Tsvangirai Shows Teeth
Is that a "Hardliner" right there standing squarely behind "The Solution" so that there is no mistaking who he is saluting? Still, kudos to Tsvangirai and Mutambara for putting the old man in the spot at State House during that emergency meeting after the fracas at the Constitutional Conference!
On the day the Constitutional Conference was disrupted, I broke the story on this blog that Mugabe and Tsvangirai were meeting at State House over the matter.
They subsequently emerged at the end of that very same day with Deputy PM Mutambara in tow to announce that they would not tolerate any nonsense.
In my scoop on their meeting at State House, I told you that the president basically defended the people who made the disruption and said the MDC-T was railroading other parties by refusing to listen to their concerns (and they can do that because they control parliament and the Speaker's Chair, although not for long, if Mugabe's current strategy bears fruit, as I have also explained in previous stories.
Mugabe, while saying he did not condone the sort of violent clashes that took place(only an MDC-T activist was arrested and is still in jail, although the attacker of an MDC-T official, who was left bleeding from the head, was never established and no arrests have been made), said he "understood the frustration of other parties at the way they were being ignored".
Meaning ZANU PF, of course.
Tsvangirai and Mutambara, in a show of their own teeth, apparently demanded that if the president did not condone the disturbance, then he should emerge with them and present a united front to the media, joining forces with the two of them as Principals to lay down the law.
I am told Mugabe responded by saying the move would be hasty, since the facts had not been established and he would be speaking out of turn.
Mutambara turned the screws, saying there was no need to point fingers, all the Principals had to do was speak out against the disturbance and make it clear to the nation that they do not condone it.
This explains why both Mugabe and Tsvangirai stated that it was "not clear what the exact circumstances were". Even though Mugabe's people in ZANU PF had been caught on camera starting the disturbance, he insisted it was "too early to start blaming anyone until the "full facts came out".
Tsvangirai and Mutambara's pressure paid off. And how!
We must understand what an achievement this was. We really have to: Mugabe does not do press conferences, full stop. Not here n Zimbabwe and not when he is travelling outside the country.
He does interviews, locally with handpicked State media personnel and overseas with carefully vetted, widely syndicated organisations.
This was the first press conference on Zimbabwean soil by Mugabe in ages. September 15, when he signed the deal with Tsvangirai, does not count, because he had to be there, it had to be a public event and the spirit he pretended to be be approaching the GPA with did not allow for banning the media.
Other than that, tell me a single press conference called by Mugabe in the last ten years.
More interestingly, though, is this: why is it that, at all times, it is myriad "hardliners" doing these nefarious things without (supposedly)Mugabe's knowledge and approval?
First, it was the Service Chiefs, whose open contempt for Tsvangirai Mugabe says he knows nothing about and can do nothing about.
Second, it is high-placed ZANU PF officials who, even as recently as last week, continue to invade fully productive farms, harvesting mangoes, oranges, beef, maize (corn) and other crops that they never bought seed or fertiliser or chemicals for. These crops planted, nurtured and tended by workers they did not pay.
Now, it is Saviour Kasukuwere, Patrick Zhuwao (Mugabe's favourite nephew by far, who literally grew up at State House) allegedly disrupting a Constitutional Conference without Mugabe's blessing and there is nothing the most powerful president in Africa can do except to say it is not clear what happened?
Am I the only one who smells a rat here? Am I the only one who wonders why the Prime Minister continues to play this charade with the dictator? Am I the only one who continues to wonder what it is that the Prime Minister is being promised for acting like a doormat?
Am I? Or Not?