The Real Problem With Mugabe/Tsvangirai's GNU

Morgan Tsvangirai visiting cholera victims at a Harare hospital earlier today

I was discussing Morgan Tsvangirai's "null and void" statement with Dr Makoni yesterday afternoon and was struck by a comment he made with regards to the tone of this statement.

"Iyi yangova "ndinogarira vana vangu iyi" - there is no love there anymore, I will just stay on in the marriage for my kids".

As he said, the MDC seem to have decided now that since they are in for a penny, they might as well be in for a pound. There is no withdrawal from the government. They may collect evidence to present to SADC in six months' time, but that is all they can do at the moment as Mugabe and ZANU PF stomp on the spirit and even the letter of the agreement.

Latest news from here in Zimbabwe says the MDC, after their executive council met today in Harare, are not entirely sure how to react to the arrests of their supporters and leaders by "some people". This is supposed to be the government, yet it appears unaware of who is arresting or ordering the arrests of its own senior members?

Just what on earth is going on here?

The answer is simple enough. A mistaken (mis)statement on the eve of joining government is the root of all the troubles bedevilling the MDC in government.

You will recall that Tsvangirai went before the press to announce that their decision to go into government was simply a tactic "to continue the struggle on another front". In other words, fighting from within.

Take that in for a moment.

Now do you realise just how silly that was? 

The MDC announced that it was going into government not to govern, but to oppose. Oppose what? The PM is said to be in charge of policy implementation. So has he gone into government to oppose Policy Implementation?

It is a curious state of affairs, don't you think? And how exactly did Tsvangirai and his Executive think ZANU PF would react to this waving of a red rag? "Ah well, in that case, you'd better come in then, make sure you sharpen the knives first."?

Mugabe has bluntly told the Politburo of ZANU PF what he thinks the MDC are up to. He says they came into the agreement only to show SADC that it will not work. Therefore, Mugabe sees no goodwill fron the MDC. Which means he sees no sense in making any effort.

Because he is a plotter, he also minutely dissects the MDC actions and reads the worst into them. For example, he sees the move by Biti to give soldiers US$100 "allowances" as a ploy to buy the lower ranks of the defence forces. He has stated this so openly that his sentiment has since got back to Tsvangirai.

Mugabe thinks Biti will come unstuck on this because there is no money to sustain it. I believe he knows he will behave atrociously all the way through to this GNU's political grave, and will make no effort whatsoever to be conciliatory to the West in any respect. Which will mean no aid or balance of payment support.

The Zimbabwe Impunity Licencing Board, chaired by one Robert Mugabe, operates in a very peculiar way, you see: Survival of the fittest. As long as Mugabe's own power is not threatened, he prefers the Hitlerian sort of leadership, where you let your underlings slug it out and at the end of it all, you then embrace the one still standing.

This is how Mugabe is treating the frustrations that are being visited on the MDC by his own underlings. He will watch, not lifting a finger and see who emerges triumphant. That will be the one he backs.

The odds are stacked in favour of the lawbreakers, the merchants of Zimbabwe's misery, unfortunately, when you carry this thing through to its logical conclusion.

They, within ZANU PF, have usurped the institutions of the state. Not only have they corrupted them, but they have also debased them.This is primarily because Mugabe, as he himself has said, is an avowed apostle of Marxism/Leninism. He wants a one-party state still.

He and ZANU PF are The Borg (for Star Trek Fans): "We will assimilate you,  those who do not wish to be assimilated will be destroyed, resistance is futile"

Morgan Tsvangirai and his people were right to go into this thing girded up for battle. But they were wrong in announcing their intentions. Ambush is always the best form of attack.

It is too late now, though. They have been spotted.

So, in essence, then, from the outset, the MDC looked at this as an opportunity to be an opposition from within government, which then made ZANU PF look at the whole thing as an attack on itself, badly disguised.

This is the root of the unnecessary and completely destructive game of "arrest the minister" that is now being played.

They are only just getting started.

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  1. It's really sad that this is the direction things are moving in, but I can understand why Tsvangirai is taking this approach. The MDC's oposition was totally futile before - whereas now they can hope to unseat Mugabe's backers slowly from within the government.

    As far as declaring their intentions was concerned, it probably wasn't the smartest move. But then Mugabe is so paranoid and distrusting I presume he would have anticipated this kind of Trojan Horse strategy anyhow.

  2. Morgan had very little room to move once he signed that document. This is a common mistake made here: He was not pressured to sign, he did so willingly.

    Once he had signed, the pressure was then on him to get into the government.

    You should hear him being mocked in SADC capitals, it is really sad and it all comes down to the fact that everybody realises that he should have negotiated this thing thoroughly, refusing to sign until A, B, C and D had been met to his satisfaction.

    That would have been an awe-inspiring position of strength, because without his signature, Mugabe was doomed.

    But once signed, agreed to form a government, everybody then said: go ahead, form that thing, you are all agreed and you have signed, this is none of our business now.

    I also think that the refusal to give aid to Zimbabwe even by SADC countrues shows just what little confidence our neighbours have not only in Mugabe, but also in Tsvagirai's leadership and capability to withstand Mugabe's guile.

    Still, I agree, they had to save face by saying we are taking the fight to Mugabe.

    Problem is, as the Independent of London says in today's edition: Mugabe appears to be scoring goal after goal so far, while Tsvangirai stands bemused at the goalpost.


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