The ZIMBABWE Situation
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take Zimbabwe cabinet dispute to AU
APA-Harare (Zimbabwe) Zimbabwe's main
opposition party said it was
considering taking its dispute with President
Robert Mugabe over the
formation of a unity government to the African Union
after failing to get a
favourable outcome at a summit of SADC leaders held
in South Africa on
Sunday, state media reported here
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesman Nelson Chamisa
Southern African Development Community (SADC) of failing to
resolve the dispute over the allocation of key cabinet
Mugabe's ZANU PF and the opposition.
He said SADC
had no final say in the matter, arguing that the matter would
be moved to
the AU which is a co-guarantor of a power-sharing agreement
signed by Mugabe
and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in September.
"If SADC cannot handle it,
we still have other African institutions. In the
event we are not satisfied,
there is still the AU and the UN," Chamisa told
A summit of SADC leaders ruled in favour of the co-sharing of
home affairs ministry by ZANU PF and the MDC and gave Mugabe
the green light
to "immediately" form a unity government.
rejected the SADC resolution, accusing the regional body of taking
Zimbabwe's deputy information minister Bright Matonga said
Mugabe would proceed to form a government in spite of the MDC
now in hands of MDC
November 12, 2008
By Eddie Cross
all know the SADC summit took place on Sunday, five heads of State
with officials and ministers representing those that could not
They deliberated for 12 hours and then issued a communiqué
endorsed the position adopted by Mr. Mbeki and then the SADC
most significant part of the whole exercise was that all 14
the decisions reached, there were no disputing
It was a minor political victory for Mr. Mugabe, Mr. Mbeki and the
It was a major failure of leadership.
The final decision that
the two main parties should share control of the
Ministry of Home Affairs
and that the rest of the power sharing deal should
stand as agreed by Mr.
Mbeki, is neither rational nor workable. It ignores
the political realities
in Zimbabwe, reduces the chance of success for the
new government and could
lead to the total collapse of the deal if the MDC
decides to reject the
In a rerun of the Kenyan situation where regional leaders
compromise, imposed a solution on Kenya that is a hydra-headed
barely capable of walking let alone running the country, the SADC
have taken the easy route out and in doing so have run the risk of
a failed state in Zimbabwe and unleashing uncontrollable violence
But take it or leave it, it's a done deal and an
appeal to the AU or the
UN - both themselves dysfunctional institutions,
will change little. This is
the end of the road for negotiations.
this stage the future of Zimbabwe is totally in the hands of the MDC and
Morgan Tsvangirai. If we accept what has been decided and go into the new
government on this basis, we will be committing ourselves to a near
impossible task. It will be up to us to turn the economy around, establish
conditions for free and fair elections in two years time and to try and heal
the country, now more deeply divided than ever.
In this exercise
neither Zanu-PF nor the Mutambara group has anything to
offer, except to try
and not be spoilers. They bring nothing to the table
except failure and
corruption and unrepresentative participation in the
institutions of the
State. Not one of the Mutambara representatives in the
new government will
be elected while the great majority of the Zanu-PF
their seats through intimidation and rigging.
The problems facing any new
government are staggering - GDP has collapsed to
less than half of what it
was 10 years ago, the local currency is worthless
and cannot be used for
ordinary transactions any more, thousands are dying
weekly from starvation,
malnutrition and disease.
A staggering 95 percent of all teachers in the
public sector are not
working; 3 million children are out of school.
Hospitals and clinics are
either closed or non-functional. Food supplies
have run out and everywhere
people are desperately looking for whatever food
The news today that the aid agencies feeding the majority
of the people will
run out of food in January and are cutting allocations by
half in December
to try and reach 4 million of the most affected people. The
dilemma of the
MDC is that if they walk away from the SADC deal they will
Zimbabweans naked in a blizzard that will offer only death or
The tragedy of this situation is that Mr Mugabe and Zanu-PF do
not give a
damn - they want the deal to fail and think that they can in fact
well" on what is left of the Zimbabwe economy. They do not worry in
sense about the impact of the final collapse of Zimbabwe on our
They are only concerned about one thing - how to hold onto their
control of the State and thereby protect their standard of living and
The tragedy of the SADC summit is that it is clear
that after all these
years and numerous declarations of commitment to
democratic principles and
to all the recognised human and political rights,
when it comes to applying
those lofty principles to a real time political
crisis in their midst, they
But that is the reality of
African politics at this stage in our history.
