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Friday, 10 October 2008

Say goodbye to power-sharing

The dream of a new deal could end this weekend

Sources within Zanu-PF have told me this week that Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe will decide on Sunday to bring down the curtain on the farcical power-sharing talks. He will announce, probably early next week, that the dream deal with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), signed with such fanfares only a few weeks ago, is off.

Then he will announce his new cabinet. This will include Arthur Mutambara, leader of the tiny MDC breakaway faction, purely for window-dressing. All the other members will be hard-line Zanu-PF party men. And for Zimbabwe, nothing will have changed.

Throughout the talks Mugabe has been faced with three options. If you make the existential effort to look at things through his eyes, his final decision has been obvious and inevitable.

His first option was to ignore the wailings and threats from his core Zanu-PF support in the Politburo and the Central Committee, and give the MDC control of some of the government's key ministries.

This, he soon came to realise, would have resulted in the mass resignation of the security chiefs and other top men, including his right-hand man Emmerson Mnangagwa, now known to have organised the well-documented Gukurahundi massacres in the 1980s.

Mugabe would then have been left with a skeleton party to lead, he would have little personal power, and he would be highly likely to face either a military coup or a new breakaway Zanu-PF even more toxic than its parent. Both his career and his life would be in danger.

Option two facing Mugabe was to convince the MDC to accept a lesser role in the new government, promising that it would be constantly consulted, and that leader Morgan Tsvangirai's opinions would be taken into account.

To be fair, he appears to have attempted to take this option. But the MDC were having none of it. Tsvangirai insisted on a full and tangible share of government. One MDC negotiator told me: "We know Mugabe. We know we can't trust him. Once bitten, twice shy. We refused."

This left Mugabe his third option, which he appears to be taking. He is calling the whole deal off, accusing the MDC of failing to listen to reason, of being driven by "western masters", and of trying to steal all power from Zanu-PF.

Can he do this? Why not? After all, his arguement goes, he's been running the country without any form of unity or power sharing with anyone else for years, so why not just keep going?

What can the MDC do in the face of such implaccable defiance? It has asked for ex-President Thabo Mbeki to resume his mediator role. But Mugabe has personally told Mbeki of his intentions. Mbeki has no wish to be associated closely with the resulting debacle, and at the time of writing has yet to appear in Harare.

The MDC has also appealed to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) to intervene. It's a forlorn hope, but at the moment this is all the MDC - and the rest of us in Zimbabwe - have.

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Comments

Without any sign of deliverence,this final destruction of a country appears to be almost Biblical. It is unbelievable that an entire population is about to be sent into slavery under the new colonial Chinese masters.

Mugabe enjoys wasting evrybodys time.We all know talks with Zanu-PF have never bore fruit and their promises are empty.Zanu-pf is so unreliable,it thrives on corruption and deceiet which has resulted into Zimbabwe becoming a failed state.Anything good for the state is not welcome by Zanu-PF as it is quickly overlooked and Zimbabweans continue to suffer.

The fools! The poor wretched fools! I'm talking about ZANU-PF or the MDC. I'm talking about the Zimbabwean population.

Where are they in this? When will they find their voice? If this is the best they can do, the best they can demand of their leadership, then they should not be surprised or expect nor deserve anything more than Mugabe and Mbeki and their legacy.

They should have demanded election results. They did not. They should have demanded a transition of power.They did not. They should have demanded that their was no GNU (and consequential nullification of the election). They did not. They should have demanded that the MDC respect the mandate given to them by the electorate and withdrawn from the GNU when Mugabe's intentions became clear. They did not.

Now what? The MDC is being sidelined from government with SADC and Mbeki silently applauding Mugabe from the stands. And Zimbabweans still quietly wait for deliverance. From whom? Who cares for Zimbabwe when Zimbabweans do not care for themselves?

Prayer? God helps those who help themselves.

Apologies: a crucial word is missing from my last post: It should read
"The fools! The poor wretched fools! I'm NOT talking about ZANU-PF or the MDC. I'm talking about the Zimbabwean population."

Yes, DC, you have said it!You took the words out of my mouth.It is true, Zimbabweans are waiting for Deliverance and they think Mbeki and SADC will do everything for them and respect there VOICE that they chose MDC.Infact like DC says, Mugabe is still the President, and elections have been nullified due to no say by all Zimbos.For change of government, Zimbabweans must say it loud and say,`We chose MDC!`

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