Tsvangirai Deputy Gets United States To Lift IMF Veto On Zimbabwe

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is seen here at the burial of Mrs Takawira at the Zimbabwe National Heroes Acre on Monday (day before yesterday). Just to his right, partly obscured, is Zimbabwe's Kingmaker, Retired General Solomon Mujuru, without whom Mugabe would not have become leader of ZANU PF. Tsvangirai's deputy, Thokozani Khupe (that should be ThokoZANU Khupe after this), has prevailed on the Americans to lift their IMF veto on Zimbabwe, fulfilling one of Mugabe's dearest wishes.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 20 January 2010

Deputy Prime Minister Thokozanu Khupe, who is also Morgan Tsvangirai's deputy in the MDC-Tsvangirai, has prevailed upon America to lift its veto on restoring Zimbabwe's full rights at the next meeting of the IMF Directors at Bretton Woods in the Washington.

The new United States ambassador to Zimbabwe, Charles Ray, confirmed to the media yesterday that this was the case:

"We would want to assure Zimbabwe that once the issue of restoring Zimbabwe's voting rights in the IMF is put forward for debate at the next IMF sitting, America will fully support the motion."

America has, since 2001, vetoed any moves to restore Zimbabwe's voting rights at the Institution and has also passed ZIDERA, the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act, which bars American Executives at the IMF and World Bank from supporting any applications for balance of payment support or aid from these two institutions. The law also bars American executives at other banks like the African Development Bank from supporting any aid for Zimbabwe.

Deputy Prime Minister Khupe applauded the American volte-face, saying: 

"The Inclusive Government has covered enough ground and we feel if financial restrictions are removed, Zimbabwe will be able to retain its former status. As a country, we are making efforts to economically empower our people (how very ZANU PF of her!) so that they do not depend much on donor funds but use their vast resources to develop themselves and the country.

"We are blessed with with a lot of natural resources (such as diamonds that are bing looted by the high and mighty in Zimbabwe) which if fully exploited, the nation will definitely prosper," said Tsvangirai Second-In-Command.

You have to understand this in the context of the pressure Mugabe is putting on the MDC to get sanctions on him and Zimbabwe lifted. The MDc is basically now dancing to Mugabe's tune on this and are making moves to ensure that their allies in the West lift some of the restrictions against Mugabe and his cronies.

A common misunderstanding is that Mugabe wants Tsvangirai to get travel bans on him lifted. This is not so at all and Mugabe has said to this plainly to Tsvangirai, as I have reported here before.

Rather, Mugabe believes and is certain that the denial of aid and balance of payment support to Zimbabwe is largely compounding the economic crisis in Zimbabwe. This, he says every time he gets a chance, is basically rigging the internal political climate in favour of the MDC.

Going into any election with the economy in tatters, he knows is a fatal handicap for ZANU PF. Hence he says the West is putting these sanctions on Zimbabwe in order to make the people of Zimbabwe suffer so much that they decide that they may as well go with Tsvangirai, who has the support of the people who can pump money into Zimbabwe and help the economy recover.

Mugabe says this means that the political playing field is not even in Zimbabwe. It is tilted in favour of the MDC just by virtue of the fact that those with the money openly say they will only give that money to a government that is not led by Mugabe.

Mugabe has, therefore, been refusing to move on the most important demands of the MDC, such as the firing of the reserve Bank Governor and Attorney General of Zimbabwe, the appointment of MDC-T people to Provincial Governorship positions and suchlike. 

Of course, the MDC has miscalculated. This is what Mugabe wanted: to have the measures and sanctions that have brought him to his knees loosened and removed BEFORE he meets MDC demands.

After the MDC has convinced its Western allies to remove these, Mugabe will then renege on his promises to Tsvangirai and he will have loads of money sitting at the Reserve Bank, controlled by an ally of his. The MDC, if they feel frustrated enough, will simply have to walk away and out of government, leaving Mugabe with buckets of cash from donors with which to try and take Zimbabwe back to the false prosperity of the 1980s and early 1990s, when our economy allegedly performed well even though this was fuelled only by other people's money and there was no development of capacity either in industry or in any other critical sector except education.

Mugabe has got want he wanted. It remains to be seen if Tsvangirai gets what he wants. 

I doubt it.



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