Mugabe Mulls Fresh "Snap" Elections - No UN Supervision Allowed
Morgan Tsvangirai announces his alleged pull-out from the Zimbabwe Cabinet on Friday. Mugabe has now upped the stakes after convening an urgent meeting of JOC in Harare on Saturday, when he is normally to be seen tending his fields at his rural home in Kutama. Elections are the threat now and he knows Tsvangirai considers elections under the current constitution and without UN supervision (which would violate Zimbabwe's sovereignty, Mugabe says) a waste of time and effort. Tsvangirai will be back in cabinet before two weeks are up. And despite erroneous reports about the pull-out, MDC ministers are still in their offices and still reporting for work, but just not attending cabinet, where government policy and decisions are made and approval for ministerial actions is given. It appears the MDC has not thought this through
Harare, Zimbabwe, 19 October 2009
Robert "The Solution" Mugabe will tell the MDC Tsvangirai today that ZANU PF is ready to go to elections as soon as March next year.
An emergency meeting of JOC (Joint Operations Command) in Harare on Saturday afternoon resolved that if the MDC insists on "disengaging" from the government and from ZANU PF by now attending cabinet meetings, then Mugabe will tell SADC that the MDC had violated the Global Political Agreement by abandoning the government, making snap elections necessary.
The position now taken by Mugabe is that "snap" elections will be necessary if the MDC continues to refuse to dialogue with him and ZANU PF, but that there will be no need for United Nations supervision. As we all know, there is nothing anybody can do force Mugabe to allow foreign observers into Zimbabwe.
SADC and the African Union would be invited to observe (not monitor) such election, but the United Nations will be barred. Should any other country (the US, Britain) or organisation (even the UN) send in people to observe, Mugabe will simply deport them, as he threatened to do with Kofi Annan and Jimmy Carter, the former US president, whom he told that if they set foot in Zimbabwe, he would deport them immediately.
Mugabe now knows that he stands to lose absolutely nothing. There is no likelihood of United Nations sanctions being imposed upon his government, since most of the General Assembly is against such a move.
The only thing that would happen would be the strengthening of sanctions from the US and Europe. But that is something he realises exists anyway and will exist still even if he gave in to all MDC demands, hence his reluctance to give ground anymore, giving away power without a reciprocal lifting of the embargo on balance of payment and budgetary support will give him nothing at all.
So he not afraid of a renewed sanctions attack from the West.
It is now common cause, as confirmed by Morgan Tsvangirai himself during his press conference on Friday, that SADC does not consider ZANU PF to be in breach of the Global Political Agreement. The regional body basically sees the matter of the appointment of civil servants as an internal governmental matter.
That the MDC is failing to convince ZANU PF to give its people jobs in the government is matter SADC thinks is beneath it. Tsvangirai signed, was appointed, got all his ministers and deputy ministers and has even told SADC leaders that he agrees with Mugabe that Bennett should be given his day in court. Should he be acquitted, Mugabe says he will "swear him in the next day."
As for Provincial Governors, Mugabe is now adamant that Governors are representatives of the president in the provinces and can therefore not be handed out to the MDC, which has no stake in the "Presidium" of the country.
More disconcerting is the admission by Tsvangirai on Friday that we have been right on this blog all along when we stated that Mugabe and JOC are busy sending military personnel into the rural areas and that the bases and camps set up for the June run-off have never been dismantled.
They are still active and ready to be let loose as soon as an election is decided. Mugabe knew that the MDC would not last the course considering that he had no intention of sharing any power. His tactic, as I explained in detail here last year, was to get Tsvangirai into government and isolate him from his party and supporters that way.
He had almost succeeded. But he had also factored in the fact that the MDC would not let him get away with it and would demand fresh elections if the government fell.
The MDC has made the blunder of disengaging before the Constitution is completed. JOC are now arguing that a new snap election is necessary so that he who takes over after those elections will then have the mandate to craft a new constitution from the people.
Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC know that Mugabe can do this. This is not the first time that the demand for UN-supervised elections has been made by the MDC. And Mugabe has ignored them every time: instead he invites SADC and the African Union.
Now, with the economy on the mend since the advent of the US dollar (A ZANU PF policy initiative implemented before the MDC agreed to go into government in January), the people of Zimbabwe are not in the same position they were last year when their economic woes were so huge that they were prepared to die while trying to dislodge Mugabe.
Now they will revert back to type, (Tsvangirai has been playing up the economic gains made since January this year and these will not disappear because he is no longer in the picture. ZANU PF has tasted the dividends of using the US dollar and Rand and they will not abolish the policy even if they bring back a gold-backed Zim dollar as suggested by Gono).
Now we will see what becomes of the boasts by MDC supporters that Mugabe can not unleash violence anymore, that police and soldiers support Tsvangirai, that they can hold meetings and rallies in the rural areas and the assertion that Mugabe is as good gone now and the next elections will bring in the new dictator, the Butcher of Constitutions - Morgan Tsvangirai, as president.
Now we will see.