Mugabe Can Not Be Beaten, Says Tsvangirai

ROBERT MUGABE and his wife arrive inSouth Africa on Friday night for the inauguration of Jacob Zuma, which was on Saturday. Tsvangirai was also in South Africa and told a gathering at Wits University that he is not interested in having Mugabe go

Morgan Tsvangirai, the Zimbabwe Prime Minister who is buffeted by winds from within his own party and battered by Mugabe's antics in the unity government, made news when he told an audience at Wits University in South Africa on Friday, "....Robert Mugabe is not going anywhere. He is with us in the Unity Government until we achieve positive results."

Besides pointing to the obvious, little-held secret in government circles that this unity Government has already been agreed to last five years, the statement itself also betrays Tsvangirai's new-found belief that Robert Mugabe is a man whom he can never beat. The decision is to work with him, as long as he will have the MDCs in government.

This is quite important, this statement from the Prime Minister, a man who is maintaining his brilliant openness and approachability even now when he is in government.  That event at Wits is a gold mine for anyone wanting to explore the psychology driving this Unity Government now, especially from Tsvangirai's viewpoint.

The Prime Minister essentially told the world that Mugabe can not be beaten and must, therefore, be joined.

The Zimbabwean Prime Minister now accepts that his job in government is to provide Mugabe with a functioning, if not booming economy. The hope from him is that once this is done, Mugabe and his party will then suddenly not find it so embarrassing to be defeated in elections.

Those who say that Tsvangirai is now acting like Mugabe's Public Relations Officer are wrong. Instead, the Prime Minister is simply Mugabe's fixer on the economy. This, in Mugabe's eyes, is the only thing that the MDCs should be concerned with.

They should not look to political power.

They should understand that they hold no authority except that which Mugabe chooses to give them.

They should understand that the Zimbabwe state machinery belongs to ZANU PF and was put in place to serve that party. The MDCs have simply been given leases on certain specific areas to do with correcting the economy that Mugabe vandalised.

The Zimbabwean Prime Minister now understand this. Which explains the frustration in his party that he is failing to fight for Roy Bennet to be sworn in, failing to fight for Nelson Chamisa to be handed back his ministry, which was nicked in a midnight raid by Mugabe and his party, failing still to have even one MDC-T Provincial Governor in place, failing to secure any diplomatic posts, failing to stop the arrests and harassment of scores of MDC supporters and failing to push for information on where eight other missing activists, disappeared since October last year, are.

But Tsvangirai knows very well that he can do nothing about any of this. Absolutely nothing.

So, the new strategy is hope.

Hope that once the economy is righted, Mugabe will not consider retirement or defeat a disgrace.

Hope that the leopard has changed its spots and will indeed move away from the carcass called Zimbabwe on which it is feeding in order to give way to the MDC.

Whatever they put in the tea at the Executive Offices in government is potent stuff. If Tsvangirai believes for a minute that the ambitions of the people who organised the beatings, killings and torture of June 27 2008 will vanish because Mugabe has been given back a sound economy by the MDC, then he should think again.

There is a mistaken belief within MDC and amongst its staunchest and blindest supporters that, if Mugabe goes, they can handle the Mnangagwa's the Mujuru's, the Chiwengwas and all the other powerful sidekicks of the dictator.

For many years now, we have heard MDC-T supporters tell us: "Vamwe ava havatinetse", meaning, "All the others will not be a problem..."



You know what I think. Delusion is more like it. Mugabe is not a lone ranger, with magical powers to compel reluctant and half-hearted men to murder and hack off limbs, to burn huts and seize fields.

He has people.

Just as many other presidents have had people: security chiefs who are underestimated and suddenly are seen to rise to the top and stay there brutally once their principal is gone.

It is like in the Mafia, where The Don's sidekick knows all the ins and outs, who owes what and who owns what. And who owns whom. Once the Don is gone, the sidekick uses the same network used by the Boss to establish his own empire.

But, of course, we are in the twenty-first century, we are told by wide-eyed MDC supporters and sympathisers. It will be different when Mugabe is gone, they say.

Dream on and on.

As Patricia De Lille of the Independent Democrats in South Africa said just after the elections that saw Jacob Zuma become president: It is a proven fact that the surest way a ruling liberation party can be dislodged from power is from within its own party, through splits.

What De Lille and others hope for on this continent is that popular alternative leaders within these liberation movements be men of character, vision and progress.

It has happened with Cha Ma Pinduzi in Tanzania, the ruling parties in Botswana, in Namiba even, to an extent. In Namibia, especially, I feel the face and fortunes of that country will be transformed radically for the better once leaders like Hage Geingob and Theo Ben Gurirab are in charge. They are within SWAPO and much more progressive than Nujoma ever could be.

This is the reason why some of us were and still are excited at the prospect of a progressive, tolerant and shockingly democratic leader like Simba Makoni establishing an alternative leadership and rallying to his banner the cross-party majority that admires him.

As it becomes clear that Tsvangirai has now given up on defeating or dislodging Mugabe, as the Prime Minister seeks to convince the world to buy into his new-found belief that Mugabe can not be beaten and must therefore be joined, there is a force in the making that is about to prove him wrong.

I long for day and I know I do not have long to wait.


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