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Wednesday, 02 July 2008

Tsvangirai wants Ping on board

The MDC leader says he will negotiate - if he can choose the mediator

Morgan Tsvangirai, embattled leader of Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has called on Jean Ping of Gabon, Chairman of the African Union (AU), to take over the proposed negotiations between himself and Robert Mugabe.

The MDC boss says he will change his mind about negotiating with Mugabe and be willing to have talks about a possible government of national unity, if - and only if - Ping agrees to partner South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki as mediator.

Mbeki has come under increasing pressure internationally in recent weeks, and has been accused of being too soft with Mugabe, ignoring the Zanu-PF violence tactics, and shielding Mugabe from criticism from other African states.

In an exclusive interview at his Strathaven home in Harare, Morgan Tsvangirai told me he thought the task of chairing negotiations in Zimbabwe was "too heavy for the troubled Mbeki."

"Mbeki has his own troubles, and expecting him to find a lasting solution to the Zimbabwean crisis on his own is demanding too much of him," he said.

"I believe that Mr. Ping, a respectable man in his own right, can bring on board ideas that can help us find the solution we require as a nation."

Ping, 65, is Gabon's deputy prime minister and foreign minister. He is the son of a Chinese trader and a Gabonese mother, and has had a long and successful career as a diplomat. He was elected Chairman of the AU earlier this year.

Tsvangirai also said he was concerned that the resolution on Zimbabwe adopted by the AU appeared to turn a blind eye to Mugabe's lack of legitimacy as president, following the June 27 run-off.

He pointed out that government-inspired violence is on-going across the country. "Since the June 27 sham election, nine MDC supporters have been murdered, and hundreds more beaten and forced to leave their homes," he claimed.

"In Manicaland alone, since the weekend, five hundred MDC supporters and their families have been forced to flee, and are now seeking refuge at the party's headquarters in Mutare. Once again, the MDC calls for peace in our country."

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Comments

Good idea, except Mbeki will once again block the move. All along Mbeki has been working hard as Mugabe protector rather than mediator, that is the simple truth to this crisis. Trust Africans to make a problem out of a solution.

Some very tough private threats against the government of South Africa from its Western friends (like threatening to withdrawl economy support frmo Mbeki
s much vaunted NEPAD plan) is needed to spurn Mbeki into action, as long as he remains a spanner in the works, nothing will be achieved on the Zimbabwe issue.

Talks and more talks without action are of no value, Why do we all keep on blabbing about the ifs. Let's see action. We are tired of this pep talk without any action. Please !!

Andrew you are right, but it is more serious than that. Remember the Commonwealth troika which was supposed to help resolve the Zim crisis in its early days? Mbeki was one of them and repeatedly blocked and sabotaged any attempts by Australia's John Howard and Nigeria's Obasanjo to hold Mugabe to account.

The lesson to learn from that is that if Mbeki felt the need to protect Mugabe in those days, how much more protection does Mugabe need now with Zimbabwe in tatters?

Mbeki will fight tooth and nail to prevent anyone from joining the mediation team. Furthermore, if he fails and Ping does join, Mbeki will simply repeat his C'wealth troika performance: derail the mediation effort until Ping either gives up or his mandate expires.

The only solution is to neutralise Mbeki and his henchmen in the ANC.

Talks and more talks without action are of no value, Why do we all keep on blabbing about the ifs. Let's see action. We are tired of this pep talk without any action. Please !!

MDC is a child of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions as was the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy in Zambia, a child of the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions. Mbeki can not afford for MDC to succeed because he fears that would be an indication to COSATU that if the people are dissatisfied with ANC's performance ( which they are with good reason) they can form an opposition party. Mbeki will not and cannot be partial mediator.

Mangwiro Matambanadzo you are one hundred percent correct.

Mangwiro Matambanadzo is right. I also agree with Jeremy Thorpe. However, if Mugabe goes under the present system, it is likely that another despot will take his place.

"if Mugabe goes under the present system, it is likely that another despot will take his place."

I think that is more than likely - it is certain. Zimbabwe will get a government of ignorant, superstitious generals like the one in Burma (which shows no sign of going away). Any money they can get will be spent on armaments, and the people will be left to starve.

It appears like no one in the world can help the people of Zimbabwe.It now seems clear that Mugabe and his goons are invisíble.Anyway us the people of Zimbabwe we will never loss heart coz we know that there is a God watching over us and one day he will here our cries and will come and set us free.

God bless Zimbabwe and its people and shame on you Thabo Mbeki. Can you not see that your so called "Liberation Hero" is nothing more than a power hungry despot? Your Zimbabwean brothers and sisters are begging you for help and yet from you? Only silence.

You cling to a flawed memory of Zimbabwes liberation, while the subject of that memory spills the blood of his people. Robert Mugabe consistently claims he is taking action to reclaim Zimbabwe for his people. From whom?

Mugabe has lost his marbles and Zimbabweans are dying because of it. Stop thinking of yourself and your political career Mr Mbeki, and try acting like a compassionate human being before it is too late.

All of you against Mugabe don't seem to have a second thought sometymes, You suddenly forgot how your fathers and mothers were being treated by the whites back then and this man Mugabe took the Power and he's not ready to have those people back in the country/continent as he knows there regime will soon expire, he's trying hard, None of you know that one day either UK/US/AU/ARAB CONTINENTS might just decide to come back and take africa by force, Tsvangirai he's runnin here and there to have power so they will come to him Later and he won't be Powerful enough to withstand them, These whites are never your friend, None of them believe in Jesus or Allah but we africans put the religion on our head and leavin behind our tradition, OMG

whoever you are Truth you have a problem, either you are paranoid or have been severely brain washed. There is nothing left to entice any person or other country to come and use force or any other means to take over Zimbabwe. As for the future for the rest of Africa, the new colonial masters will probably be Chinese.

I can agree with you on all parts bar one there RM ..... judging by his/her level of fanaticism I would replace the word 'washed' with the word 'dead'.

ok Truth, you claim that Mugabe is keeping the Westerners out of Zimbabwe ..... this may be true, but he's certainly doing a good job of filling graves with non White, non Western people (i.e. black Zimbabweans). Some hero you worship ..... just wait til the same tactics are being used against Mugabe and ZANU by the Zimbabwean population (it WILL happen, people can only take so much before they fight back against their oppressors), You and Mugabe will be the first ones to cry foul and go into hiding.

Tsvangirai be yourself we dnt want sellouts,put your act together,we dont want cheap pollitics in zimbabwe, see how the ruling party conducts its bussiness ,consinstent.

Consistent .... yes, but their consistency is in their rule through terror, and their unerring habit of blaming everyone else for their mistakes. While they insist on doing that and selling off to the Chinese, then you're looking at a new age of 'Eastern' colonialism in Zimbabwe, and the Government won't even see it coming until it's too late, because they'll be too busy feeling sorry for themselves and blaming the west for their ills.

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