We Are Proved Right Yet Again On Zimbabwe Military Establishment
The heady days of imagined salutes from Service Chiefs for Morgan Tsvangirai (above) are now long gone as it emerges officially that ZANU PF has refused to disband JOC, according to a report in the inimitable Zimbabwe Independent today. Tsvangirai is still barred from attending Joint Operations Command (JOC) meetings, after he was told that he is in charge of "policy" and not "operations". The refusal to disband JOC was first revealed on this blog more than six months ago and was disputed by MDC supporters desperate to believe their own hype about Tsvangirai's effectiveness in government. Now the truth is out.
And now we have been proved right. Yet again.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 18 December 2009
Regular readers will recall the vitriol poured on this blogger by MDC-Tsvangirai supporters in the aftermath of the first (and only) meeting of the National Security Council, which was supposed to replace the Joint Operations Command, a ZANU PF creation that oversaw the violent Presidential election run off last year.
We pointed out back then that this was merely for show, designed to shut Morgan Tsvangirai up and make MDC-T supporters happy that their leader had got some recognition from the Generals. There were claims of a cordial meeting, smiles and hugs.
It was all nonsense, I said. JOC was still meeting, I said. It would never be disbanded, I insisted.
Well, today the Zimbabwe Independent is making a song and dance about the fact that ""JOC Won't Go - ZANU PF". It is their lead story on the front page.
Taken from the report by the SADC Facilitation Team appointed by President Jacob Zuma of South Africa to oversee the ongoing but moribund negotiations precipitated by the MDC-T's "disengagement" from ZANU PF and Cabinet in October this year, the report details the areas of disagreement between the parties.
ZANU PF is saying that JOC will not be disbanded because it deals with "operational issues" of the Security establishment in Zimbabwe, while the newly formed but largely useless National Security Council should focus only on policy issues.
Tsvangirai is a member of the National Security Council but s barred from attending meetings of JOC.
In essence, it means that, although Tsvangirai will be part of the team that sets policy for the security establishment at the National Security Council, those policies can be overridden and ignored at the operational level, which is controlled purely and solely by the Joint Operations Command.
Since Tsvangirai was refused (point blank) access to JOC minutes and operational details at that inaugural National Security Council meeting, there is no way he can check to see whether policies are being implemented or ignored.
The Service Chiefs who sit on JOC have plainly stated that they "do not report to a Prime Minister, if he wants to see us, he should communicate with us through our commander-in-chief (Mugabe)".
The National Security Council, therefore, is a charade, a figment of the MDC's imagination and nothing more than a paper tiger in practice.
Only last weekend, Mugabe warned that he would not tolerate anyone interfering with "his" soldiers. He was addressing the ZANU PF Congress in Harare and told his listeners that the calls for Security Sector reform was a British ploy to remove Liberation War Veterans from the structures of Defence Forces in order to weaken Mugabe and pave the way for "regime change".
So, today Zimbabwe is reading news that readers of this blog knew about six months ago!! And have you noticed how MDC supporters have suddenly gone quiet, not a squeak from them as their party and their leader are sent from pillar to post by Mugabe.
Where are those salutes now? Why did they say nothing when the Prime Minister himself announced in October as he "disengaged" that "JOC is still meeting as though it is business as usual."?
The problem, of course, is that the main opposition (for now) in Zimbabwe has lived for so long with their heads in the sand, making enemies out of anyone who points out that the Emperor has no clothes on. They wanted all of us to be caught in the euphoria of their delusions. we refused then and we refuse now.
This charade called the Inclusive Government is an instrument designed to give Mugabe not only respectability (he is now being called upon by European Union Delegations etc), but, more importantly, also breathing room.
He is doing very well out of the arrangement, while the MDC relaxes under the mistaken belief that "Tsvangirai atova panyanga" - "Tsvangirai is now in charge."
Can you think of anything more delusional in Zimbabwean politics than that belief?