Not pretty or easy, but the
So what do we do? The MDC National Council will meet this
week and receive a
report from the leadership together with recommendations
on the way forward.
It will be the most difficult decision for the MDC since
we were formed in
1999. Unlike our compatriots, we care, we care deeply for
the plight of
Zimbabweans - all of them affected by the collapse and crisis
failed leadership, greed and corruption.
This time the
consequences of rejection of a flawed deal for our people will
and terrible. Mr Morgan Tsvangirai stated in Johannesburg that
people face death from starvation if the SADC brokered deal
He was not exaggerating.
Failure on Mugabe is SADC failure
situation has come to a standstill after failure by SADC
leaders to reign in
the parties, especially Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF.
seeking to have as much control of government posts as possible
and yet the
parties are at the negotiating table because ZANU-PF has been
the vast majority of Zimbabweans.
ZANU-PF may have once been a liberation
movement with a bright future and
the trust of the people of Zimbabwe, but
that is no more, it is but the
embodiment of everything that is wrong with
the liberation generation. The
last few years have proved that it is losing
favour among average
Zimbabweans who generally see it as having lost its
Any rational person can see that the party is now intent
on ramming itself
down the throats of Zimbabweans. It is now attempting to
do what it was
going to do anyway, grab power regardless of the mood of the
The fact that ZANU-PF wants to act like a
big brother in a relationship that
should be centred around equitable
distribution demonstrates that ZANU-PF
indeed, belongs to the Africa of the
past. Mugabe and his generation are
misguided if they think that by
power-grabbing they are showing their love
for their country and its people.
The greed and power hunger that underpins
ZANU-PF is now coming out, and it
is therefore time for countries in the
region to take a stand against this
When the parties signed the power-sharing deal on September 15,
more specifically Mugabe, should have taken the chance with both
show the world and the African continent that he is sincere with
of the Zimbabwean people. It should have been time for Mugabe to
crumbs of his dying legacy and perhaps build something akin to a
legacy. It was time for him to rise to the level of an elder
elder in the African sense, and most importantly, a political
leader. It was
a chance for him to prove his critics wrong. He is proving
them just right.
The SADC solution of having the Ministry of Home Affairs
co-led by the two
parties, amounts to pandering to the interests of ZANU-PF.
As it is Mugabe
has control over most of the important ministries.
Furthermore, it shows how
SADC's view was limited to the smaller picture of
the fight for the ministry
rather than the larger picture of whether the
sharing of the overall cabinet
posts is equitable. In this regard, we feel
SADC has failed the Zimbabwean
people and this region, and they need to act
fast to recoup whatever
credibility that remains, and reign in the man who
has turned this region
into infamy: Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
SADC ruling best Christmas gift, says Mugabe govt
Sebatha Wednesday 12 November 2008
BULAWAYO - Sunday's ruling
by regional leaders ordering formation of a unity
government in Zimbabwe and
denying the opposition sole control of the
disputed home affairs ministry
was the best Christmas gift for the country,
President Robert Mugabe's
government said on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa Simon
Khaya Moyo said in a statement
that the ruling was the: "best gift the
country can embrace during the
festive season and the New
Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders at an
in Johannesburg ruled that Zimbabwe's rival political
leaders form a unity
government "forthwith" and end a political stalemate
gripping the country
since Mugabe's controversial re-election last
The SADC, which brokered Zimbabwe's September 15 power-sharing
ruled that Tsvangirai's MDC party and Mugabe's ruling ZANU PF
ministry of home affairs in charge of the police and whose
control had been
a stumbling block to the formation of a unity
Tsvangirai - who had told SADC leaders that the MDC be given
sole control of
home affairs - immediately rejected the call to co-manage
the portfolio with
ZANU PF and said his party would not join the unity
Moyo, reflecting the triumphant mood in Mugabe's government
they see as a diplomatic victory over the opposition at the
urged Zimbabweans to focus on recovering the country's
He said: "The focus and energies of the people of
Zimbabwe can now be
directed towards the no less daunting challenges of
development and economic
"Unity of purpose is called for in
this noble endeavour. The inclusive
government is surely the best gift
Zimbabwe can embrace during this festive
season and the New
Analysts say only a government of national unity could be able to
Zimbabwe's unprecedented recession seen in the world's highest
231 million percent, 80 percent unemployment, shortages of food
However Western donor nations - whose
financial support is vital to any
effort to revive Zimbabwe's crumbled
economy - have said they would back a
unity government only if its executive
head is Tsvangirai.
