"Tsvangirai Is Mentally Unstable" - Mugabe

Robert "The Solution" Mugabe arrives today at Heroes Acre in Harare for the burial of a senior ZANU PF senator who was declared a National Hero this last week. Mugabe used the occasion to call Morgan Tsvangirai "mad" and said he is still committed to working with the madman. He says the parties are talking. The SADC Ministerial team that was here has now left and there will be no Extraordinary Summit to address Zimbabwe's problems, despite all the posturing and propaganda

Harare, Zimbabwe, 31 October 2009

Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe with the blessing of Morgan Tsvangirai despite losing losing an election in March last year, told a gathering at Heroes Acre in Harare today that Morgan Tsvangirai is "not mentally stable."

He said this even as he insisted that the parties are talking and working through their problems.

Wheat. Chaff.

Let's separate.

Mugabe was speaking today having  addressed the Central Committee of his party, ZANU PF, yesterday lambasting the MDC-T, saying they were not serious. He insisted that ZANU PF was not cabinet, was not government, only a part of it.

He was questioning the MDC-T decision to pull out of cabinet meetings while remaining in government.

Soon after he met the SADC delegation from the Troika on Defence and Politics, Mugabe also told journalists that the SADC Troika would convene an ordinary summit to receive the reports of the ministerial team on Zimbabwe and Lesotho. He dismissed the Prime Minister's statement that there was going to be an Extraordinary Summit as "cheap politicking and propaganda from the MDC".

That said, a lot of people are perplexed and confused.

They need not be.

It is vital to understand the workings of regional diplomacy and even international diplomacy because thw two are not that different. The temptation right now is for MDC-T supporters to start celebrating, shouting that the SADC Troika has seen the urgency of the issues in Zimbabwe and is now going to convene a summit to discuss it.

When disappointment finally comes, predictably, MDC-T supporters will start shouting at SADC, hurling insults and all manner of things at them.

Which is why it is important to separate the wheat from the chaff.

If the Prime Minister thinks that there is going to be a Summit to resolve the dispute in Zimbabwe, he is sorely mistaken and we must now seriously start to  question his leadership and his judgment. This sort of thinking can be expected from the clueless supporters of his party, not from him, who has had many dealing with international organisations.

It is not the convening of a Summit that is important here. That convening is a normal part of business for the Organ and for SADC. What is important is for us to try and get an indication of what the report from the Ministers will say. It is that report that will inform whether the Troika calls for a full and Extraordinary Summit or not.

At the moment, it is clear what the report to the Troika will say. Dr Oldemiro Baloyi, the Mozmbican Foreign Minister who led the delegation, told reporters that his team was urging the parties to the agreement to "intensify dialogue".

That is telling in itself. The position is quite clearly as I reported last week, that the Troika is saying the MDC and ZANU PF should work within the confines of Zimbabwe and the Inclusive Government to find common ground and solve the problem.

In other words, there is no deadlock. The parties are simplynot "intense" enough in their engagement of each other.

Further to this, the Troika Ministers also stated:

"In our interaction with stakeholders we made it clear that problems have to be solved first and foremost by Zimba-bweans themselves. All of us are there to help them help themselves."

Does this sound like SADC is about to intervene? No.

Even more interesting and telling is the statement from the head of the delegation that, after speaking to all three parties, "it remained clear to us that all three parties are fully committed to the Inclusive Government."

So there is no crisis and no impasse, no threat to the Inclusive Government.

End of story.

No matter what MDC supporters may wish, no matter how much spin is given by the parties to the Inclusive Government, this will not change.

The bottom line is that theTroika says the problems should be solved by Zimbabweans, by Mugabe and Tsvangirai and not by SADC, saying that SADC was "here to help them help themselves."

Anyone, therefore, who thinks that this crisis will escalate beyond where it is now is living in cloud cuckoo-land.


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