The Threat at the end of the Tunnel
Sinister new plans that could put Morgan Tsvangirai behind bars
Tsvangirai and Mugabe are talking again. It's a last ditch attempt to agree on a power sharing government in Zimbabwe, and everyone says it's doomed to failure. There is no light at the end of the tunnel for Morgan Tsvangirai. But there could be a very nasty surprise.
Tsvangirai and Mugabe are being watched by President Motlanthe and Ex-President Mbeki of South Africa and President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique. And my advice to Tsvangirai is just this: when and if these Harare talks break down, hitch a lift out of Zimbabwe with one or other president. Stay - and you could be in big trouble.
My sources within Mugabe's Zanu-PF cabal tell me that plans are well advanced for the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to be arrested as soon as the talking stops. The charge will be treason. And this time Mugabe means it.
Tsvangirai will not be held in any local police station. He won't be knocked about a bit, then released, as he was last year. Instead he will be hauled off to the notorious police torture camp at Bindura in Mashonaland, where a vintage Zanu-PF reception committee is already waiting for him.
"They have his cell well prepared," my source told me. "The guys with the sticks can't wait to start beating him, they want to hear him squeal like a baby."
Tsvangirai is clearly aware that he is in danger. He has stayed out of the country for weeks until this meeting, and he has watched from Botswana as many senior MDC officials and supporters have been abducted by the authorities. To date 32 party members are known to be in custody, and another 11 are missing.
It is Tsvangirai's demands that his people be released, together with the long-term disagreement over the make-up of a power-sharing government, that has helped doom these latest talks to probably failure. He can't be seen now to give in to Mugabe's conditions.
Mugabe, too, is sticking to his guns. With no intention of any real sharing of power, he has anticipated that these talks will fail. Then he will make his move, charging Tsvangirai with treason, with plotting the removal of the President, and with attempting to raise forces in Botswsana to invade Zimbabwe.
Grab a lift and get out of there, Morgan. Before it's too late.