Zimbabwe Today Home The First Post

« Now they are recounting the recounts | Main | "Someone hacked at my legs with a machete" »

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451dad369e200e5520bd4728834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A small sign of big things to come?:

Comments

RMacleod

Maybe the concerted action preventing the arrival of the Chinese arms cargo, by neighbouring African states has something to do with it.

DC

Moses, you have your ear closer to the ground being in Zim today. But my own opinion is less optimistic. I've never heard of Dr Obediah or what position/influence he has. I suspect that he may be a well-respected academic, but not much more. In addition, it is not the first time that the so called state press has printed something 'critical' to the government, and it has always just been a flash in the pan.

Editorial independence is not encouraged in The Herald, and mild lapses of control such as this are few and far between. That is what this is - a lapse of the editorial content.

Finally, let's not forget that in the face of growing pressure from SADC, this sort of solution is an ideal get-out-of-jail scenario for ZANU-PF. They not only get to worm out of a defeat, but they retain power with an upper hand to continue to undermine a 'national unity' government (in preparation for the next election). More sinister than this is that they will be able to sabotage the electoral process, and any new constitution 'from the inside'.

Government of national unity? No way - if you agree to that, you are agreeing to a ZANU-PF government for now and for the next rigged election.

History teaches us what Mugabe does with 'unity' governments. You can expect him to create a cabinet of MDC/ZANU-PF members, then gradually 'remove' the MDC members over the course of a few months/years. Anyone remember ZAPU? Joshua Nkomo anyone?

RMacleod

Yes, I remember Joshua Nkomo and I think your point of view DC is extremely valid, but in those days the Zimbabwe economic and food supply situation was not as bad as it is now.

macpayne

Even if this is a valid proposal (perhaps a "trial balloon?), does anyone think Morgan will accept a "unity" government, especially in light of Robert's track record, and regional history of such farces? I'm curious as to what the consensus is among the informed.

RMacleod, I, too, wonder how much impact the attention to that Chinese shipment has had. Does anyone know if they're still trying to slip those weapons in? Where is that ship, now?

Personally, I think the pressure (internal and international), and prayers, need to continue... serious pressure, and earnest prayers.

Michael

What I would like to know is where Dr Mazombwe got his information to state that

"The peace and independence of Zimbabwe, that it has enjoyed since independence, is at great risk."

If I remember rightly the 5th brigade weren't handing out flowers in Matabeleland, the countless people who have been incarcerated by the CIO weren't there for a tea party, and the so called 'war veterans' certainly weren't toasting marshmallows when they took farms from other farmers.

Where is this peace that he alludes to? And I'm sure that his warped view of independence doesn't actually include the concept of freedom for the people.

Surely people are not going to fall for this transparent attempt to push support Mugabes way by using half truths and cover ups.

Michael

Aparrently the weapons are still headed for Zimbabwe ..... rumours are that the ship was headed toward Angola, where it would be easier to bypass the controls that worked so well in South Africa this time.

DC

I'm not sure how the economic or the food supply situation can help with formation and honest maintenance of a unity government, RMacleod. If anything it makes it harder.

When it comes to solutions to serious problems like the Zim economy we need a strong government with the people's mandate. A coalition government in which consensus is always needed is very fragile and will not be able to tackle these problems.

Now add all the vested interests, patronage, corruption heaped onto the country's problems by ZANU-PF. That unity government now become even more fragile.

As soon as Mugabe starts to feel the 'inconvenience' of the MDC power in his previously rubber-stamp parliament he will start to 'purge' first his cabinet, then key institutions of government of all MDC members.

And this may or may not lead to a repeat of the 'dissidents' scenario (but this time against MDC supporters).

And I'm trying not to be biased: the same fragility can be expected in the unlikely event that Tsvangirai is president of a unity government. The MDC will not be able to move beyond those vested interests of the ZANU-PF members of cabinet.

I'm reminded of the electoral stalemate in Florida 2000 when Al Gore WON the presidency of the US and conceded simply because he had the conscience to end the stalemate and political impasse between the various arms of government.

In Zimbabwe, Tsvangirai has won but SADC (read Mbeki) are playing a waiting game and prolonging the impasse so that eventually Tsvanigai will concede out of frustration or to let the country move forward (eg with a Mugabe-led unity government). Ask yourself - who do the delays benefit?

Ask also, why is it that everyone in SADC is saying 'release the results as soon as possible'? Why not release 'by the end of the week'?

Pressure? The loss of the Chinese arms shipment is only a small blow to Mugabe. There are more where that came from, and other ways to bring it into the country.

So again, no unity government. It will be the fastest way to shoot ourselves in the foot - then hand the gun back to Mugabe. And he will then no doubt hold it against our head.

macpayne

Well, Michael, certainly has it right. It seems obvious that Dr. Mazombwe, whoever he is, wears rose-coloured glasses and filters his information through the same strainer as the Herald. Perhaps its a delaying action to hold the SADC at bay... like that'd take a lot. Maybe it is a foray into the possibility that Mugabe's best option is the "unity government" ruse, since the Chinese munitions are being delayed. (Yea! again for the RSA dockers.)

It is noteworthy that Mugabe has himself in a pickle... he has to retain power, while appearing at least legitimate enough that additional foreign aid will be issued so he can strip more for his Swiss Bank Account.