The United States of America and Britain that have
led Western criticism of
Mugabe were quick to denounce SADC's decision
calling for a unity government
in Zimbabwe and co-managing of the home
US State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood said
the SADC proposal
would only serve to reinforce Mugabe's grip on
The US, Britain and other European Union countries have maintained
financial sanctions against Mugabe's government since 2002 and had
they could impose fresh embargoes if Zimbabwe's power-sharing deal
Political Violence Surged In Zimbabwe In September Despite
By Jonga Kandemiiri
11 November 2008
Political violence surged in Zimbabwe in
September despite the signature
mid-month of an agreement by the main
political parties to share power and
form a national unity government to end
post-election hostilities, a human
rights organization said
The Zimbabwe Peace Project said documented episodes of political
perpetrated in large part by militants of the ruling ZANU-PF party
President Robert Mugabe, rose 39% from August to some 1,300 despite the
Sept. 15 signature of a power-sharing pact.
Peace Project Director
Jestina Mukoko told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of
VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe
that her non-governmental organization's
findings show that four months
after the controversial June 27 presidential
run-off election that capped a
turbulent election cycle, many Zimbabweans
are still angry and are venting
that emotion one way or another.
Water situation remains critical
areas in Harare were still without water yesterday, forcing
to scrounge for water from streams and shallow wells, despite
outbreak that has rocked the city.
A survey by The Herald revealed
residents were fetching water in buckets and
doing their laundry in polluted
streams with others were getting water from
Harare City Council yesterday remained mum as cholera continued to take
toll. Yesterday afternoon The Herald witnessed two trucks ferrying
cholera victims from Budiriro Polyclinic to Beatrice Road
Diseases Hospital mortuary.
Officials declined to give details of the
number of new deaths.
Unprotected sources of water have been identified
as the major sources of
the cholera outbreak that has claimed more than 15
lives in the city.
Residents castigated Zinwa for failing to address the
water situation, which
has forced them to resort to streams and shallow
At Budiriro Polyclinic residents anxiously waited at the main
feedback on the fate of their beloved ones admitted to the
Mr Thomas Machote of Glen View 3, who was keen to find out about
who was admitted to the clinic on Monday evening, urged
declare the cholera outbreak a national disaster to allow more
come to the aid of the ailing.
"I ferried more than 10
people to Budiriro clinic from 56 Street in Glen
View 3. Unfortunately, I
hear two of the patients have died. I fear if no
urgent action is taken to
improve water supplies and sanitation in the area
we will lose more people,"
According to Glen Norah B residents, the suburb had last
received water on
Saturday morning and they had been relying on shallow
wells and streams
"We last received water on Saturday
morning. This was after three months of
dry taps. Unfortunately, we are
being forced to pay for Zinwa water even
though the authority has not been
supplying us with water.
"Five people in our road, Muroro Street, have
died of cholera and we suspect
they could have contracted the disease from a
nearby well which we have
since stopped using," said Rudo
In Glen View 1 and 3 residents said running water had not
after it was cut off on Sunday afternoon although some
sections had not been
affected. Parts of the suburb were getting supplies
only at night and during
the early hours of the morning.
Extension, Dzivarasekwa and Westlea suburbs had been receiving
supplies while Warren Park was dry save for low-lying areas.
Gomba of Warren Park said: "We have lost hope of ever getting
supplies from Zinwa. I am appealing to Government to prioritise water
sewer reticulation to curb the spread of diseases as Zinwa no longer
any alert or notification of the water situation in the city."
city centre, Avenues and Milton Park water supplies were only
restored for a
few hours and cut off in late afternoon. Taps were dry in
Mabelreign and Avondale which have gone for three weeks now
There was a brief work stoppage at Rowan Martin Building yesterday
after a sewer line blockage caused sewage to flow into some sections
building. The building has not had water since Sunday.
