Why I say Tsvangirai will still say 'No!'
Commentators worldwide are trying to guess which way Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change, will jump. Will he finally sign-up to the so-called power-sharing agreement with Robert Mugabe? Or will he remain defiant, ignore the urging of the weak-minded SADC leaders at the weekend, and hold out yet again for a genuinely democratic deal?
The international pressure on the embattled leader is tremendous. But my sources tell me that, after the party meeting due to be held tomorrow, Friday, Tsvangirai will reject the advice of some of his own senior party members, and say 'No'.
He will be supported in this view by hardliners like Secretary-General Tendai Biti, spokesman Nelson Chamisa and Blessing Chebundo, who believe that the latest SADC deliberations solved none of the outstanding issues between the two sides.
But others, including Election Secretary Ian Makone and Vice-President Thokozani Khupe, will argue that the party should join the unity government, and then "fight from within" - a plan that brings to mind the fate of Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU, which was "merged" with Mugabe's Zanu-PF in 1987, only to lose all power and credibility.
The MDC instead visualise that, with another rejection of the deal, the issue will be discussed at the meeting of the African Union on Sunday. It is anticipated that this meeting will probably echo the SADC meeting, but hopefully the UN will then deliberate on the issue, perhaps calling for a new round of elections in Zimbabwe. And the fight will continue.
This is what my sources tell me. They may be wrong. It remains possible that Morgan Tsvangirai will sign up as Prime Minister in the shadow of Mugabe's Presidency within the next two weeks. He will leave many of his supporters surprised and disappointed if he does.
I prefer to repeat the well-chosen words of MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa, who said on Tuesday: "The mistake that Zanu-PF is making is to imagine that we are desperate to be in the government. We are not in a hurry to be chauffeur-driven. We are a people-driven party."
Well said, Nelson.