Mugabe Throws Out MDCs "Outstanding Issues".
Next month, Joseph Kabila of the DRC will be the new Chairman of SADC for a whole year. Mugabe knows Kabila is a friend and he is now openly declaring that he has done enough, this comes as it is confirmed that Zimbabwe is not on the agenda of SADC when the Heads of State meet in the DRC next month. Mugabe knows Tsvangirai and the MDC-T are enjoying the trappings of power too much to walk away from government no matter what he does.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 18 August 2009
My apologies for the late update, but I am having problems here in Harare which took me away from the job at hand.
Robert "The Solution" Mugabe yesterday openly declared that none of the issues the MDC wants addressed will be addressed until after the by-elections are called and "there is a clear picture in parliament".
This was after a bruising encounter with Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara in which the Zimbabwe president stuck to his guns on the issue of sanctions, which he says the MDC-T must call off because they called for them in the first instance.
Tsvangirai insisted that he had addressed the issue during his trip and that it was not his responsibility to amend the laws of foreign countries.
Mugabe apparently responded that if the MDC knew it was powerless to do anything about the sanctions, why did they agree to address the issue in the GPA.
Tsvangirai was of the opinion that "calling for the removal of sanctions" was enough and he says this he has done.
Mugabe refused to accept this, insisting that the GPA calls on the MDC to make sure that sanctions are lifted.
In the end, this issue resulted in negotiators being called, I am told. The negotiators were asked specifically to define the issue of sanctions being lifted and what the exact meaning of that clause is, amongst others.
Mugabe, who is also going back on his word to appoint MDC ambassadors, governors and swearing in Roy Bennett, is now insistent that "outstanding issues" should be addressed "holistically".
The issues he claims the MDC have done nothing about "should be addressed because we have also addressed some MDC complaints while they have done nothing about ours."
The issue of administrative incompetence also featured, with Mugabe bringing up the fact that the GPA defines the economy as the "the most urgent priority facing this Inclusive Government."
While it is true that the economy has not at all recovered and instead imported goods are freely available, Mugabe fails to understand that it is some of his own actions which are having this effect. That Tsvangirai allows him to continue the abuses is not a factor in this - it is all down to Mugabe's side of government arresting people and retaining repressive laws.
Still, it appears Tsvangirai was stumped and the negotiators had to come in to interpret the clause about the "priority" being the economy amongst other things.
Indications are that the interpretation given was not in MDC-T's favour. Otherwise, as is their wont, we would have by heard them telling all and sundry that they had triumphed and that the GPA was clear on what Mugabe had to do.
The legalistic approach is the same that also undid Morgan Tsvangirai at SADC during the negotiations, as I told you in previous posts from December, especially the one entitled "How Mugabe and SADC have Boxed-In Morgan Tsvangirai.
Back then, SADC were insisting that nobody had forced Tsvangirai to sign on the dotted line in the GPA, that if he had been dissatisfied by anything at all during negotiations, he should have held out and refused to sign until Mugabe relented.
They were dismissive that, after signing, he now wanted to renegotiate things he had agreed to (sharing of ministries in the Defence sector, amongst others).
It is unlikely now that MDC apologists will see any of their ambassadors in their posts or see any of their governors appointed (we were told by the MDC that Mugabe had agreed to appoint them in the "first week of August". That has now happened.
Mugabe's confidence now comes from knowing that the MDC is stuck in government, that they refuse to walk away no matter what.
With Tsvangirai saying Mugabe is the solution and that there is no leaving government, the ZANU PF leader now knows that he does not have to do anything he does not want to do and there is nothing the MDC can do about it.
With Joseph Kabila of the DRC due to take over as SADC Chairman this coming month (September), there is also supreme confidence in ZANU PF that SADC will continue to stand by them, leaving Tsvangirai to either walk away or continue as a lame-duck Prime Minister, ridiculed all over Africa.