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.


  1. This is now like pumping antibiotics into a malaria patient. Its not going to work....and not because the disease is not treatable but its the wrong medicine. If you are PM and you can't even get none of those things done by yourself frankly you do not deserve to be anywhere near where you are! Really do we believe that if Makoni, Mujuru or Mnangagwa were in Tsvangirai's shoes we would be squabbling over appointments?

    So SADC is supposed to tackle domestic appointments of central bank governor and attorney general? And what are they going to say? In fact the agreement says "consults" with the PM and not approved by the PM. Mugabe can still tell Tsvangirai he is appointing Gono and Tomana today and that will pass for consulting.

    The issues the MDC are highlighting are "good faith" issues which are very domestic in nature such that noone can really waste their time on them.

  2. @VaMutota - you should not do this to us, honestly!!! We miss your incisive analysis that cuts to the chase when you do not give us your thoughts! Yes, you are truly one of our best interlocutors ever on this blog.

    Anyway, you are, as ever, quite right.

    SADC said in its Communique soon before Tsvangirai announced his capitulation and agreement to be sworn in that the issues of Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana, as well as Governors and the formula for appointing them, would be "dealt with by the Inclusive Government once it is formed."

    Note that they did not say that Gono and Tomana would be fired after the Inclusive Government. They said, "form a government and deal with these things yourselves."

    As both you and I pointed out in our exchanges back then, it is UNPRECEDENTED for SADC to allow itself to be dragged into a dispute about civil service appointments in a member country.

    No leader will allow it, not even Jacob Zuma, because that sets a precedent where any one of them could face the same eventuality.

    Besides, diplomatically, it is unheard of and will NEVER be done, mark my words.

    SADC will not order Mugabe to fire Gono or Tomana or to swear in Roy Bennett.

    As one South African gentleman I quoted last year on this blog said: "Mugabe will say no. And what can Motlanthe (then SA president) do? Nothing."

    SADC washed their hands of the whole Gono, Tomana and Governors issue a long time ago!! They know how intractable the problem is.

    They have also privately said that Tsvangirai's problem is that he does not have what it takes to take out Mugabe, full stop. He wants them to do it for him, but they will not do so.

    Welcome back Mr Mutota, and can we have more of your insights please? Even a guest article from you I would put up on this blog in a flash if it is from you!


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