Zimbabwe's Mugabe Finally Meets The European Union, Moans About Sanctions
A clearly glum and disappointed Mugabe, sans hair-dye and hence with his white hair showing, and looking bedraggles by his standards, tried to put on a brave face after meeting the European Union Delegation at State House in Harare. Even his long-serving "apostle" (mupositori) bodyguard looks disappointed and glum!
Morgan Tsvangirai is still in Matabeleland and the delegation flew off to Bulawayo soon after meeting Mugabe. They can be seen here addressing the media in that city together with Morgan Tsvangirai, soon after they met him. Sanctions remain.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 13 September 2009
For a whole hour today, a delegation of 14 European Union officials had to listen to Robert "The Solution" Mugabe go on and on and on and on and on about sanctions and how they are jeopardising the Zimbabwe Inclusive Government.
The delegation met with Mugabe at State House, where he now prefers to work, leaving the official Presidential Office complex, Munhumutapa Building, to Morgan Tsvangirai.
Mugabe apparently had no other topic on mind and asked why the European Union was getting involved in a fight with Zimbabwe when, according to him, the real fight was between Zimbabwe and Britain.
He lectured them on the Land Reform Process and how this was the origin of the "dispute" between Britain and Zimbabwe.
Mugabe also brought up Tsvangirai, saying he was working well with the Prime Minister but that the issue of continued sanctions was making it difficult for him to convince his party that this Inclusive Government was worth anything.
The delegation was unmoved, however, even in the face of hostile questions from state media.
The head of the Delegation, Swedish International Cooperation Minister Gunilla Carlsson, told journalists that the European Union was not going to remove sanctions, which, echoing Tsvangirai's words, were referred to constantly by the delegation as "restrictive measures" against Mugabe and his cronies.
Mugabe told the media at State House that he had expected that the European Union delegation would think that there were problems with the Unity Government in Harare, saying:
"Obviously, they thought that the Global Political Agreement was not working very well."
He thinks it is doing wonderfully, considering he still has all his powers, including the powers to use his habitual bullying on Tsvangirai, who continues to take it all lying down.
Zimbabwe television asked Gunilla Carlsson about the Zimbabwe Democracy Act in the United States, which was pretty lame and the response was to be expected:
This was a European Union delegation and the European do not make American laws, nor can they repeal or amend any American Act of Congress.
Yesterday, the delegation met with Jacob Zuma in Pretoria and he is understood to also have called for the lifting of sanctions against Mugabe.
It appears all appeals are falling on deaf ears.
The refusal to entertain Mugabe's calls by the European Union will only make his behaviour towards Morgan Tsvangirai even more outrageous.
That the delegation are using the same language as the Prime Minister to describe what Mugabe considers sanctions will only strengthen the belief in Mugabe's circles that the MDC, even while in government, are still taking instructions from Europe and the United States and that they are, as Mugabe charged to Tsvangirai at their last face to face meeting, still working for "regime change."
What the Europeans failed to do with this trip is to strengthen Tsvangirai's hand, internally, with Mugabe or externally, with the African leaders who now stand with Mugabe.
That Tsvangirai is seen as a lackey of Western powers will only work against him as SADC weighs whether to intervene in Zimbabwe or not.
I can assure you, as I did in my last interview with SW Radio, that there is going to be no change at all to the scenario in Zimbabwe. SADC, in whom the Prime Minister has now found new faith, will do nothing to advance his cause.
Mugabe will turn on the screws because, as he told members of his politburo this last week:
"If you pinch a child, the mother appears."