Bennett: I told You So, Didn't I?

Regular readers will not be surprised that yet another scoop that I published here has now been independently confirmed.

The latest in the long line of the scoops I have given you to be proved right is the story that Mugabe wants Roy Bennett to be withdrawn as the MDC nominee for Deputy Minister of Agriculture.

This scoop I gave you in the article entitled: Roy Bennett Must Be Withdrawn, which I published here on Thursday, March 5 2009.

Well, SWRadio have now independently confirmed this, with an MDC source telling them exactly what I told you. My source was within ZANU PF. When I got the news, I contacted friends in the Prime Minister's office. I remember very clearly that I spoke on the phone with one of the Prime Minister's very close aides only a couple of hours before the crash that killed Mrs Tsvangirai.

In that scoop I published on March 5, I wrote: Mugabe considers it an insult to have to swear the man into the office of Deputy Minister of Agriculture. And I am sure that unless and until Morgan Tsvangirai agrees to withdraw Bennett's nomination for the Agriculture ministry, the MDC Treasurer-General is in for the Long-haul.

Yesterday, SW Radio published the story, which can be found here. This is coming a full 20 days after I published the scoop here. The radio station says:

According to MDC officials, Mugabe told a cabinet caucus on Monday that he will not swear in Bennett, claiming he is facing serious charges. This is despite the fact that the President swore in some MDC officials such as Minister Eric Matinega, who also still faces trumped up political.

During the meeting, it's alleged that Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara asked Mugabe what would happen if Bennett was acquitted. Mugabe is reported to have said, "He will ever be acquitted."

So, I am proved right yet again.

Throughout this Bennett ordeal, I have stated time and again that the Prime Minister is mistaken to defend Mugabe as he is now doing, telling the Guardian, "Mugabe is not the problem. It is others." He has swallowed the tripe that Chiwengwa and some "hardliners" in ZANU PF are the ones doing all these nasty things in order to scuttle the agreement and the coalition government.

I have said repeatedly that these army guys and what Tsvangirai and the MDC call "ZANU PF hardliners" are not the ones calling the shots. Mugabe is. The biggest hardliner in ZANU PF, I have said, is Mugabe himself.

This confirmation of my scoop is yet another validation of the reliability of my sources, who tell me that the president simply want the MDC to fix the economy and then he will part ways with Tsvangirai and go back to his old ways. But Biti and Tsvangirai seem to think, as Biti has said, "we have now seen a side of President Mugabe we never knew. He spoke like a father."

There is a critical question that needs to be answered here. What exactly does the MDC and especially Prime Minister Tsvangirai, think they will achieve in an atmosphere like this? MDC supporters have left comments and messages here saying: "Because of the immense suffering of the people....." the MDC decided to go into government.

This assumes that the MDC going into government means the people's suffering will be lessened or ended. Now we know this is not the case. The people themselves are now complaining heavily that their problems seem to have actually worsened as a result of this government.

Perhaps the MDC have a death wish. Because they will certainly suffer a political death as a result of the developments within this coalition. The suffering of the people will not be lessened by this new govenment at all.

Already, the USA, the EU and Britain have said sanctions will remain in place and they will not give any aid to Zimbabwe.

The truth of the matter is that these donor countries have now also written off Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC. They have decided that the MDC, with its behaviour in government, where it is implementing ZANU PF policies despite being given the mandate by Mugabe to formulate and implement new policies, is simply another ZANU PF.

So, with no aid, with his friends deserting him and refusing to help bolster the image of the MDC with its supporters and voters, Tsvangirai and Biti still insist that they will not pull out of government? 

To what end?

It really is no exaggeration that the MDC is facing political death because of the way they are now identifying themselves with ZANU PF. The world watches and sees this and decides to wash its hands of Zimbabwe. Britain has been very quiet, simply letting their silence tell the MDC what they think of the new arrangement.

The problem is that, the voters in Zimbabwe have also lost any belief they had that the MDC could magically change things through its Western friends if it came to power.

The result may be that they will look for a third party to support or simply decide to abandon all hope that the ballot box can bring any change to Zimbabwe.

This time, the MDC can not blame Mugabe for the ills facing the people. They are now in government and the failures of this government are their and Mugabe's failures together.

I really do not expect any MDC supporters to engage this issue. They always go very quiet when their party is exposed as a fraud visited on the people of Zimbabwe. It will be same this time around: no comment from MDC supporters.

But that does not remove the people's anger and frustration. As one young man said yesterday (in a Kombi, of all places), "we will meet the MDC at the next election, and then they will see what we do to them."


