SADC Contradicts Tsvangirai On ZimbabwePolice Ministry
Zimbabwe riot police, seen here smiling as they beat up a protester while he is held from behind by one of their own, continue to behave pretty much as they please, enforcing draconian and undemocratic laws. Morgan Tsvangirai has said nothing about the Ministry of Home Affairs in his list of grievances against Mugabe. It has taken SADC Ministers to raise the issue and be bluntly honest about it. But that is all there will be to it.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 15 November 2009
When Morgan Tsvangirai was asked recently how the Home Affairs ministry sharing arrangement with ZANU PF had worked out so far, he replied that the two co-ministers (one each from MDC-T and ZANU PF) were working "fantastically well" together.
This he said even as his own party members continued to be treated unfairly by the police, being arrested for reporting violence against them by ZANU PF supporters, even as MDC-T MPs and officials were arrested, even as Tsvangirai's own close advisers like Gandhi Mudzingwa were in Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison after being abducted and then had terrorism charges leveled against them.
Now, however, a SADC Ministerial team that was in Harare a couple of weeks ago has spoken out about the sharing of Home Affairs, saying it is proving to be unworkable and ineffective. Their main point is that the police force continues in effect to be controlled by Police Service Commission, which is chaired by a man I have previously described as one of the three men running Zimbabwe, Mariyawanda Nzuwa, Public Service Commission Chairman.
But while SADC Ministers highlight this shortcoming, nothing is likely to be done about it, because Morgan Tsvangirai sees nothing wrong in the manner in which his co-Minister of Home Affairs is being made a lame duck minister. The Prime Minister does not mention the issue of the ministry of Home Affairs as an outstanding issue .
It is, therefore, not one of the things that SADC has decreed should be "talked about" within 30 days. I suppose the Prime Minister still thinks that it is "fantastic" that his supporters and officials can be arrested without his co-minister of Home Affairs seeing the arrest warrant or even being informed of the impending arrests.
The MDC-T, of course, had it coming. When we warned here on this blog that this is what would happen and pointed to the time when Joshua Nkomo was Minister Home Affairs, MDC-T supporters left messages no this blog saying that times had changed, the MDC-T had learned from that period and that they would never tolerate such a thing.
They have been eerily quiet ever since!
In the same report from the SADC Ministerial team, the toothless bulldog called JOMIC (Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee) is also dismissed for what it is: a toothless dog which is failing to even bark, let alone bite.
The regional ministers note that JOMIC, unlike other instruments from the Global Political Agreement that gave birth to the current coalition government (Tsvangirai's preferred term for his capitulation to Mugabe), it has no legal standing at all and can not enforce its decisions. It can only recommend and even these recommendations are never taken seriously.
Its meetings are erratic and, say the ministers: " it has been reduced to a talk shop with no concrete decisions and a non-constitutional body could not monitor constitutionally created entities of the state"
Despite this, the MDC-T co-Minister of Home Affairs was in Singapore last month where he sounded like a ZANU PF functionary, saying that "sanctions" imposed against Zimbabwe were adversely affecting the work of the police in Zimbabwe. He glowingly described them as heroic and professional and lauded them for managing to continue arresting his own party members despite the sanctions that means they are unable to buy more baton sticks with which to beat them up.
The Ministerial report is only good for information, as I have said, because no action will be taken on the all-important issue of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the headquarters of continued repression and intimidation in Zimbabwe.
So, question then? Why is it that the Prime Minister can not see what outsiders see? Is it because his focus in on ensuring that his party officials get into positions, even if they are powerless in those positions?
Is he blind to say Home Affairs ministers are working fantastically together? Or is he a liar, telling tales that he knows to be untrue?