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Tuesday, 22 July 2008

The handshake that shook a continent

But is it anything more than just another Mugabe plot?

As I forecast on this site at the weekend, President Mugabe and opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai came face to face yesterday, signed an agreement outlining a framework for talks on Zimbabwe's political future, and shook hands on the deal.

This bizarre meeting of two sworn enemies took place in a Harare hotel, and was chaired by an apparently triumphant South African president Thabo Mbeki, who has been much criticised for previous failures to make something like this happen.

But the ink of the signatures was barely dry before the first doubts were expressed. Observers pointed out that a handshake and some reluctant smiles, unprecedented though they were, will do nothing substantial to rid the country of Mugabe's reign of terror and oppression.

As the talks begin - the Memorandum gives them a two-week timetable - it is evident that the two leaders have radically opposing aims in view. Tsvangirai clearly sees the process leading to a period of transition of power, with the end result a truly democratic government as voted for in the elections earlier in the year.

But Mugabe is thought to have another scenario in mind. He sees the talks as a way of muzzling the opposition, deflecting international criticism of his rule, avoiding further sanctions against the country, and giving his African neighbours an excuse  once again to hail him as a great leader of his people.

He can pretend the talks succeed. He may offer a couple of cabinet places, plus a Mercedes or two, to top MDC figures. But he will remain President. He will be backed by the same military junta that keeps him in power today, and he will only retire at a time he chooses.

Meanwhile the people of Zimbabwe will continue to suffer the hardships of a failed state, a collapsed economy, and an inflation rate of ludicrous proportions.

Will the violence now cease - as Tsvangirai was originally demanding as a condition for talks to begin? I believe it continues today, though perhaps on a slightly diminished scale.

To give the people, especially MDC supporters, freedom from fear will mean the reining in of the brutal Mugabe militia. The thugs will lose their licence to murder and maim, which the state has granted them. They will also lose the money the government has been paying them.

Will they go quietly? Will they stop the bullying, the beating and the killing? Or will this prove to be one genie that will be reluctant to go back in the bottle?

See the memo here

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Comments

Mugabe will never give in to the will of the people. The oldman is sitting on a hot chair called the army chiefs

Yes Joyce, where Mugabe is finally going it will be even hotter.

On another point, is it not strange that the world is making a fuss about the capture and future trial of Radovan Karadzic for the murder of 7500 people, when Mugabe has killed over 20000 people and who at the same time received a knightHood from the British Queen!!

Remember Joshua Nkomo?
Same Deal

What happens when the two weeks are up? This is definately a plot by Mbeki/Mugabe to lead credence to 'quiet diplomacy', and relieve some of the pressure on the pair of them from the international community.

After the two weeks you can guarantee Mugabe will not have changed and the MDC will find themselves railroaded into an extention to the time-frame or worse - forced into the minority position of a GNU. That after all, is the ultimate aim of Mbeki.

The presence of Odinga from Kenya in this whole charade is really really bad news. Yes, he has been critical of Mugabe, but the Kenya 'solution' is the trigger to this whole scandal: that a ruling party that loses an African election can negotiate itself back into power by refusing to concede defeat. Odinga is instrumental in allowing this travesty. This 'solution' and it's application elsewhere (e.g. Zimbabwe) is going to set Africa back 30 years in its democratic progress.

Whatever happens, the country is screwed. Last one out switch off the lights.

Yup,Zimbabwe is finished.In the short term Mugabe will probably retire to his feathered nest in Malaysia and Emmerson Mnangagwa will be elected by the JOC generals to take over as president. According to Ray Matikinye news editor of the Zimbabwean Financial Gazette Mnangagwa is now in control of the country.

The poplulation will be reduced dramtically. In 2006 Didymus Mutasa, 73, responded to questions about the Zimbabwe's raging AIDS epidemic and the growing flight of Zimbabweans from their country with this comment: "We would be better off with only six million people [the population is 12 million], with our own [ZANU-PF] people who supported the liberation struggle," he said. "We don't want all these extra people."


its a gud thing that these guys may find a long lasting solution to the crisis at hand but tsvangirai should be very careful with that old man coz in case they are to work together MDC should stand as it was.look at wat happened to the unity accord

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