Mutambara to Mugabe: "You lost the election" Mugabe's Response: "I promise you that will never happen again"

Kgalema Motlanthe, president of South Africa seen here arriving at the conference venue in Harare last week with President Guebuza of Mozambique

President Motlanthe of South Africa and the Chairmano of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) apparently lost his cool with Morgan Tsvangirai at the last SADC meeting in Harare this past week, according to an inside account just published by the Sunday Telegraph of London.

Motlanthe is said to have to have burst out at Tsvangirai, "You speak to yourself and you don't even listen!"

Apparently, this was after Tsvangirai had asked to be excused for a few minutes, disappearing for two hours and then re-emerging with a completely new document that had been prepared by aides on the 15th floor of the former Sheraton Hotel where the negotiations were taking place.

The Sunday Telegraph reports that according to a member of Tsvangirai's own delegation, the MDC-T leader "appeared to be less than coherent and seemed unsure of what was in the documents that he had just brought in."

In a direct criticism of Tsvangirai, the London-pulished, Tory-leaning paper says: "Yet although the former trade union leader is presented as the champion of Zimbabwe's downtrodden voters, there is a growing sense that his own weaknesses have sabotaged any chance of a peaceful resolution." "

In addition, the paper also reports that Tsvangirai's own aides and party loyalists say that "the less educated Mr Tsvangirai is insecure", even in the presence of his own aides and party loyalists".

After the debacle that took place as he handed out his new document, Tsvangirai then "suddenly" demanded a face-face meeting with Mugabe, which was duly arranged. The paper reports that the meeting lasted less than five minutes and that Tsvangirai emerged from it "humiliated" and "infuriated".

The mediators then asked Mutambara to speak to Mugabe and try to bring him round. Mutambara apparently went in and told Mugabe: "You came second in the election." To which Mugabe responded: "I promise you that will never happen again."

For what it is worth, this little snippet should give us some sense of how the SADC Chairman plans to present the Zimbabwe issue at the Extraordinary Summit on Monday. 

The London Telegraph, in the same report, says that Southern African leaders are privately indicating that if Monday's meeting fails, "they may walk away" because they have other pressing matters to attend to in their own countries. Which would leave Tsvangirai is limbo, basically as Mugabe feels vindicated and goes ahead to form a government that will be recognised by SADC on the strength of the "intransigence" of his opponent.

You can read the full story from the telegraph here

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  1. I was very much in favour of Tsvangirai until this whole business with the GNU and the way he has behaved.

    We knew that he was not that smart but we were willing to give him one term at State House.

    Now, however, I am convinced that:

    1. Morgan is in it only for his own power and to give jobs to his friends.

    2. Mugabe can only removed by playing him at his own game. This requires strategy and Morgan does not seem to have a plan. Much as I thought that education was immaterial in our fight against Mugabe, I can now see that the value of education lies in being able to outwit Mugabe, being able to negotiate smartly.

    Morgan shows us he is incapable of this.

    I have turned to Makoni and I am telling everyone I know to do the same. My in-laws, who also were pro-MDC, now can not wait for Makoni's party, just like me.

    Keep up the good work, this is the best blog on Zimbabwe in the whole world.

