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Monday, 30 June 2008

Mugabe's new master-plan

How the so-called elected president plots to get his own way

Robert Mugabe, newly sworn in yesterday as President of Zimbabwe, will arrive at the African Union (AU) summit in Egypt today waving a giant olive branch. He is expected to tell delegates that he is ready to accept a negotiated settlement with the opposition MDC to solve the crisis in the country. But there are major conditions to his offer.

The AU members will first have to agree publicly that Friday's Presidential re-run poll was credible, and that Mugabe himself is the duly elected President of Zimbabwe. And second, they must also accept Mugabe's terms for establishing any much-vaunted Government of National Unity.

This plan is not likely to cut much ice with several African states, including Zambia, Botswana and Tanzania, who have already condemned the election and called for a new free and fair poll. But other African nations may see Mugabe's apparently benign proposals as a way out of the crisis, at least temporarily.

Mugabe began this series of manoevres before the election, when MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti, previously facing charges that carry the death penalty, was unexpectedly freed. Mugabe also promised that following his victory he would begin talks with the opposition.

However, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangrai has said that any negotiations must be on the basis on the first presidential election, which he won by a clear margin - a condition to which Mugabe will never agree.

Observers believe that Mugabe is now operating from a position of power. If the AU accept him as a legitimate President, all well and good. If not he will just return to Harare and carry on as before as the all-powerful "elected" president. For the country's people, things can only get worse.

The election results were released within 48 hours of the polls closing, in contrast to the five weeks it took for the Electoral Commission to announce the result of the first vote. Yet turn-out, at 42.3 per cent, was approximately the same.

The official figures were:

Robert Mugabe 2,150,269.  Morgan Tsvangirai 233,000.  Spoiled ballots 131,481

Immediate international reaction to the statistics was stronger than ever. An observer team from the Pan-African Parliament called for fresh elections, saying the vote was neither free nor fair. Former Cape Town Archbishop Desmond Tutu appealed to the AU not to recognise Mugabe as President. And US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for strong international action to end the violence in Zimbabwe.

Morgan Tsvangirai, meanwhile, remained behind the walls of the Dutch embassy in Harare. I am told he is unable to fly to the AU meeting in Egypt because his passport is "full" - and the Zimbabwean authorities have refused to renew it.

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Comments

I'm going to put my neck out here and 'predict' that the AU will take the easy way out here: they will pretend to believe Mugabe's olive branch, and therefore endorse his presidential 'victory'. This buys them time to bury their heads in the sand and pretend everything is great in Africa. It also means they can toss the whole stinking thing right back to our 'trustworthy' Thabo.

To refuse to recognise Mugabe would be to snub not just Mugabe but also Thabo. And it would mean that the AU would have to 1) replace Thabo and 2) undertake immediate and meaningful action. That would be African heresy.

Zimbabwe Has now been turned into a political circus !!! Remember people are still dying. But now it looks like it is more or less a merry go round.*****

Sticking a few leaves on a knobkerrie doesn't make it an olive branch, and hopefully the AU will see the bloodstains past the leaves ..... as it's probably the same one he's been using to beat the Zimbabwean people into submission with for over 28 years.

You can be sure that Africa will do everything and anything - to do nothing.

Thabo is apparently on the frontline to lobby African presidents not to criticise Mugabe. His passion and energy to defend Mugabe is limitless. It is unfortunate that Zimbabwe's friends like the Botswana president do not have the same energy.

Anyway, I have been wondering what it is that drives Thabo to such levels of sycophancy. And I have a theory. Stockholm Syndrome. Read the rationale at my blog: www.thedfiles.co.uk

I am most concerned that when we all start whooping and hollering with joy at the approaching downfall - as it appears right now - of Mugabe and his despicable regime, we don't overdo it. This is especially if we are western, white or just a little imperialistic. We must not forget that Africa has a genuine grievance against our kind and will respond defensively. Leave it to African analysts and commentators and to Mugabe's former friends and protectors to make it clear to him that he brings shame upon them.

I'd just like to amend that on one small point if I may Diana:

you state that "Africa has a genuine grievance against our kind", but I think it would be more appropriate to put "Most of Africa has a genuine grievance against our kind".

The reasoning for this is that people such as Mugabe and his 'human rights crimes' accomplices no longer have that grievance as a genuine article, They claimed the colonial regimes were oppressive, and in a hell of a lot of ways they were, and the independence of the countries that were subject to these regimes was the right thing ..... but they lost the right to legitimately harp on about that when they turned into far bigger oppressors than the ones they deposed.

From his last campaign speeches, to his inauguration speech, and now the scuffle waffle with the ITN reporter, it appears Mugabe has lost it. His manner of speaking is now slow and uncoordinated. At 84 you would expect that.
I'd say he has the oncomings of Alzheimers, short term memory loss etc.

He is in no condition to be leading a country.

He'll listen to the AU but will do what the hell he wants, and that is to decimate the opposition party. Expect more of the same blood bath. This man needs to be stopped immediately.

I just hope the Buglers are ready because they're gonna be needed soon ..... either to play the Last Post for ZANU-PF, or to play it for Zimbabwe as a whole.

The importance of the international community, especially other African leaders, recognizing and speaking out against Mugabe's crimes against humanity cannot be stressed enough. It's really great that at least three African nations have called for new elections, but we need more of that. There's a new petition that demands world leaders to react against Mugabe's tyranny. If you want to sign it, here's the link: http://go.care2.com/15560399

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