Jcob Zuma Reported To Have Refused to Meet Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai in his office on Monday, just before he left for a tour of Southern African countries to try and get support in his confrontation with Mugabe. Indications are that, as was to be expected, he has had no joy and will be back home to sit down again with Mugabe - so that he can be outwitted yet again.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 22 October 2009
South African President Jacob Zuma has said through his spokesman that he is too busy to meet with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. He has a tight schedule "which does not accommodate the MDC President, Mr Tsvangirai," said Zuma's spokesman, Mr Zizi Kodwa.
Apparently Tsvangirai tried to meet Zuma in Cape Town yesterday but failed.
Zuma, indicating the truth of what we have always said on this blog that SADC washed its hands of Zimbabwe in January this year, told the South African parliament that "issues to do with Zimbabwe had been dealt with comprehensively at the SADC Summit in the DRC in September." Basically, there is nothing more to talk about, is his position. Which is understandable in light of the statement he was given by Tsvangirai before that Summit, saying everything was well with the Coalition and that the problems that remained were minor and "not insurmountable". Tsvangirai was subsequently taken to task for saying this by his National Council at a meeting in Bulawayo where a resolution to consult members was passed.
Ironically, before the results of that consultation could be determined, Tsvangirai decided on this "disengagement" anyway, indicating, like I have always said that, "the consultation" was not a serious one
The MDC-T, however, is insisting that Tsvangirai will meet with Zuma today in South Africa.
This news, which is now part of the propaganda war between ZANU PF and the MDC-T, comes as it becomes clear to Morgan Tsvangirai that SADC is not going to intervene for him and force Mugabe's hand on the outstanding issues. Welshman Ncube Ncube, of the MDC Mutambara revealed yesterday that the three leaders in the Inclusive Government, Mugabe, Mutambara and Tsvangirai are due to meet to look at the grievances of the MDC.
So, just as I said here soon after Tsvangirai's announcement of his "pull-out", Tsvangirai will have to come back home and engage Mugabe and will go back into government with pretty much none of the issues he is crying about sorted out.
It was never likely that SADC would seek to sit the parties down to discuss down to discuss civil service appointments in Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai put himself at a disadvantage in this government and will himself have to find ways to outfox Mugabe internally. SADC and the African Union did all they could, by insisting at the African Union Summit that there should be an Inclusive Government in Zimbabwe.
They put Mugabe in a corner that way.
Now it was up to Tsvangirai to use his wits and wiles to get round Mugabe. That he has failed to do this is not the fault of SADC or any other body.
Welshamn Ncube's statement did not reveal when this meeting of the "principals" in the Inclusive Government will meet, but Morgan Tsvangirai is only due back in Harare on 29 October, after having finished his regional tour and made sure that there is nobody out there who is going to fight on his behalf to have Mugabe give his officials government jobs. He will have to do that himself. Ncube says the meeting may take place within the next two or three days. If this happens, it would indicate that Tsvangirai's trip has been a failure and he has had to cut it short to come back home and face the music from Mugabe.
Indeed, back home is where the issue will be resolved not at SADC, which is even now, still refusing to convene an emergency summit to deal with the MDC and Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe issue.
Also yesterday, Simba Makoni spoke to SW Radio for Behind The Headlines (a programme that will air on the Shortwave Radio Station tonight and beamed all over Zimbabwe). He also took the position that only Zimbabweans have the primary responsibility of solving Zimbabwe's problems, and that outsiders can only "facilitate" dialogue amongst Zimbabweans.
MDC supporters have always laboured under the illusion that SADC's mandate should include not being "mediator" but "judge" and ordering Mugabe to vacate State House in order for Tsvangirai to move in. This is excusable coming from them, since they really do not understand how diplomacy and inter-nation interactions are governed by international conventions.
So far, Tsvangirai has met the Presidents of Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo (which is also now the SADC Chairman) and is due to meet with the reclusive President Dos Santos of Angola, who has ruled that country longer than Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai has decided to cancel a meeting with Botswana President Ian Khama, perhaps due to a change of heart from the Botswana president, whom I have previously revealed is now tired of trying to advise the MDC leader, saying he never listens to advice.