  2. So "Nick" above, your hero Makoni will remove Mugabe by "playing him at his own game"? Fitting, as they are cut from the same Zanu PF cloth. This is the kind of defeatist thinking that has got us in this mess in the first place. So the purpose of this blog is to canvass support for Makoni and his moribund Mavambo grouping?? What is the real reason behind the stalled talks? What are the MDC's concerns? It seems you've chosen to conveniently ignore the real issues for the sake of political mileage. Mavambo spokesman Denford Magora is the last person we can expect to be neutral when it comes to Zimbabwean political debates. We all know of his long and futile attempts to discredit Tsvangirai since the MDC was formed. But I don't want to beat a dead horse.. You seem to forget that your leader Makoni, who in a short time has been relegated to the dustbin of Zimbabwe's political history, made a similar attempt to discredit Tsvangirai using the tired and well-worn education argument but none would rally around his moth-eaten banner.. For interest sake, what strategy(apart from talks) can Makoni use to remove Mugabe?? Naive and desperate internet blogs certainly won't help. In following Morgan Tsvangirai, we have chosen hope over fear, greed and hypocrisy. We have chosen principle over expediency, and democracy over demagoguery. And why should we care what your so-called SADC leaders and analysts think? Our nation's democracy is not a priviledge to be indulged at the mercy of Zanu PF and it's SADC friends. The road will be long but, at the end, we will know who has stood with the people and who has sold out. You can keep your professors and doctors. It is us the ordinary people who understand Tsvangirai's stance. It is us the people who gave him that mandate because we trust his vision, his judgement, his motives and his choices. No foreign newspaper, government or organisation can change that.

  3. @Anonymous,

    touched a raw nerve, did I?

    I did not write what is in the Telegraph, a British journalist did, that is the first thing.

    Second: Morgan Tsvangirai is also cut from the same cloth as Mugabe. He is ZANU PF. His ZANU PF card expires in 2012. But people change and we should not penalise Morgan for his past.

    Third: What mandate did you give Tsvangirai? A mandate to form a bloated government with Mugabe? A mandate to demand the expansion of the same bloated government even further by demanding the right to appoint a "Minister Without Portfolio" in the The Prime Minister's office as he is now doing?

    Fourth: This same agreement, word for word, is the agreement that you cheered on September 15. We did not sleep because MDC supporters were driving up and down honking their horns, singing themselves hoarse in celebration.

    Now you say it is not good enough? Had you not read it when you were celebrating? Could it be that you did not even understand what the agreement said?

    You were eyeing positions in the new government and now that you see this is unlikely to happen because your man has messed up (read who says so above, but I guess you will say that the British journalists have also been bought by Mugabe because you, MDC people are never wrong, you are mini-gods, everyone else is wrong unless they agree with your point of view).

    Neither the MDC nor Morgan were ordained by God to be opposition to Mugabe as you keep telling us. You were not appointed by God to oppose Mugabe, as you keep telling us.

    We can also oppose Mugabe and still disagree with you. That is democracy. Since 2000, Morgan and you in the MDC have failed to remove Mugabe.

    It is time for new blood to make an efort.

    But of, course, silly me, I forget that, just as Mugabe was appointed by God and only God can remove him, so are you and Morgan appointed by God and only God can challenge you!

    You are no democrat, my friend, if you seek to muzzle alternative voices simply because they are not the voices of sheep agreeing with you.

    Facts on the ground show that the MDC has failed.

    Your tired old trick of accusing everyone who points out your faults of being ZANU PF no longer carry any truck with the people of Zimbabwe.

    That is why Bennet, your MDC Treasurer was crying the other day that "The West wants to impose Makoni on us." Now it is no longer the west, he is ZANU PF?

    You will never triumph in your project of muzzling alternative voices. We refuse to be cowed simply because someone will call ZANU PF for stating facts that even a blind mouse can see about the MDC.

    We will fight you with the last breath in our bodies because the dictatorship you want to build is not what this country needs after Mugabe goes.

    You will never silence us or intimidate us by using those cheap and tired "You're ZANU PF" jibes every time your vision of the future (if you have any) differs from ours.

    You are sheep, Anonymous, sheep that follow without understanding whence you are being led.

    My crime is that I question everything and I refuse to accept second best.

  4. Interesting topic, nice to have read it and learn something from it...

  5. It is not true that you question everthing. You have not questioned SimbabMakoni although he was dead on arrival. Fro day one you have been against the MDC led by Tsvangirai. Printing this information from the Telegraph just gives you the angle you want. It is as if the Telegraph tells the truth. Do not fault Tsvangirai for losing to Mugabe becasue it is the people of Zimbabwe who have lost to Mugabe. Fighting against Mugabe should not be Tsvangirai alone. I cannot imagine where we all would be today if we had all truly banded together against our oppressor Mugabe!

