Mugabe Sells Tsvangirai Another Dummy
Morgan Tsvangirai is seen here with Arthur Mutambara in February announcing that the appointments of Permanent Secretaries by Mugabe without Prime Ministerial consultation was "null and void". He was subsequently sold (and bought) the dummy that the PermSecs were non-partisan civil servants!! This time round, Mugabe is throwing Tsvangirai another lifeline on one of the outstanding issues, allowing the Prime Minister to save face while accepting to go back into Cabinet and rescind his decision to disengage from ZANU PF. Mugabe has studied his Prime Minister (and the MDC-T) well.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 23 October 2009
Robert "The Solution" Mugabe is getting very good at reading Morgan Tsvangirai, his Prime Minister and leader of the MDC-T.
Today, it is announced that the MDC ministers nominated by Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara will be posted to their missions in December.
Previously, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (who vowed at the beginning of the Inclusive Government that they would not show the MDC-T any of their files and that they had already hidden them) had said that the ambassadors will only be posted next year because "the country has no money."
They claimed that even the current ambassadors had not been paid for some months and it made no sense to post new ones.
So what is happening?
Well, we are getting a repeat of what happened in January this year, when MorganTsvangirai had signed the GPA and was refusing to enter government until the issues of Gono, Tomana (Attorney-General) etc, were sorted out.
Mugabe went to a SADC Summit in South Africa and promised to "look at the issues using internal mechanisms once the Inclusive Government is formed."
Tsvangirai and Eddie Cross came back and announced that they would now join government because they had got "significant concessions".
They hadn't. But Mugabe's statement had allowed them to save face by giving them a fig leaf with which to hide their nakedness.
This time, Mugabe is again trying to throw a face-saver to Tsvangirai. By announcing that ambassadors will be posted in December, he has allowed Tsvangirai (who got no joy from SADC over his "disengagement") to come back home and go back into government without any of these issues sorted out.
He will rejoin on the basis of a promise. And that is all he will ever get.
His supporters will cheer him on, only to start getting frustrated again in December and January next year when Mugabe breaks his promise.
But we must not forget that since the formation of this coalition, Tsvangirai and his supporters seem to have developed huge faith in Mugabe and his promises, insisting that everything is fine and they should stay on in Government because "Mugabe is genuine." He is, after all, "The Solution", according t Tsvangirai and MDC supporters.
The majority of the people of Zimbabwe disagree with this characterisation of Mugabe by the MDC, but then again, who are they? Do they not realise the infinite wisdom of of Morgan Tsvangirai and his supporters, who now realise their lost ways and have accepted that Mugabe is, after all, "like a father" (to use Tendai Biti's words at the funeral of Susan Tsvangirai).
Still, the upshot of all this is that Mugabe has just bought himself some more time for mischief. The Prime Minister was quite clear that "please, this is not about Roy Bennett". He said this at his press conference last Friday because he knew that, on Bennett and on the persecution of other MDC MPs, Mugabe would not budge.
He also knows that on Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana, Mugabe will not budge.
This announcement will allow him to say he is re-engaging ZANU PF because Mugabe has now made "concessions" on the ambassadorial appointments, even though there is no word on the Governors, whom Mugabe now says are "the president's representatives" and can only be appointed at his personal discretion and not as part of a political deal.
Yet, when Tsvangirai got into Government, he claimed that the appointment of MDC-T Governors was one concession Mugabe had made at the end of January in South Africa, allowing the MDC to finally agree to be sworn in.
Mark my words: Tsvangirai will be back. He will re-enter government on the basis of Mugabe's promises and then nothing will happen for another 8 months.