Msasa Park and Avondale residents said they had not received water for
past month while Mabvuku and Tafara have gone for up to six months.
Highlands has not received water for the past four months.
the Government, through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe last week
money, fuel and vehicles for Zinwa to improve water reticulation in
and Chitungwiza following the cholera outbreak, the water supply
has remained critical.
Water and Infrastructure Development Minister
Engineer Munacho Mutezo said
the public would only start seeing an
improvement in the water supplies
later in the week.
understand that some of the chemicals that are used to purify
the water are
imported, therefore it will take time before they get here.
RBZ did not give us all the money we required to solve the
shortages being experienced in the city," he said.
Civil Protection Unit
director Mr Madzudzo Pawadyira said the Zinwa drilling
rig would move into
Budiriro and Glen View today to start work on boreholes.
received casing from our partners and this will go a long way in
programme. Once sunk, the boreholes will improve the water quality in
He said Zinwa had experienced some power and engineering
problems at Morton
Jaffray Waterworks over the past few days but these had
since been rectified
and pumping had resumed.
Madhuku arrested after riots in Harare
Nov 2008 19:54 GMT
ZIMBABWE police have detained the leader of the National
Assembly (NCA), Dr Lovemore Madhuku for organising a protest
transitional government to draft a people driven
Police fought running battles with pro-democracy activists
calling for the formation of a transitional government to form
Several people queuing outside banks
were beaten by police as the protest
was quelled. The NCA said Madhuku was
arrested after he had reported for
questioning at the Harare central police
In a statement condemning the detention, the NCA said: "The NCA
condemns this unjustified obstruction of the organization's
actions. However, the NCA refuses to be intimidated by this
unwarranted aggression and remains committed to its campaign for
"All Zimbabweans committed to the ideals of
democracy are encouraged to join
NCA's efforts today and in the weeks to
The protests comes after Zimbabwe's opposition leader rejected Sadc's
proposal to co-share the ministry of home affairs in the power-sharing
agreement that has failed to materialise.
Reuters Harare chief Chris
Chinaka reports that police broke up an
anti-government protest with teargas
and batons earlier in the day.
The crackdown came as hopes fade in
Zimbabwe that a power-sharing deal
agreed in September between veteran
President Robert Mugabe and opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai will end the
ruinous political and economic crisis.
Mugabe looked certain to press
ahead with setting up a new government soon
after a regional summit called
for the immediate installation of a new
He said on
Tuesday a new government could be formed as early as this week.
try to institute the decisions reached by the summit as quickly as
Maybe this week, maybe next week, but as soon as possible," he was
saying by the state-run Herald newspaper.
State television said Mugabe
would chair an extraordinary meeting of his
Zanu PF party's decision-making
politburo on Wednesday to discuss the SADC
resolution -- a firm step towards
naming a new cabinet.
The police crackdown on protestors was the first
such action in several
There was no immediate comment from
police or government officials.
Riot police later fired teargas and used
batons to break up a protest by
about 40 activists from Madhuku's group in
Harare. Pursuing the protesters,
police dispersed queues of Zimbabweans
waiting to withdraw money from banks,
Zimbabweans had hoped the Sept. 15 power-sharing deal would ease
tensions and create a united leadership that could rescue the
Instead, Zimbabwe's parties are deadlocked over
A regional Southern African
Development Community (SADC) summit failed to
break the deadlock at the
weekend when leaders asked Mugabe and Tsvangirai
to share the powerful home
affairs ministry, a demand swiftly rejected by
The Zimbabwean parliament broke off for a month on Tuesday,
national budget and proposed constitutional changes which will
formation of a power-sharing government.
MDC chief whip
Innocent Gonese told Reuters the parliamentary break
highlighted a crisis
brought about by the failure of both parties to form a
"This almost certainly means there will not be any budget
year. It also means they (Mugabe's government) will not be
able to bring the
Constitutional Amendment bill to parliament anytime soon,"
But the government said Mugabe would proceed to form an
government, even before parliament amended the
"The (constitutional) amendment has not yet been drafted,
but the (SADC)
summit enjoined us to move with haste to form a government,"
Minister Patrick Chinamasa told Reuters.