  1. We will still be watching anxiously as things unfold, and very true MDC supporters will not engage in this discourse, the blame is placed squarely on their principals' shoulders.
    Just a few months ago one could not dare mention that Zimbabwe is under economic sanctions without being labelled Zanu Pf or CIO, by MDC supporters.
    Now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is now calling for the lifting of those sanctions, Tendai Biti, Arthur Mutambara, for the first time we hear a mention of the word ZIDERA from MDC politicians.That is a plus for Zanu PF politicians, come next election campaign, we are going to be told that "Oh those who were denying that we are suffering because of sanctions imposed by the West after lobbying from MDC, can you now believe us, Your Prime Minister is now begging for their removal so does his Finance Minister", so who is the enemy of the people.
    MDC politicians were winning hearts and crowds by detailing the suffering of the people, hyper- inflation, closed schools, collapsing health service, burst sewerage pipes, raw sewage flowing etc, and placing all the Blame on Zanu PF poor policies, bad governance etc. Now they should not only draw long lists of grievances, they should now address them. The Prime minister should formulate the Policies, there is now very little room for politicking.
    The President said he will not swear Bennet as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Eddie Cross was also replaced, though we do not know the actual reasons. This shows us where the real power is in Zimbabwe.
    If MDC decides to pull out now, we will just have to wait till next election, the campaign will be, "They thought it was easy, we gave them the chance and they failed, all they know is sabotage, and calling for sanctions which they have no power to have them lifted".
    Thats Zimbabwe for you.

  2. Denford it seems we are all reading your blog to know what WILL Happen.

    maybe they should read it too..
    Congrats on the Scoop My Friend.
    Take Good Care of Yourself, Please

  3. There are a lot of fundamental benefits to the GNU Denford. For the first time in a decade we are forced to confront national issues instead of merely chronicling them…weeding out fluff from substance. Gono talked about using the Rand and Biti publicly threw that thought away. Mugabe talked about going east and we all said he is mad. Somehow I have a feeling we will be seeing Mboweni and Gono holding high level talks culminating in us joining the Rand Customs Union. And yes we will get that $2 billion from China. I think right now Bob wants to show everyone that it was the sanctions and that the MDC are not capable.

  4. @Thokozile, like I said, before long you are going to hear a frustrated MDC shouting at the British and and games ahead

    @RE Ausetkmt: thanks for the kind words, I do try. And yes, I kow that PM Tsvangirai does read this blog. I don't think Mugabe or any other big ZANU PF guys do, though

    @Nytasimba Mutota: was it not interesting to note that Mugabe told the Nrowegian Minister who is Harare "We do not have an opposition any more." I have been ignoring for a while rumours from within the MDC that Mugabe has told Tsvangirai that he would have no problems with Morgan running the country - but there has to be unity around the Zimbabwean "ethos". I think the MDC may well see itself being sold to ZANU PF by its leaders, in exchange for long-term Prime Ministerships and so on.

  5. Now I see the CFU has given an ultimatum to PM Tsvangirai based on the SADC Tribunal ruling? What are these guys thinking? I always thought we would see some white farmers back, but on completely new farms, but I now think we are seeing the last of white farmers in Zimbabwe. And perhaps they have also realized that and are just going to play spoil spot. Come to think of it where are farms for the MDC “chefs” and those who were on the sidelines before going to come from? Multi-owners? I doubt they are “technically” still out there!

  6. Nyatsimba Mutota: You forget that the MDC parliamentarians have already been given their farms. Quite a number of them were given the land during the first parliament session they ever participated in.

    They have also been given the equipment that Gono was dishing out. You will recall that at one time, Nelson Chamisa was quoted as saying he was going to return the tractor he had been given, saying that he lives in town and does not need a tractor.

    The problem has been that the white farmers, because of their support for the MDC from the outset, expected a certain quid pro quo from MT.

    Now he is also echoing Mugabe that land reform is irreversible.

    I think, once it is clear that Britain and American and the EU are not extending a helping hand, you are going to see this very inclusive government take off its gloves and deal ruthlessly with the reminaing white farmers.

    Tsvangirai will not be able to do anything about this. Just mark my words.

  7. Denford thanks for the insight you provide into Zimbabwe. Its refreshing to see a different view point.

    As regards the article above what do you propose as the most practical (as opposed to best) way forward for the GNU and the people of Zimbabwe? Its looking like we will have to do things the hard way...

    Your thoughts?

