My Party Is Talking Nonsense -Tsvangirai
Harare, Zimbabwe, 20 September 2009
MDC leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has effectively dismissed his party as talking nonsense about considering pulling out of the Inclusive Government they are in with Mugabe.
Tsvangirai was speaking at the Mining Indaba in Harare. As an interesting aside, although most ministers had attended the speech by Mugabe, ZANU PF ministers boycotted the Prime Minister's address to the conference.
State media effectively ignored him as well, although they covered Mugabe's speech in great detail.
Tsvangirai said "the change is irreversible", sticking to his position that he will not be pulling out of the Inclusive Government. This is despite the fact that several of his comrades in the MDC have been briefing the media that they are going to the people to consult them on whether to continue in government.
The relationship between the two main parties in government has deteriorated to the extent that the Prime Minister is now simply in charge of MDC ministers only. By directing his ministers to keep Tsvangirai out of the loop on matters of importance, Mugabe is effectively pushing Tsvangirai into a position where he is indeed in charge of a parallel government.
This latest development also comes as Tendai Biti gave subtle hints that the MDC is not bothered about what people will say during teh consultation. By saying that he is going to spend the IMF money in next year's budget, he is effectively telling the nation that the MDC is not pulling out.
This dovetails with Tsvangirai's established position.
What we are seeing now is a strategy from the MDC - make as if to consult the people (I wonder how their votes will be counted?) and announce that the people say the MDC should stay in even as farmers are beaten up and human rights abuses continue.
Later, and this is the core of the strategy, they want to be able to say to the electorate, which will be very angry by the next election at the lack of real change: "YOU said we should stay on and we did and it did not work."
The dust raised by "considering our position" talk is merely designed to try and frighten Mugabe. But the dictator, now seeing no money coming in, is also of the opinion that the MDC has overstayed its welcome in his (yes, his) government.
He will do everything in his power to make sure that they go.