Obamas Secret Message To Mugabe

"I am all ears." Obama sent a direct message to Mugabe via the South African President, promising serious engagement once a coalition government was in place.

Some puzzling latest news from Zimbabwe: A few days after he was inaugurated, President Obama apparently sent a personal message to Robert Mugabe via the South African president. I have only just learnt of this.

Two senior sources in Robert Mugabe's current illegal government have confirmed the fact that a message was sent, but their versions of what the message was vary a bit. Still, I think looked at together, they point us towards the truth.

The message to Mugabe, apparently, was that the new American administration wanted "to make its own mistakes" and was not going to pursue the tactics of the Bush years. It is further claimed that Obama also asked Motlanthe to tell Mugabe that the new US president was willing willing to repeal The Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act (ZIDERA), but Mugabe had to give Obama cause to change course.

To achieve this, he urged the quick formation of a government of national unity and said, depending on how that went, he may engage the Zimbabwe government directly before the trial period of the GNU ends (referring to the six month after which SADC has promised to "review" the progress of the coalition in Harare.0 The government source claims that Obama specifically asked the South African president to convey the fact that the America believed in engagement, as it is doing in Iran and with other nations hostile to America, not isolation.

Both sources say no mention was made by Obama of the targeted sanctions. Mugabe responded by telling his advisers that Obama understands the impact ZIDERA has on the Zimbabwean economy and that this was an admission by the Americans that they had indeed placed broad sanctions on Zimbabwe.

He is reported to have been in good mood at the news. The message he asked President Motlanthe of South Africa to convey back to Obama was that he was "bending over backwards" to accomodate Tsvangirai but that he would not be held responsible if the MDC refused all "reasonable" arbitration.

Personally, I just have an observation to make about this. It has been clear since at least 2003 that what Mugabe wishes above everything else is vindication. He has even stated openly to his cronies that, should the British, especially, admit that they are wrong on the issue of land, "then the whole matter is settled."

It may well be that the famously "clever" Obama has decided to "flatter to decieve". It is a strategy that has been urged on the Americans by their very on Council of Foreign Relations. This was during the Bush years. 

I do believe that this sort of approach may bear fruit in ridding Zimbabwe of Mugabe. Much like you would agree and nod your head as a madman who has invaded your house speaks, so that he quickly makes his point as you politely usher him out the door.

In the emotional shouts and the like that we get from some of our citizens, it is always forgotten that Mugabe does not live in this world anymore. Those close to him tell of the dictator's obsession with "legacy". He actually believes that he is still at war with the British. He has, like most people in kind of mindframe, written off the opinions and judgement of his contemporaries, looking instead to how history will judge him.

One of his most common phrases since 2002 has been. "History will absolve me," a quote taken directly from Mugabe's greatest living hero, Fidel Castro.

The downward spiral of his ratings in the world since the late 1990s have wounded him deeply and it is no exaggeration when members of ZANU PF say, as they now do, that the old man wants to die in power.

There is no question about it all: The real reson he would die in power is because he will not give up trying (in vain, obviously) to clean up his image, to recapture the glory he had in the first decade after independence. He believes only Britain's attitude stands between him and that goal.

Still, I believe you will hear from Secretary of State Hilary Clinton within the next two weeks. I know that she has already asked for the opinions of two Zimbabwean analysts currently living in Zimbabwe itself what the best approach to resolve the Zimbabwe issue is. She sounds serious about giving understanding the issue.

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  1. As I once pointed out to you Denford, we need to incorporate global events into Zim analysis to better understand the sequence of decisions ultimately taken on the soils of Zimbabwe. Anyone could have seen that the war against Mugabe was beginning to compromise US policy in the region. They either had to get a quick result or they had to think of long term plans. You broke that story about Mugabe courting the Russians...do you think the Russians would not have moved back in Angola and also gained influence in SA?

    The US's strategic position in the region is centered on Angola, DRC and later Namibia. Together with EG, the US expects to get most of its oil from these countries as an alternative to OPEC. One does not have to be a rockect scientist to know realize that these are Mugabe's strongest allies. A continued push on Mugabe might lead to more distabilizations on the US's strategic interests than mere quest to see democracy in Zimbabwe whose leader age is seriously catching up to anyways!

    Botswana aready had an idea things had changed by the time they went to that SADC meeting. Their ambassadors were cut off and of course there are always rumours. I need to let you know that the groundwork for Obama's communication was laid end of December when someone actually came to Harare.

  2. True, all this. I do understand that your "visitor" did not meet Mugabe but met independent analysts, the opposition parties and six business leaders in Zimbabwe asking for what exactly the people of Zimbabwe would be happy with right now, in terms of a solution to the political issue.

    The answer resulted in the new Administration advising Tsvangirai that the SADC initiative had Obamas support.

    The rest is history.

    I laughed and nearly wrote an article when I read that Timesonline (UK) article urging Tsvangirai to hold off joining Mugabe because Obama was "very close" to a "major push" against Mugabe. The paper quoted several "diplomat" and Obama "staff" in the story, which also claimed the new prez would get support from China and Russia at the Seurity Council.

    Morgan had already got it from the horse's mouth and knew which way the wind was blowing!

    Even a person not privy to the inside goings-on re: Zimbabwe could see the timesonline story was clearly and clumsily cooked up.

    But I doubt very much that the Russian overtures to Mugabe on uranium made a difference. Even Iranians are currently here about the precious metal and that has not scared the Americans. They are distracted, simply, and want this Zimbabwe thing off their desks.

  3. This connection with our new American President Barack Obama and the dictator of Zimbabwe is a deep revelation to me. I am happy that President Obama understands that he must get to know the leaders and governments of other nations on a personal level by opening dialogue. Meeting people face to face and heart to heart, as men and women, is the only real way to communicate. How can you know someone without looking them in the eyes? I do not know enough about Zimbabwe to even express my opinion beyond this. I will pray for this nation of Zimbabwe and its people and its leaders. I will pray for the people who are brave enough to write the truth, speak the truth and for those who are courageous enough to step out and try to change a world steeped in violence and oppression. God bless the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

  4. I pray for the same thing brother.


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