  8. President Mugabe told the Norwegian Minister that we do not have an opposition any more, we are in rhythm, Given the kind of opposition politics we saw in Zim, I think this is good for the country. If democracy is also about multi party politics, the way it was practiced in Zim makes people hate that kind of democracy. That democracy was hurting. Our country seem not to be ready for such multi party politics.The Political rivals were not treating each other as mere competitors in the political game, but as sworn enemies vying for each one's head, their followers were even worse. There was no constructive criticism of gvt policies, there was total destruction of every gvt effort. A failing gvt was good politics for the opposition, hence they employed all that they could to make it fail, and the ordinary man will bear the brunt.It is good for the country that they have joined hands and are pulling together, and not destructive opposition.
    For the remaining white farmers, I think they just have to play ball, a confrontational approach will not be any helpfull. They should learn from the results of same kind of approach they employed when they were initially told of the compulsory land acquisition programme.Zanu PF gvt never wanted all and sundry to leave, they genuinely wanted them to have some farms sub-divided, with the resettled black farmers co-existing with the white farmer. But of course there were some white farmers who were definitely going to loose they farms completely, those who were viewed as die hard Rhodies, trouble makers, the programme was going to get rid of them. President Mugabe gave an interview those days and repeatedly said the good ones can stay, and those who do not want to share with us our land should leave, and they will leave, he emphasised that.
    Relying on the SADC tribunal judgement is futile.They should just co-operate and play ball for their good and for the good of the country.This gvt will be very much happy to be seen helping any of those white farmers who will go and say "Well my farm has been designated and I am vacating it, but I am a farmer and still want to continue farming in Zim, can I have somewhere to farm?" They will definitely get them some place to farm somewhere in the middle of resettled black farmers, not on their original farms, and will told to co-exist. that will be a great propaganda victory. They will be saying, look now we have put them on their rightful place, we have cut them to size.
    A confrontational approach will always have disastrous consequences.

  9. I agree that the CFU’s failure to read the environment is going to be costly to them dearly. They think that by demanding action from MT now (while he is asking for money from the West) will force him to act in their favour. They do not realize just how serious the potential threat to MT of “appearing” to protect them is so even if he wants to, his hands are tied on this one. But in trying to force issues they are only playing the game Zanu expected them to. Zanu’s game plan is to now “show” to ordinary Zimbabweans that the west’s actions (sanctions) were only because of land reform; everything else was just an excuse.

    Either the West is not sure of what is at play here, or they just haven’t found an angle to deal with Zanu given the GNU development. But either way, the scary part is that Zanu is now in a position to start resonating with their core group of supporters by playing “opposition” on the economic front. While the NGOs had become social pressure groups representing the povo, I just recoil at the real pressure groups coming in to fill that void now: AAG, War Vets, and the Women’s League!

  10. Denford, i'm very exasperated by your analysis in virtually almost all your articles. You sound as if your blog is an anti Tsvangirai blog. its so easy to sense your hatred for this man. i dont see your criticism of Mnangagwa, or Mugabe, etc here. you are not even giving us an intelligent and well thought analysis that the playing field is not fair for the MDC as yet, a fact that still in one way or the other absolves the MDC from much of what your claimed diplomat said. If you were in the meeting, and knowledgeable as you claim, you should have asked the diplomat what he/she could do in the current political set up. At the same time i am not saying that you should give us a picture that Morgan is perfect. But give us a more tentative analysis, not the nmore predictable that you are giving us. i know you wont publish this but its a point of advice that makes you acceptable in the league of worthy academics and those alike...

  11. So, "Anonymous"- your idea of "an intelligent and well thought analysis" would be to tell the world that "the playing field is not fair for the MDC as yet"?

    This, you say, absolves the MDC from much of what the diplomat said?

    Help me out here: suppose we do acknowledge that the playing field is not fair. How, tell me, does this absolve the MDC-run Harare City Council on their utter failure to do ANYTHING about the state of the city, despite now collecting extortion from ratepayers in foreign currency?

    How does it absolve the MDC from the fact that they are now singing the same "sanctions" song as Mugabe and ZANU PF?

    How does it absolve them from the fact that they have not presented a credible plan for getting this economy to start running properly again (by the way, asking for money from donors through STERP does not count as a policy and that is no money is coming)

    I could go on and on, but you get the drift, I am sure.

    As for being anti-Tsvangirai, well your man, as Professor Stephen Chan, author of Tsvangirai's biography and a self-confessed "admirer" of the man, has also said that the PM has has displayed "strokes of genius" as well as "breathtaking blunders".

    You would prefer of course that we do not mention the blunders.

    I have indeed given praise to Tsvangirai when it was due and have even used the words "strategic masterstrokes" to describe some of his actions here on this very blog.

    What I will not do is ignore blunders, I will show them for what they are.

    Thanks again for this, I normally do not publish comments from "anonymous" people because it is so very easy to pick any name and I think a person who chooses "Anonymous" as a handle is too lazy to think and can, therefore, not make any meaningful contribution to the debate Zimbabwe needs.

    I am almost always proved correct on this.

  12. One more thing, Anonymous - why don't you leave the comfort of Wokingham, Britain, and come back home to see for yourself what your party is doing now that it has some power?


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