MDC Tsvangirai Split Confirmed

Although quite clearly living under Mugabe's shadow, as evidenced by the legal requirement to have Mugabe's portrait in his office, Morgan Tsvangirai is till insisting that he will not vacate the office of Prime Minister and pull the MDC out of the Inclusive Government coalition. The move is being resisted by large sections of the MDC National Council as well as the National Executive, as I revealed yesterday. The Financial Gazette today says the party leadership is "at sixes and sevens" over the issue, with those formerly opposed to a pullout now supporting it and others formerly for the pull-out, like Tendai Biti, now against it!

Harare, Zimbabwe, 17 September 2009

The Financial Gazette has now caught up with my story, the one I told you about this week concerning the splitting of the MDC-T.

The dispute is around the party's continued presence in the Inclusive Government, even as Mugabe openly spits not only on the Global Political Agreement, but also on Morgan Tsvangirai himself and his agenda.

Tsvangirai, never one to be decisive in a hurry, is at the moment swinging a bit. His last meeting with Mugabe this week, as was reported widely, was over in the twinkling of an eye, after the president said there was nothing for them to discuss since the Prime Minister appeared bent on running "a parallel government" and was "covertly seeking the continuing of sanctions against Zimbabwe."

Mugabe is said to have told Tsvangirai that he presented to SADC proof that the Prime Minister was "insincere" in his dealings with Mugabe especially with regards the issue of sanctions which, despite advice, Tsvangirai agreed to include in the Global Political Agreement.

The split will be accentuated, as I said, when the party starts what it is calling "consultation" of its support base, with Tsvangirai campaigning to stay on in Government and the "rebels" campaigning to pull out.

A Minister in Tsvangirai's office, Gorden Moyo, has said that "it will take a bullet" to get Morgan Tsvangirai to pull out of the Inclusive Government.

The interesting new dynamic, as revealed by the Financial Gazette today, is that those who previously stood with Tsvangirai in insisting that they will not leave the Inclusive Government are now agitating for withdrawal.

One of those is Eddie Cross, who spoke to the Fingaz yesterday.

Prior to this, Cross has been at the forefront of writing in online publications that ZANU PF was trying to push them out of the GNU but that the MDC would never do this and would stick it out.

It appears Mugabe has since sorted him out.

It is important not to forget the strategy that I told you about in December last year on this blog. Back then, I told you that ZANU PF strategists had made it clear to me that their plan was to get Tsvangirai into office and then isolate him from his support base.

The idea was (and still is), as I put it back then, to get to a situation where "Tsvangirai is stranded in office".

Part of the strategy had to do with the arrests of MDC supporters, activists and others (which has been proved right six months after I first revealed it here).

It appears Mugabe has managed to keep his strategy rolling, even though it was exposed on this blog throughout November and December 08 and even into January of this year.

Now, Tendai Biti, who has been the hope of those opposed to the continued humiliation of the MDC in government, is singing a different song. It appears the trappings of office have become too sweet for him.

He also told the Financial Gazette by telephone that there is indeed pressure for the MDC-T to pull out from sections of their National Council and the Executive Council. But he is now all for staying in Government, despite the humiliations!!

What you are now going to get is an escalation by Mugabe, who has SADC in his corner in its entirety, after the dumping of the MDC by Botswana and Tanzania, their former ardent supporters.

Mugabe, as I have said before, will now use the fact that he has executive powers under the constitution as president to ensure that he nakedly rearranges ministries, as he has done with the Finance Ministry, where he has handed Gono sweeping powers, and the Communications portfolio, where Nelson Chamisa is, once again, in charge of nothing.

He will ensure that, at every turn, he shows the MDC that it is simply warming seats at Munhumutapa Building. He hpes this will eventually lead to Tsvangirai leaving.

But I can tell you the MDC is not going anywhere, simply because Tsvangirai has run out of ideas on how to solve the Zimbabwe crisis. To him, this is the last ditch effort. The only option left on the table.

It is summer in Zimbabwe now. And it is about 35 degrees Celsius even indoors.



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