Fireworks At State House As Riot Police Patrol The Streets
Lovemore Moyo, the MDC-T Speaker of Parliament, who was forced to abandon his Welcoming Address at the All Stakeholders Conference on a new Constitution in Harare today. Mugabe, at the burial of a former ZIPRA freedom fighter at Heroes Acre on Friday pleaded with Moyo in his speech, saying, "Please please Mr Speaker, let the process be Zimbabwean". Mugabe was in a heated meeting with Tsvangirai at State House at the time of writing this
Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai are holed up at the State House in Harare, both of them refusing t come out to address the Constitutional Conference, which the organisers, especially the Members of Parliament from MDC-T, attempted to reopen about an hour ago.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai, whose traditional Monday meeting at which the PM reports to the President on government business today turned into a fireworks display, are still refusing to show up at the venue.
Riot police, who were called in to quell the disturbances between MDC-T and ZANU PF supporters during the disruption of the All Stakeholders Conference earlier today, are still roaming the streets. One of their vehicles was parked at Africa Unity Square, in front of parliament, only a few minutes ago.
Mugabe is insisting on two things in his meeting with Tsvangirai today.
First, he wants the process delayed so that there is clear agreement that the Kariba Draft is the one that will be adopted.
Second, he is insisting that the process must not be funded by western donor agencies and aid groups. He insists this will ensure that there are "no outside interests" involved in this.
During the same meeting, Mugabe told Tsvangirai that statements by Tendai Biti that the MDC-T and its allies will go ahead and write a constitution with or without those who do not want the process to go ahead if the Kariba Draft is ignored are not only against the GPA "spirit" but also "treason".
Mugabe's way forward is that the MDC-T, MDC-M and ZANU PF should agree on the Kariba Draft before the Conference resumes. He says the MDCs and his party have already signed the Draft and his party will not tolerate the MDCs "reneging" on their signatures.
The people, Mugabe insists, should only be given the chance to comment and vote on the Kariba Draft. Guided democracy, North Korea-style.
One comment that came out of the meeting at State House from Mugabe, which should a raise a laugh or two was this: "If you and your party (MDC-T) keep going back on your word like this, then I do not see how you can ever be trusted."
Tsvangirai, who wants to be trusted by Mugabe more than anything else at this point, will almost certainly give in by the time the meeting ends.
Mugabe insists that either his and his party's demands are met or they kill the Constitution-making process.
Something tells me Tsvangirai will bring his party around to Mugabe's point of view. And I am taking bets.