22 July 2009: Mugabe Cancels Roy Bennett Swearing-In

The euphoria that enveloped the MDC-T at their inauguration in parliament is now slowly dying away, as realisation will sink on Monday that their parliamentary majority has now been erased. With ZANU PF as the majority party in parliament once again, on Monday, Mugabe will drop a bombshell to Tsvangirai, it has been confirmed.

Robert "The Solution" Mugabe, yesterday took the decision to cancel the "planned" swearing-in of Roy Bennett, MDC-T Treasurer-General as Deputy Minister of Agriculture. The swearing-in of Governors from the MDC-T has also been cancelled.

Last night, three different people were telephoned by two of the people who took part in the deliberations with Mugabe and the delay in me posting this scoop has been caused by our efforts here to establish the true position.

Having confirmed with all three who were told yesterday, it is now certain that Prime Minister Tsvangirai will be informed of this move on Monday, at the next weekly report-back meeting that he conducts with Mugabe.

Reasons? It is not a surprise really, because I told you of this strategy last year in November. Mugabe will, apparently, tell Tsvangirai on Monday that the basis upon which the distribution of posts in the Inclusive Government rested has now been washed away, with the MDC-T majority in parliament having been wiped out by the imprisonment of their MPs.

Of the five MDC MPs imprisoned, Shuah Mudiwa was given seven years in jail for raping a 12 year old girl and Mathias Mlambo of Chipinge East was sentenced to 10 months in prison for "obstructing the course of justice". With yesterday's conviction, the MDC-T now has 96 seats in parliament, against Mugabe's 99 (the other seat was vacated by the Speaker, MDC-T's Lovemore Moyo, when he was elected to preside over the Lower House).

More imprisonments are sure to follow.

Mugabe, as I told you in April this year, was continually irked that, as he put it to the Politburo, "Tsvangirai continues to use his majority in parliament to beat us over the head with."

As I have explained before, Mugabe was simply playing for time until the majority is eaten away, at which point, the very basis of the distribution of ministries, governors and all the rest fall away.

This has now happened, meaning that the appointment are back to being purely at Mugabe's prerogative.

This, we are told, will be conveyed to Tsvangirai on Monday.

I suppose everything now depends on Tsvangirai, it will be interesting to see how he moves himself and his party around this latest obstacle, will he choose confrontation (which now has no basis, even according to the GPA) or will he use his now customary bowing to Mugabe in order to get him to give the MDC-T what it wants, but out of his own good heart and not he has to.

If it is the later, then the MDC-T's junior partner role will be confirmed and they will essentially be at the mercy of The Solution.

Till Monday, then.


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