But, all that said, does anyone have any assurances that Tsvangirai is going to care about the people, and isn't in it just to get a "piece of the pie" for himself before its all gone? Surely, he wouldn't be as bad as his predecessor... surely. But, I'd like to hear from someone who knows the man well enough to feel comfortable with his holding the reins. Michael? RMacleod? What say you?

Without doubt, cleaning up the mess, while avoiding the creation of a bigger abyss, is going to be a difficult job. Plus, considering the military's declaration that they would support only Mugabe, how can their loyalty be trusted... or was that a statement simply for job security and head preservation?

Whoever takes over whenever, if their goal is to restore Zim and bring security to its people, its not a task to be envied.

Michael

I can't, in all honesty, comment on Morgan Tsvangirai from a position of having had dealings with him or the MDC, only from a position of hearing from friends that I still have in Zim. (I'm in England at the moment, but I most certainly have my metaphorical bags packed waiting for the outcome)

From what I've heard of him, he does seem to actually believe in Zimbabwe as a nation and not just as a country or a personal piggy bank. And working on what I know personally and second hand of RGM, I would certainly say that Tsvangirai is the lesser of two evils by a hell of a long way.

The army claim, I think, was one of self preservation ..... the same claims were made for the Rhodesian soldiers who stayed on to form the basis of the Zimbabwean army 'how could they be trusted when they had fought against Zimbabwe as Rhodesians?'

As long as Tsvangirai treats all people within Zimbabwe as Zimbabweans, without the cronyism that has marked Mugabe's (occupation) rule of Zimbabwe, and without grace nor favour to any single group then he will have all the help he needs ..... The sensible people of Zimbabwe will be behind him 100%

Harold

Help Zimbabweans prepare for post-Mugabe human rights trials. Flood the country with miniature video cameras of the type used in extreme sports. Distribute leaflets explaining how to take notes that the courts will accept. Let every Zimbabwean know that his actions are being recorded by his own colleagues to protect themselves.

Michael

The video cameras would be viable, but cost prohibitive unless funded by an external source (I can't see this happening, as all that ZANU PF would need to do was declare a state of emergency ..... which Mugabe would, I believe, be only too happy to do as this would give him absolute power for as long as he could make it last)

The note taking, although a good idea in theory, would be open to the same sorts of abuse as the elections (falsified notes implicating opposition supporters in treasonous and illegal activities), and it would also rely too much on a theoretical 100% breakdown of the Matabele/Shona barriers, which would be a long and drawn out process due to the number of traditionalists within Zimbabwe.

Personally I say that after the MDC come to power, Mugabes assets ought to be frozen and reclaimed for Zimbabwe, and he should be left in exile, denied the 2 things that he desires most in retirement ..... his ill gotten gains, and his right to die in the country of his birth. That would destroy the man far more effectively than any jail or death sentence, and as his regime has epitomised the torture of his country and people, so would the end of the regime epitomise the torture of its own former leader.

RMacleod

I do not personally know this man Tsvangiria and neither have I met him. From observations of media coverage, he appears well fed and living in a certain amount of luxury in the Harare suburbs while those who support the MDC are suffering malnutrition and other rigours.

RMacleod

The Chinese ship carring arms to Zimbabwe has finally turned round and now heading back to China.
Press have quoted that Dr Mazombwe holds no official post within ZANU PF, and Deputy Information Minister Bright Matongo told the BBC, Mazombwe's article in the Herald was not sanctioned by ZANU PF and preparation for the run off was still on.

Michael

Strange how the representative of ZANU PF is so quick to give this information to the 'mouthpiece of the evil colonial masters' when they've been so slow off the mark in the past ...... a line from a Shakespeare play comes to mind - 'Methinks thou dost protest too much' Mr Matongo. Sounds like a quick cover for a ploy that's backfired if you ask me.

I must admit I hadn't thought about Tsvangirai that way RM, but you are indeed right ..... although I would be willing to overlook that fact and give him a chance if it meant seeing Mugabe with his bags packed.

macpayne

Thanks for the feedback, Michael and RMacleod. Your observations are helpful.

RM's comment was part of the reason I posed the question. Around the world, far too often, "union leaders" have a reputation more toward a self-agenda, building a personal power base, fattening their own pocketbooks, and dealings that border on the unscrupulous. It might be well to know who or what funds Morgan Tsvangirai's lifestyle, and what are his business interests.

While I don't condemn Tsvangirai for being a "former union leader", nor for "appearing well-fed" and well-dressed, perhaps I should state that my own support is for the people of Zim rather than for Morgan Tsvangirai himself. Blind support has helped an evil Mugabe stay in power, and I hope blind support doesn't replace him with something as bad.

With that said, I'm with Michael; exile Mugabe, give the money back to Zimbabwe, and give Tsvangirai a chance... but not a blank check.

Praying still.

RMacleod

macpayne and Michael a little more back ground information on Morgan Tsvangirai.Its not looking too good.

He (Tsvangirai) was a fully subscribed member of Mugabe’s Zanu PF party during the Matabeleland and Midlands genocide. He even held the rank of "political commissar". He never spoke out. As recently as 2004, he confirmed that Mugabe was his hero (The Independent (UK), June 20, 2004). His dictatorial rule split the MDC in 2005 and hence the opposition could not form a united front during this past election.

Obert Madondo
Toronto, Canada

The comments to this entry are closed.