dissolve government, nor will he make any moves to remove Tsvangirai from the office of Prime Minister. Zimbabwe will then be in a peculiar situation where a sitting Prime Minister will be on trial for "terrorism" while still officially remaining as Prime Minister.
The logic is that he will not be able to execute any of his duties while on trial and ZANU PF will effectively have the corridors of power to itself. All the time, they will be claiming that they can not interfere with the judiciary process. Mugabe's position in this charade will be that Tsvangirai "is innocent until proven guilty" and hence, can not be removed from office until judgement in his case is delivered. Of course, that judgement could take as much as two years, leaving ZANU PF to virtually run the country by itself in that time.
The bottom line for Zimbabwe, though, is that Mugabe's position at the moment is that he does not need the MDC now and hopes that the opposition party withdraws. This is his first prize. And the efforts to frustrate the opposition into walking away will now be intensified. You will see this happening over the next few days and weeks.
Meantime, Mugabe leaves on Saturday for Russia, where he is asking Putin and Medvedev to set up a base in Zimbabwe to deter attackers from outside. Agreements will also be signed for Russia to exploit the diamond fields of Manicaland, to help pay for the cost of the base here.
A government minister also claimed to me yesterday that Mugabe has asked for US$10 bilion from the Russians and the licences to be given to Russia for the diamond fields will be collateral for this "loan" from them.
We don't have long to wait. This coming week, we should start hearing the triumphalist news in the Herald of Zimbabwe as Mugabe arrives in Russia and the signing of several agreements is announced.
Previous Articles (Please Cick on One To Read The Full Article):
- Two Year Old Nigel Freed From Maximum Security Prison
- Zimbabwe Army Commander Demands Top Government Job
- Russian Troops To Move Into Zimbabwe
- Mugabe Stokes Up Tribal Hatred
- Jestina Mukoko -Real Reasons For Arrest Revealed
- Mugabe Prepares To Arrest Tsvangirai
- Zimbabwe Approaches South Africa To Officially Use The Rand