I Told You So, Didn't I?
Robert "The Solution" Mugabe has now got what he wanted from Morgan Tsvangirai and is making the Prime Minister run around putting together a document explaining his strategy for getting sanctions lifted. Mugabe has also told Tsvangirai that he does not want him to referring to "restrictive measures" because these are not what he wants lifted, but "sanctions." I did tell you all his last week, but it is confirmed today by Mugabe's spokesman in the state media
Harare, Zimbabwe, 23 August 2009
State Media today finally caught up with my story about what went on at the meeting between Robert "The Solution" Mugabe and the man who calls him "The Solution", Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The story is merely confirmation of the fact that the issue of sanctions was raised during Monday's meeting, which is a routine one held every week for Morgan Tsvangirai to report to Mugabe on his activities as Prime Minister.
As I said on Tuesday, Mugabe tackled Tsvangirai about sanctions, claiming that the Prime Minister was "doing nothing" about their lifting, with Tsvangirai insisting that he could not alter the laws of other countries. The Prime Minister asked what specifically Mugabe wanted him to do.
Tsvangirai also pointed out that he thought his mission overseas a couple of months back had "laid the foundation" for the removal of sanctions, whereupon Mugabe asked him to start doing "the building".
The dictator demanded that Tsvangirai approach the countries that have imposed sanctions "one by by one" and ask them to remove the sanctions they have put in place.
Tsvangirai capitulated and has now tasked his Minister of State, the former Bulawayo Agenda Activist Gorden Moyo to put together a paper detailing the strategy that he is going to take.
This has to be presented to Cabinet, apparently, for them to approve Tsvangirai's proposed strategy.
Mugabe also told Tsvangirai that he and ZANU PF wanted was the lifting of "sanctions" and not "restrictive measures", which was a direct reference to Tsvangirai's call for the removal of "restrictive measures". Mugabe felt that Tsvangirai was not being serious and was "refusing to acknowledge that there are sanctions on Zimbabwe".
Mugabe says he wants to start hearing the Prime Minister specifically referring to the sanctions as sanctions and not "restrictive measures".
George Charamba, Mugabe's spokesman, says the MDC leader also told the president that he realises that he can not implement his own agenda until sanctions are lifted.
The meeting has been described as "amicable" by Charamba, which can only mean that Mugabe is happy is happy with what he got out of Tsvangirai during that meeting.
It is crucial to understand that the motive behind this is simply to put the Prime Minister and MDC-T on the back foot, so that they do not continue to raise hell about the "outstanding issues" that they are demanding Mugabe resolve.
Mugabe does not seriously expect Tsvangirai to have any leverage with the western nations who have isolated him, but accusing the MDC-T of having invited the sanctions (at one time Tsvangirai told the BBC, in widely replayed interview, that South Africa should cut off electricity supplies and fuel deliveries to Zimbabwe) and asking the PM to do something about this "outstanding issue" takes the heat off Mugabe.
He appears to have achieved his objective, with the Prime Minister on Friday telling a funeral audience in Matabeleland that he was keen to see the sanctions lifted. I reported on that in one of my stories yesterday.