Point by Point, Mugabe Answers Tsvangirai
Mugabe, seen here with other SADC Heads of State, has now revealed just what his objections are to the MDC demands. As of today, we can now say with certainty that we know, point by point, how Mugabe is going to counter Tsvangirai's arguments at the SADC Summit in the DRC next week. The MDC has also started on the wrong foot, seeking a confrontation with Joseph Kabila even before he officially becomes chair. The way SADC is losing patience with all parties to the agreement, it is almost certain that Tsvangirai will be told that SADC can not anoint him president, he will have to achieve that on his own
Harare, Zimbabwe, 04 September 2009
The outstanding issues, which I told you will not be resolved two months ago in an article entitled "Outstanding Issues To Remain Outstanding" (much to the chagrin of delusional Tsvangirai supporters at the time), have now been confirmed to be intractable.
For the first time ever, we now have a clear picture of Mugabe's point-by-point counter to Tsvangirai's demands and they are as follows:
- Swearing in of Roy - Mugabe says Bennett faces criminal charges of plotting to overthrow The Solution and his ZANU PF government and will not be sworn in no matter what the Prime Minister says
- Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana - Mugabe now says there is no way he is going to reverse their appointments because he made them legally in his capacity as Head of State and as provided for by the Constitution. The GPA, he insists even publicly, can not take precedence over the Constitution. Yesterday, Mugabe's office said through the state media that "Tsvangirai was not part of government when the appointments were made and therefore could not be consulted."
- Governors - Mugabe insists that Governors are the president's representatives in the provinces and hence are appointed solely by him to represent him and his office only at the "grassroots level" and therefore he can appoint who he wants when he wants. On this, he has also now said that he is willing to "show good faith" by submitting to the MDC demands, but that the government does not have the money to pay off the ZANU PF Governors who are still in their positions. Tsvangirai, says Mugabe, knows this too well and must seek money from his friends in the West to normalise government operations, which will allow the governors to be paid off as agreed between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.
- Ambassadors - Mugabe has already announced that the government has no money to appoint and post additional ambassadors, this after having refused to recall any of the ambassadors currently in their posts in order to create room for the MDC, which had been pacified by promises of appointment to posts that were already vacant.
- Media Reform: Mugabe says that the MDC promised to address the issue of Zimbabwean radio stations based overseas and in other foreign countries "who are beaming hate language into Zimbabwe daily." He says the MDC has done nothing about convincing these people to stop their operations and come to work within Zimbabwe. He refuses outright to make any more concessions until "the MDC reigns in the radio stations that support him."
Apart from these issues, the Constitutional process is also now in limbo, with Mugabe refusing to see any meaningful progress on it because he says it is being funded by foreigners who, he claims, will the control the end-result.
But the biggest stick with which Mugabe is beating Tsvangirai is sanctions, which he insists are at the root of the problems in the government. Until and unless they are removed and Zimbabwe is allowed once more to borrow from the IMF and World Bank and ZIDERA in America in repealed by Congress, then there can be no talk of the continued existence of the Coaltion.
These are the points that Mugabe is taking to the DRC.
The MDC, meanwhile, has now now made another fatal miscalculation. Yesterday, Mugabe's office publicly accused them of having drafted a letter to SADC in which they are casting aspersions on Joseph Kabila, the president of the DRC, who takes over as Chairman of SADC next week.
In the letter, whose existence the MDC has not denied up until now, they are said to be asking Kabila to excuse himself because he is "too cosy" with Mugabe.
Kabila will hear of this, of course, and will perhaps see the letter when it is delivered and the MDC would have made another diplomatic blunder.
Instead of seeking to engage the African leaders and working to turn them one by one, taking the route of starting a dispute with the new chairman of SADC means that they are closing the door to any sympathy from African leaders.
First, having shouted at Mbeki, they now are going the same route with Kabila?
And when, as is most likely, Jacob Zuma fails to make Mugabe see sense (there is nothing much he can do to him, as South Africa will NEVER put sanctions on Zimbabwe), the MDC will also start shouting at him.
At the end of the day, Tsvangirai will be back to his old strategy that has failed to bear dividends, namely, traversing European and American capitals lobbying them to pile more pressure on Mugabe, while Africa, stands protectively around the ageing Zimbabwean leader.
We are very close to coming full circle.