"No Governors For You" - Mugabe Tells Tsvangirai
Harare, Zimbabwe, 04 January 2010
Robert "The Solution" (according to Morgan Tsvangirai) told the MDC leader and Prime Minister in the Inclusive Government that there is no going back on Governors and that he is willing to let the MDC walk if they thought the issue big enough.
The revelation was made in the run-up to the December 23 press conference held at Zimbabwe House by Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Deputy PM Mutambara, apparently.
Despite the fact that the issue of Governors was included in the SADC Communique of January 2008, Mugabe says the Governors are his own appointments and is now threatening to do away with them altogether instead of letting the MDC get their hands on the posts.
The Governors, you will recall, were supposed to have been announced and sworn in at the same time as the ambassadors (Tsvangirai announced last year that the appointments would be made in August 2008, but Mugabe showed him up on that one).
Mugabe is said to have echoed the stance of his negotiators, which is that the Governors are personal representatives of the president and "are outside the purview of the Global Political Agreement."
The SADC Communique was vague enough to let Mugabe get away with this. It only states that the issue of the appointment of Governors "will be dealt with by the Inclusive Government once it is formed." SADC also used the exact words on the issue of the Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana, whom the MDC want fired from their positions because they were appointed before the Inclusive Government could be constituted.
Mugabe, as I reported in December, has signed the mandates that will allow MDC ambassadors to be posted to their stations.
The Government Gazette, however, only published the names of four MDC ambassadors on Christmas Day. These were: Jacqueline Zwambila, who is being posted to Australia, Hepson Makuvise, who is going to Germany, Mabed Ngulani, who is going to Nigeria and Hilda Mafudze, who is going to The Sudan.
When I spoke to Trudy Stevenson, who has been nominated by the Mutambara MDC for Senegal in an effort to understand why she and others had not been Gazetted in the Government Gazette, she was taken aback that her name was not included. She has gone through the training for new ambassadors and has even been on tour in foreign countries as a prospective ambassador.
Her explanation, though, was that the people gazetted by Government Gazette had been nominated long before she was and that she was sure her name would be Gazetted this month, January, to allow her to go to Senegal.
Stevenson, you will recall, was put forward by Mutambara after his original nominee went AWOL from training and joined forces with other rebels in the MDC who are trying to break away from Mutambara's faction and rejoin Morgan Tsvangirai.
With Mugabe now on leave until February, it is certain that Tsvangirai will have no closure on the issue of ambassadors and it is also clear that, even when Mugabe comes back to work, there will still be no movement from him on the issue of Provincial Governors.
The game plan is to get the MDC to self-destruct by leaving the GNU over such things as Governors, allowing Mugabe to turn to SADC innocently pleading that he is not the one who has abandoned the agreement.
Tsvangirai knows this, which makes it a certainty that all the bluster from him and his party about the 30-day deadline given to Mugabe more than 60 days ago will prove to be hollow.
Of all the so-called "outstanding issues", only the issue of ambassadors has been resolved to Tsvangirai's liking. Everything else he has lost out on. Mugabe retains his patronage network, his goons continue to roam the countryside terrorising villagers, Roy Bennett remains very much on trial and very much unsworn-in. Of course, Tsvangirai lost out last year on the issue of Permanent secretaries.
The MDC has also had to watch helplessly as Mugabe put brakes on the completion of the formation of various Commissions, saying that he did not like the people suggested by parliament for Chairpersons.
Nothing will be done about this until he returns.
But on the Constitution, he has now got Tsvangirai in his corner, with the PM and his Deputy both agreeing to ignore the protests of civil society and go with a government-driven process as opposed to a people-driven process.
More than US$30 million has been found and given to parliament for the Constitution-making process and an "outreach" programme was launched this week. It is being boycotted by civil society and most right-thinking Zimbabweans.
Almost certainly, this Constitution will be defeated at the referendum, which is exactly what Mugabe wants. He will then go to elections on the basis of the current elections, because the GPA is silent on what happens should the Constitution be rejected by the people.