Zimbabwe Propaganda Wars At SADC Fail To Mask The Truth
Jacob Zuma is seen here arriving with incoming SADC Chairman Joseph Kabila at the opening of the SADC Summit in the Great Lakes country. Zuma gave a glowing account of the "progress" in Zimbabwe but failed to table any issues for discussion. A Tsvangirai spokesman later briefed journalists that there will a special summit in Mozambique in a couple of weeks time, then Tsvangirai came out at a press conference later to say that the matter is now in the hands of the SADC Troika on Zimbabwe. It is a confusing set of events, which has left many people contacting me to try and make sense of what exactly has just happened, once you take away all the propaganda.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 08 September 2009
In the last hour, I received a ton of emails from people confused about what exactly has just happened at the SADC Summit in the Democratic Republic of Congo with regards to Zimbabwe.
At fault, obviously, is the propaganda wars being conducted even as I speak, with media sympathetic to Tsvangirai saying the regional body will hold a Special Summit in Mozambique in three weeks time to deal with the issue of Zimbabwe, while media sympathetic to Mugabe and ZANU PF says the matter was just taken off the table and SADC said it can not deal with "the staffing issues" of Zimbabwe. They will have to sort it out themselves.
Let me try and clarify.
Morgan Tsvangirai last week on Tuesday called a press conference at Harvest House, his party's Head Office in Harare. At that press conference, he said that he specifically called for SADC to place Zimbabwe no their agenda during the SADC Summit in the DRC. Of that there is no doubt and it is well documented.
We were then told that the Zimbabwe issue had been put on the agenda as part of "Any other Business". Again, this was propaganda.
It turns out now that the regional presidents have decided not to grant Tsvangirai what he called for last Tuesday and Zimbabwe has been taken off the agenda, even as "Any Other Business."
The regional body itself is still meeting and has not released it traditional at the end of the Summit, so what you are hearing about the Special Summit in Mozambique is also propaganda briefing, which will obviously work against the MDC when the truth finally comes out.
That truth is already out.
Tsvangirai has, only hours ago, just confirmed at a press conference in the DRC capital Kinshasa that the matter has been referred back to the SADC Troika and he says they will deal with the matter in an urgent manner.
If indeed there is a meeting in Maputo in three weeks time, it will be a Troika meeting and not a SADC full meeting.
You will recall that towards the end of Zimbabwe's political impasse last year, even though "Extraordinary Summits" were called for, we started seeing less and less President showing up. Some sent their foreign ministers, others their deputies or Prime Ministers and so on.
They were, as they made public, "sick and tired" of the whole thing, with Special Summits being called every week even though Tsvangirai had signed the GPA already.
I will take a bet right here and right now that there will be no Full Summit or Extraordinary Summit.
You must understand the humiliating nature of this move and it embarrasses not only the MDC, but even me, as a Zimbabwean.
The message the SADC Heads of State have sent is what is humiliating, you see. That message is that they should not be bothered with this Zimbabwe issue anymore, it is irritating them. It is not something that they should be dealing with and should go back to the three-member team tasked with looking into the matter, which team is also of the view that enough is enough.
More embarrassing still is this: With Tsvangirai having told anybody who would listen that he was working well with Mugabe, that the process was irreversible and that he would "fail or succeed together" with Mugabe, the presidents are puzzled by the sudden demand for urgency.
Tsvangirai shot himself in the foot.
Honestly speaking, do you really think that the presidents would not feel insulted if all they were being asked to do was decide who should be Attorney General in Zimbabwe and who should be in cabinet and who should be Central Bank Governor?
If you are honest with yourself, you will realise that the praising of Mugabe, the reference to him as "The Solution" etc, have only confirmed to the SADC leaders that they were right all along.
Furthermore, with Tsvangirai himself saying publicly and repeatedly that the GNU is in no danger of collapse, that he is in it to stay no matter what, SADC realise that they are not being asked to save the Agreement. They are not being asked to save the government because it is not in danger, but they are simply being asked to decide on the composition of Zimbabwe's Civil Service.
I am embarrassed.