"We will abide by
South African Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
said on Tuesday it was
crucial for Zimbabweans to have a
"You cannot keep the suffering people of Zimbabwe at ransom
at the altar of
the ministry of home affairs, it is important to begin the
process that will
change the life of the people of Zimbabwe because they
have been suffering
for a long time," Dlamini-Zuma told reporters in
She said an imperfect government can be changed but stressed
of setting up a new administration. - Additional reporting by
it feels to negotiate with Mugabe
An insight into the oppressive atmosphere
of the power-sharing talks
The world has seen that the latest
international effort to resolve the power
sharing impasse in Zimbabwe - the
Johannesburg meeting of the leaders from
the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) - has ended in confusion
Now a source
who sat in on this tumultuous conferenceshas described to me
it's like to try and persuade Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF
see reason. He says the sessions were uniformly noisy,
quarrelsome, and even
Things began well. South African President Kgalema Motlanthe
didn't pull his
punches. He spoke firmly to the three Zimbabwean principals:
Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC, and Arthur Mutambara, leader
of the breakaway
"You have to think of your people, not
yourselves, and therefore your
negotiations should be for their good, not
about you getting power," he told
All well and good. Then
Tsvangirai made his opening presentation, saying
that Mugabe should not be
allowed to cling on to the powerful ministries in
a new government, because
he had lost the presidential election, and was
therefore President in name
At this, according to my source, Mugabe went ballistic. "You did
not win the
election, no you didn't," he bellowed. "You are a
Some of the SADC leaders tried to intervene, but Mugabe shouted
"He did not win those elections. This is just a Western
machination. He is a
western puppet... I cannot allow him into my
My source says that at this point he would have expected
firm words in
opposition to the President and his rantings from Botswana and
have both been critical of Mugabe's rule. But neither of the
these countries was present. And the others seemed cowed, afraid
criticism of Mugabe would be deemed to be in some way
Meanwhile Mugabe raged on. "I am president of the
country... I am the one
who decides what he gets, not him. We are not equals
in this. As President,
I am in charge."
In the end, the humiliated
and intimidated SADC leaders came up with the
suggestion that Zanu-PF and
the MDC should share the disputed Home Affairs
ministry - an idea so
ludicrously unworkable that Tsvangirai dismissed it
out of hand.
what now? Mugabe is threatening to form a government in the very near
future, whether anyone else likes it or not. Arrogantly, he has demanded
that Tsvangirai submit of list of the men and ministries he wants, for
Presidential approval. Tsvangirai, too long in the tooth to play that game,
has pointed out that in a government of national unity Mugabe must also
submit a list to him, for his approval.
MDC leaders meet on Friday to
consider what to do next. But it was perhaps
the party's spokesman, Nelson
Chamisa, who summed up the future most
"Zanu-PF is on the
warpath," he said. "Now we have rejected the carrot, the
next thing will be
a very very big stick."
Posted on Tuesday, 11 November 2008 at 20:41
Zimbabwe suffers while Mugabe
Posted on November 11th, 2008
Well, there is good news and there is bad news.
The good news is that the WOZA women
were finally granted bail and left out of a horrible jail after they dared
to hold a peaceful demonstration a couple weeks ago.
The rest of the news is bad news, alas, and what makes it worse is that the
destruction of that lovely country can be blamed on a single man: Robert
The local currency
is worthless: The latest news says that the exchange rate is Z$28,4
quadrillion to the U.S. dollar… the good news is that some shops may accept
foreign currency, and the Zimbabwean diaspora is sending home money that is
keeping their families alive.
But despite this help, the UN estimates that over five million will need food
aid this year. The crops are planted, but the rains are bad, many of the healthy
have fled, leaving the sick, the elderly, women with small children, and others
who are less healthy to plow the fields (usually in traditional farming, the men
use dangerous oxen to plow the main crop in fields…women use hoes to plant a
smaller garden with maize, grain, and vegetables. With many men absent, or dying
of HIV, the main crops may not be planted unless tractors or handplows are
available). To make things worse, the financial crisis means that good seed and
fertilizer are not available, and some people may not have saved seeds from the
previous harvest to plant.
