It Gets Worse
REPEAT PERFORMANCE? Mugabe, seen here at a SADC Special Summit on Zimbabwe in Swaziland in November last year with then South African president Motlanthe, seems to be holding up his support from within the regional block. Namibia and Angola have come out publicly in support and a few other countries, named in my article below, are known never to go against him. Do not expect much from this. No, scratch that .....do not expect ANYTHING
Harare, Zimbabwe, 08 September 2009
Angola and Namibia have come out publicly to support Robert Mugabe's position at the DRC Summit and are already engaged in a propaganda war to ensure that their views carry the day.
They told state media in Zimbabwe (which publishes the story story) that the Council of Foreign Ministers, which met ahead of the main summit to set the agenda, had thrown out Tsvangirairai's request to have the Zimbabwe issue on the agenda of the Summit of Heads of State.
It is a lie, but most Zimbabweans can not afford the US$1 the state newspaper costs, so they tend to just glance at the headlines as they walk to work in the city.
So many times, I have heard colleagues say, "I only saw the headline" and then they form their opinion based on this.
The lie is exposed in the full story in the paper, which grudgingly admits that Zuma will present a report to the Heads of State on Zimbabwe and that the situation in Zimbabwe will be discus.
But the reporters then quote a diplomat sympathetic to Zimbabwe as saying that this will be in the context of "Any Other Business".
As any person who has ever attended a meeting will tell you, AOB (Any Other Business) IS an agenda item and anything discussed under it is minuted and resolutions around it carry weight.
So this smoke and mirrors game from the state media is designed to do one thing:
It is designed to demotivate the MDC-T delegation in the DRC already, leading them to think that all is lost, the SADC group has refused to consider the Zimbabwe issue and so on.
The same media also seeks to do the same by putting it out that the DRC president Joseph Kabila has already been told that the MDC lobbied SADC ahead of the Summit to have it moved to Bostwana!! Apparently because they did not trust Kabila.
Even the MDC can not be that stupid.
But then we are told that there is, after all an MDC-T delegation in the DRC, which is lobbying SADC Heads of State, without being told that the Prime Minister leads it.
It is referred to as a "Non-Governmental delegation"!
The MDC still has not realised this aspect of Mugabe's assault on them. In politics as in armed combat, it is called psychological warfare. That is what Mugabe is trying to do.
There is no denying, though, that at the moment, the wind is blowing against the MDC for the following reasons:
Namibia and Angola have now publicly come out to say the situation in Zimbabwe is nothing more than a "staffing situation" a case of who gets what job and that SADC is above such things. Leave Tsvangirai at Mugabe's mercy, is their position.
To that list, we can add DRC president Kabila himself, the Mozambican president, the Swazi monarch Mswati, Lesotho, even South Africa itself. Then there is President Rupiah Banda, who is also in Mugabe's corner.
Malawi is also with Mugabe.
Standing with Tsvangirai are Botswana's Khama and Tanzania's Kikwete.
The numbers do not look well for the MDC-T and it would be a foolishly optimistic person who believes that anything will come out of this Summit other than an endorsement of Mugabe, effectively.
This is certainly one SADC Summit that I will not be following with interest, with the result already foregone.