Zimbabwe Has No Government
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai addresses the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London yesterday June 23 2009. It is now clear that there really are two governments in Zimbabwe, working at cross purposes
There is no government in Zimbabwe, of that we can be certain.
We will break it down like this: The Prime Minister is supposed to be in charge of policy formulation and implementation. His title misleadingly suggests that he is also Head of Government. Which he is not. Webster Shamu, minister of information, made that clear.
Instead, we were told that Tsvangirai is the leader of government business in parliament and that is all there is to it. In other words, and if we are to put it in local parlance, "Tsvangirai anotonga muparliament chete" – meaning "Tsvangirai only governs in parliament."
So that is the attitude: you have a majority in parliament, and that is where you can prance around and call yourself boss. But every cabinet minister has a right to say, "You are not the Boss of me!"
Except those from the MDC-T, perhaps, whom he can fire at will. But the ZANU PF ministers now clearly and publicly say they do not listen to anything the Prime Minister says.
Two governments. I hope you note that.
The one that is supposed to make a difference in people's lives, to implement policies and measures that will revive the sleeping lion that is Zimbabwe, is being told point blank that they should, lives slaves, see to it that the masses are catered for and leave the governing business to grown-ups.
It is an impossible situation, which makes it even more puzzling that the Prime Minister defends this and now says Mugabe is, in his own words, "irreplaceable and indispensable".
All Shamu did was throw into sharp focus what I have been saying for months now: Mugabe believes that the MDC-T have been "accepted" into government so that they can get rid of the sanctions and revive the economy that he accuses them of destroying, working together with their Western puppeteers.
But that is where it ends.
The MDC-T, according to Mugabe, must leave the business of power and governing to ZANU PF. They should run along now and fix the economy and stop meddling in the real business of running the country.
His actions clearly demonstrate this thinking. Everything Robert "The Solution" Mugabe has done whenever a matter of real power must be decided has shown that to him, nothing has changed. He is still in his office, still has his powers (all of them). The only thing that has changed is that he has gained a few new ministers, who must all pay homage to him, which they do.
Tsvangirai has no responsibility in government except to the people of Zimbabwe. Every decision of substance, from media freedoms to the rule of law and the sort of democracy people want, is decided according to Mugabe's will and whims.
Civil servants carry more weight than the Prime Minister. He learnt that after he came out with the nullity and voidness of the Permanent Secretaries appointed without the knowledge of the PMS office. After gnashing his teeth for a bit, the Prime Minister was forced to come back and re-announce those very same names. They were, after all, not null and void.
So, Tsvangirai's side of government is held to account. Mind you they are held to account not to the people, but to the High Table of ZANU PF. They must motivate everything they seek to do, ask for permission from the president and the powers behind him.
Mugabe's side of government, meantime, does what it wants, when it wants, how it wants, without seeking anybody's approval or even concurrence. So many faits accomplis have been presented to the MDC-T and its leader.
Roy Bennett arrested without warning. Waves of MDC-T MPs standing before the courts accused of all manner of nefarious deeds. So much so, in fact, that VERITAS now says the MDC-T majority in parliament is in imminent danger.
This is the real story.
That while the Prime Minister and his apologists look the other way, scanning the horizon for aid dollars, Mugabe is busy snickering and cutting the MDC down within the country. And not a voice is raised in protest.
The man whose party is being so targeted says those who speak up about these things are "paranoid and delusional".
Because Morgan Tsvangirai has got what he wanted, he is now Prime Minister and everything else pales into insignificance. It is an achievement for him to have forced his former hero, Mugabe, to swear him at the head of this regime that is now in office but not in power.
He has done more than any other person has been able to do to Mugabe since Independence.
They can go hang.
That is the message from the MDC-T and its leader, whom they are too paralysed to call to order.