During famine times, the elderly know which plants, roots, and fruits can be
eaten, but searching for famine food takes time (and energy). In the meanwhile,
children aren’t getting taught in many schools, and as for medical care, many hospitals and
clinics lack basic medicines.
HIV remains a major problem, and many do receive medicine from NGO’s, but
there has been problems: the
Global Fund (which funds such medicine) had their money (over $7million
American dollars) borrowed from bank accounts by the government. It has recently
“been returned”, but it makes many NGO’s leery that their money also might
disappear, and the next time it might not be returned.
When Morgan Tsvangirai won the election (yes, I know, “officially” he won
49%…after three weeks of finagling the counts to make sure he didn’t get a
majority), and after violence against his supporters led to his boycott the
follow up run off election, local governments, worried about a civil war,
started to mediate a power sharing agreement, which was actually signed, but
The reason? The power sharing agreement is a farce. When it was signed, the
understanding was that Mugabe could continue ruling the military, but Tsvangirai
could run the police, allowing him to direct them to protect the violence
against the opposition.
But the really bad news is that Mugabe, who has been supported by some in
South Africa, has managed another slight of hand.
In the “power sharing” agreement between Mugabe and Tsvangirai (who won the
original election), Mugabe was supposed to be allowed to control the military,
but the local police were to be supervised by Tsvangirai’s half of the
Ah, but Mugabe refused, and wants to control the cops too. This allows him to
use the police
to break up peaceful demonstrations, freeing his army and “Green
bombers” to terrorize the countryside far from reporters.
So Mugabe’s “enablers” in the SADC have now decided
to pressure Tsvangirai to accept only partial control of the police… and the
really bad news is that clueless reporters are calling this a “Mugabe win” or
writing headlines implying that Tsvangirai is refusing to cooperate with the
farce of letting Mugabe win while making Tsvangirai a leader on
paper, without real power to change things.
Effectively SADC was instructing the MDC to accept Mr Mugabe’s definition of
power-sharing - that they should take a junior role in his government.
“These regional organs are state to state,” David Monyae, a South African
analyst, told the BBC. “The idea of opposition groups coming in and getting
heard is not something they are comfortable with.”…
So the “impasse” continues: but it is only an “impasse” because Mugabe has no
intention of giving up any real power, and he knows by delaying things he will
win with the help of his “friends” in South Africa.
The bad news is that the people of Zimbabwe are the ones who will suffer.
Tsvangirai has no power to stop those who terrorize the country, or to
control the plunder of Zimbabwe’s farms by Mugabe’s cronies, or even to change
policies so companies can keep their
mining industry open: when
gold mines shut down because they can’t pay electric bills or pay their
workers, something is very wrong.
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She blogs
World needs to act on Mugabe
November 12th, 2008
international community must step in and order new elections in
The once-wealthy nation is a basket-case and unless the political
is solved quickly a tragedy of extraordinary proportions is about
These are uncertain times but the international community has to
collective will, and the money, to ensure a properly-elected
takes over the country. Then the international community has to
money to help the recovery. If it were not for the money and food
sent to Zimbabwe families by expats, we would be talking of mass death
People have been living on roots and berries,
fighting wild animals for
food. Drinking water, even in the suburbs of
Harare where cholera has broken
out, is non-existent and families have to
walk to wells searching for water
which has not been deliberately
Inflation is now running at an improbable 231 million per cent
and there has
been a breakdown in basic services. Hospitals and medical
closed down and schools lie empty.
talks have come to a resounding halt as incumbent
President Robert Mugabe
cast aside the spirit of the September agreement and
appointed members of
his own ZANU-PF for political expediency.
