Zimbabwe's dictator, Robert Mugabe, has NOT agreed to swear in Roy Bennett, despite reports to the contrary this last week in some sections of the online media.
The truth of the matter is that Zimbabwe's Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, has admitted defeat on this one and the "acceptance" to swear in Bennett by Mugabe was leaked by his office so that the issue dies down.
Mugabe's position has NOT changed, but the Prime Minister and his party are desperate to make the world believe that they have at least "won" something.
Here's where we are:
You will recall that I am the one who broke the story about Mugabe's refusal to swear in Roy Bennett, a white Zimbabwean, into the office of Deputy Minister of Agriculture. I did so right here on this blog while Bennett was still in Mutare prison.
It was right here on this blog that I told you of my call to the Prime Minister's office on the day of his accident (before it happened), telling them that I had received impeccable information that Bennett's charges would not be dropped unless Tsvangirai withdrew his nomination.
Subsequent to this, Zimbabwe's Deputy Prime Minister, Arthur Mutambara, went to see Mugabe while Tsvangirai was on compassionate leave after the death of his wife.
Mutambara asked Mugabe about swearing in Bennett and Mugabe told him that he would not do so because Bennett had "serious charges" hanging over his head.
The Zimbabwean Deputy Prime Minister revealed to other ministers, like Sipepa Nkomo, that, when asked, "What if he (Bennett) is acquitted?", Mugabe responded by saying:
"He will not be acquitted."
This information was subsequently confirmed to organisations like SW Radio by MDC ministers in interviews.
Now, do you see that Mugabe's position has not changed. Last week's reports say that Mugabe has "agreed" to swear Bennett in once the case against him is concluded and he is acquitted. Yet the dictator has told Mutambara point blank that the acquittal will never come!!
We all know that, despite what the Prime Minister rather mistakenly and stupidly believes (he believes Mugabe's lies that it is not him directing the courts to frustrate MDC supporters by arresting them and denying them bail etc), Mugabe is the one who is in firm control of the courts.
Mugabe long ago bought off the judges with Plasma screen televisions, farms and 4x4 vehicles amongst many other goodies! Now and again, he gives instructions for them to "appear" independent by making rulings that, on the face of it, go against Mugabe.
But these are always either reversed or ignored. This is the reason why Tsvangirai's Director of Intelligence, Gandi Mudzingwa and his head of security, Chris Dhamini, have now been re-arrested despite being granted bail by the courts.
The acquittal of Roy Bennett will not come, just as Mugabe told Mutambara.
One of two things will happen: either Bennett will be convicted on these trumped up charges and given the option of paying a fine to be released or the case will drag on forever.
If Bennett is fined, Mugabe can, with a straight face, still refuse to swear him in on the basis that he is a convicted criminal.
More likely, however, Bennett's case before the courts will get postponement after postponement and will drag on until the end of this unity government.
Mugabe has done it before. Remember the court cases in which the MDC was challenging General election results, including Mugabe's own previous win over Tsvangirai by around 400 000 votes?
Those cases dragged on in the courts until the next elections were due, which made them redundant.
So it will be with Bennett's case.
Before the "news" of last week, Mugabe's position was that Bennett would not be sworn in because a court case was pending. It was also his position that the Deputy Minister of Agriculture-designate would not be acquitted.
Nothing has changed. But the Prime Minister and his party, seeing that they have been defeated on this, and wanting to save face, have leaked Mugabe's refusal and spun things to hoodwink people into believing that things have changed.
It is an amateurish attempt at spin, and we see right through it.
Tsvangirai is becoming very good at this.
He has also done this with the "cars-for-MPs" scandal. Despite the fact that the MPs have refused to return those cars that are dripping with the blood of MDC supporters, the issue is now forgotten, dead. The media has gone quiet.
Instead, the media's attention has been diverted to try and concentrate on the fight between Gono and Tendai Biti.
Some of us, however, refuse to be hoodwinked like this. We reveal yet again, right here and right now, that, despite the Prime Minister's orders, despite the MDC's claim to a higher moral ground, their MPs have defied the Prime Minister and continue to scrounge around in the moral gutter together with their ZANU PF soulmates.
ZANU PF has bought the MDC-T and their MPs lock, stock and barrel. The opposition party is now owned by Mugabe. He, in very close consultation with Gideon Gono, has managed to figure out the price tag for the souls of the MDC-T and their MPs.
Those bloody cars are still with the MPs, nothing had been done about the Prime Minister's order to return them. Gono and Mugabe, meantime, have offered even more cars to even more MPs, since not everyone got one the first time around.