  6. @Anonymous,

    Many factors led to Simba Makoni being, as you put it, "dead on arrival". Much of it had to do with his lateness in announcing, but also the fact that you within MDC were so scared of his challenge that you turned to smearing him.

    Although you told voters that if he won, he would "join" Mugabe and give away the people's votes to him, we now see that it is in fact the MDC that has done exactly this.

    You legitimised the theft of the election by Mugabe in June by signing an agreement that recognised him as President. You are still recognising him as such.

    I should fault Tsvangirai for losing to Mugabe because he is the leader and he should lead. If the people were properly led, they would not have lost to Mugabe.

    We can not, as you put it, "band together" with people who are clearly not only incompetent, but also motivated only greed for office and whose principles clash with ours.

    We would never join a government that seeks to put a bigger burden on our people by loading them with an even bigger cabinet than Mugabe's even though the country is broke.

    I repeat my earlier statement: You don't have to agree with Tsvangirai to oppose Mugabe. Trying to force us to do so is dictatorship just as bad, if not worse, than Mugabe's

  7. Anonymous your comment shouts out very loudly that you are not a democrat at all. A democrat embraces an opposing voice and does not relegate it to the dustbin like you have just done. Your attitude concerning that is just the same as that of Mugabe the dictator who has brought us this far in the mud. To qoute your own words, "This is the kind of defeatist thinking that has got us in this mess in the first place." MDC does make mistakes, who doesn't and there is nothing wrong with pointing out those mistakes. Tsvangirai is directionless & indecisive and lacks
    the intelligence to out manouver Mugabe and that is a fact. If you are going to take that fact as discrediting
    Tsvangirai that is your own problem. Makoni is a better leader than Tsvangirai and that is another fact which
    people like you might fail to appreciate for the probable reason that you feel inferior and intimidated in the
    presence of intelligence and prefer a not so clever President whom you can sway left, right and centre because
    of his indecisiveness and lack of intelligence. What people like you fail to realise is that being the President
    of a country is not in the same league as being the chairman or secretary of a labour or trade union. The former
    requires excellent leadership qualities among which is the ability to make intelligent decisions without constant
    consultation and that is what Tsvangirai lacks which Makoni has. Whereas being a leader of a labour or trade union
    just requires someone who can make a lot of noise without much intelligence about the rights of workers and
    influence sheep workers to rally behind him. Tsvangirai and the MDC party made the mistake of equating the leadership of a nation to the leadership of a labour movement but I applaud them for having the courage to stand
    up against Mugabe just when people had become fed up with him. Because of that courage and all the trials and tribulations Tsvangirai and the MDC party have gone through for the sake of the country, people don't mind giving
    Tsvangirai just one term to rule but never two terms because they don't trust his leadership qualities to survive two terms without making some serious blunders.
    Anonymous you may as well get used to the idea that whether you like it or not Makoni and his Mavambo party are going to rise up and contest in the next democratic elections. That dustbin you talked about is your own wishful
    thinking which contrasts with the reality and raises eyebrows about whether you really know the meaning of democracy.

  8. Intresting.

    Thats why I miss the liveness of the chat. Please Denford reattach it here, its now cold detached from the blog.

    @ anonymous. Its not bad to have a point of view and follow someone. We all have leaders, but to think whatever dicision your leader makes is right for you is denying your own existance. Tsvangirai has made many blunders and is very confused in the whole process. He has fallen in the same trap he is running away from. How that is possible explains the confussion. He goes back, forth and around. It's a fact he is right on all his concerns and Mugabe is being unfare and it's also a fact that Mugabe is more intelligent, he is able to make SADC see sense in him. Tsvangirai has failed to do that and he is failing us too.

    If you think intelligence, integritness and education is not important then tell me of any successfull country that has a dull president. Why is the world so ablaze with Obama at the moment.


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