SADC Kicks MDC-T In The Teeth
Robert "The Solution" Mugabe and King Mswati of Swaziland arrive at Gideon Gono's New Donnington Farm in Norton yesterday. The King has snubbed the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe during his visit and gone on to endorse a man whose appointment he is supposed to mediate over as Chair of the SADC Organ on Defence and politics
King Mswati, the SADC Chairman on Defence and Politics, basically kicked the Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, and the MDC-T in the teeth yesterday.
Mswati, on a State Visit to Zimbabwe prior to the COMESA Summit to be opened by Mugabe on Sunday, has decided not to meet the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe during his visit and also gone out of his way to humiliate the MDC-T, which recently wrote to SADC over the issue of Gono and Tomana, whom they want fired from government because of their partisanship towards ZANU PF.
The King went to Gideon Gono's farm yesterday in the company of Robert "The Solution" Mugabe. And he praised the Governor of the Reserve Bank to Kingdom Come.
Speaking after "inaugurating" Gono's ambitious silo project at New Donnington Farm, the King said:
"I am glad to see that the man implementing this farm is the governor of the central bank. I understand why he is the governor."
This is hugely significant, what the King has done and it confirms conclusively that the outstanding issues the MDC-T are concerned about will NOT be resolved by SADC, to whom they have appealed.
You need to understand that the King is the Chairman of the Organ on Defence and Politics in SADC. Which means that the dispute over the government in Zimbabwe will be referred to him first, as was the case last time when Tsvangirai was trying to get these issues to be resolved prior to joining government.
The SADC Chairman (South Africa's Zuma), if he at all takes any action on the letter sent to him by the MDC-T over Gono and Tomana, will simply ask the Organ on Defence and Politics to deal with it and then report to a full SADC Summit when they are done.
With behaviour such as this, it is clear what he is going to do and say over the disputed outstanding issues.
This comes against the background of the fact that the King snubbed the Prime Minister when he arrived in Zimbabwe. He was met at the airport on his arrival by Mugabe, his wife, Service Chiefs, Webster Shamu of Information and other ZANU PF dignitaries. The Prime Minister was not invited.
The Prime Minister was also left out of the Banquet held in the honour of the King at Rainbow Towers in Harare.
If confirmation was needed that Gono and Tomana will not be going anywhere and that SADC will do nothing about this, here is that confirmation.
The King knows the man is under dispute and his visit to Gono's farm was designed specifically to humiliate the Prime Minister, who leaves over the weekend to visit Europe and America.
You will recall that a few weeks back, I told you that at the last SADC Heads of State meeting, the King led the group that maintained the position that SADC should do nothing to help Morgan Tsvangirai's government and that he should instead go and get money to run his new government from his "friends" in Europe.
I also told you that the King has still not forgiven Morgan Tsvangirai for snubbing him during the ill-fated SADC Summit in Mbabane late last year, when the Prime Minister refused to board a private jet sent to bring him to the Summit by the King.
In the same article, I also revealed to you that pretty much all of SADC was set against the Prime Minister and his party.
The MDC-T appeal to SADC is now basically dead in the water. The regional body is now paying the Prime Minister back for his lack of diplomatic skills during the negotiations, when they felt he valued Western support more than the support of the African and regional bodies that had the mandate from the UN and then USA president, George Bush, to deal with Zimbabwe.
So, as of this morning, a visiting Head of State has rebuffed the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, who is essentially looking to him to settle a dispute between MDC-T and ZANU PF over breaches of the GPA.
And it is clear Gideon Gono, with the help of The Solution, has basically thumbed his nose at the Prime Minister yet again. He is going nowhere. Neither is Johannes Tomana, the Attorney General who is arresting MDC-T supporters still.
Also of interest is evidence of the flouting of Land Reform rules in the case of Gono at his farm.
The Zimbabwe government regulations on Land Reform limit farm sizes to between 350 - 400 hectares per person. In Gono's Norton region, the maximum size is 400 hectares.
Yet Gono's farm, the one at which the King was yesterday, is 4000 hectares. It is actually TWO farms that have consolidated and given to Gono. The farms were acquired in 2000 under Mugabe's controversial Land Reform programme.
The King also visited Grace Mugabe's farm in the same area, which is also vastly over the 400 hectare limit set by government.
The King, apart from kicking the MDC-T in the teeth, is also endorsing this flouting of guidelines and laws by the government.