He has vowed to govern in his
own right with his own ministers and his
refusal to accept the will of the
people continues unabated. That is why
the international community should
not countenance any quasi-government
formed by Mugabe since frustrated
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
walked away from the power-sharing talks
Control of the department which administers the police
force has been the
sticking point for much of the power-sharing
The police force was used to brutalise and torture Mugabe
Tsvangirai himself has been a victim of their violent excesses
the past three years. The police remain loyal to Mugabe with
Chihuri refusing to serve in a Tsvangirai-controlled
the majority of officers happy to work with the
Again, the regional Southern African Development Community, has
toothless apologist for Mugabe, unable to come up with a satisfactory
compromise and then refusing to entertain an MDC compromise which would
have provided two lists of cabinet ministers, allowing Mugabe to choose
This impasse can only end if the world bypasses Mugabe
and runs an election
committed to a peaceful and democratic process, free
of the bloodshed of
the past. It's Zimbabwe's last chance.
SADC's widening credibility gap
Press Statement – National Vision
that took place over the weekend further undermined the credibility
whose image is being severely battered by irreparable damage
the worsening humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe. As poverty,
disease escalate compounded with distressing news that 4 million
face starvation, SADC once again chose a path of selfishness and
especially knowing fully that Mugabe has nothing to offer to his
except more misery, blood, toil, tears and sweat.
SADC heads of
states conveniently forget to take into cognizance the
the region. There is no doubt that problems facing
Zimbabwe directly affect
their own countries economically, socially and
politically. For instance it
is inconceivable that the world will let South
Africa play host to 2010
World cup against a background of increasing
political and social
instability overflowing into South Africa from
Zimbabwe. Recent xenophobic
attacks that left scores of foreigners (mostly
murdered are a stark reminder of the delicateness of
While SADC's failure to act in defence of democracy comes
as no surprise
given the bloc's notoriety for dictatorial solidarity,
Mugabe's illegitimacy when the crisis is peaking
insensitivity to the plight of the Zimbabwean citizens. In
any case Mugabe
is their political god-father except Seretse Khama of
Botswanaand the late
Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia.
Many people had
hoped that the advent of Zuma-Motlanthe administration would
depart from the
failed 'quiet diplomacy' of Thabo Mbeki who ironically,
the dictatorships of Zimbabwe and Sudan. (see article
“The Indictment of
Thabo Mbeki” www.nationalvision.wordpress.com).
Motlanthe is a known ally of Mugabe who as head of the South Africa
mission, shamelessly validated Zimbabwe's rigged 2002 elections
them as 'completely free and fair.'
impartiality is questionable as he is also on record for
denouncing the MDC
stating that “ MDC is not a political party” (September
2004, in an
interview with O'Malley). He went on to pander to the fears of
neo-colonialism diatribe used by Mugabe saying, "If you have a
government and state and you have external powers seeking to
legitimate government what you are saying to us, the ANC, is
that you would
do the same tomorrow to us."
The natural starting point for SADC if
it is serious about solving the
Zimbabwe crisis is a sober realization that
Zimbabwe has a dictatorship
whose ostracism is long overdue. SADC's proposal
to have a co-managed Home
Affairs plays to Zanu PF's advantage as it will
lead to another usurpation
of power. Morgan Tsvangirai again showed great
leadership in rejecting
Mugabe's self-serving offer with the contempt it
deserves because it does
not safeguard the interests of the people of
Zimbabwe who rejected Mugabe
overwhelmingly. The world cannot continue to
subcontract incompetent SADC or
AU to solve Zimbabwe's worsening crisis
which has dragged on for more than
talks must succeed - despite Thabo Mbeki
THE rift between [Zimbabwe president Robert] Mugabe and [opposition MDC
leader Morgan] Tsvangirai widens over power-sharing, there are fears that
the negotiations are going to fail. - Trymore Mangoma,
Even more worrying are calls for the opposition to
pull out .
But to allow these talks to sink will be a terrible mistake by
because this appears to be the only solution to the Zimbabwe
considering that other logical means, such as widening sanctions
elections, will clearly never work .
For as long as
Mugabe controls the police and the war veterans remain immune
prosecution, a free and fair election will never be possible in
Those who call for another election either underestimate the
threat, or [believe in] the myth that international observers will
peaceful election. The war veterans' association consists of former
and Zanla forces who fought in the war that led to Zimbabwe' s
in 1980. A third of its members are still serving in the
security forces, as
well as the public and private sectors . The war vets
occupy every nook and
cranny in the basin of Zimbabwe's social and political
life, from the
barracks and boardrooms to the township shebeens and the
The observers would never witness the violence because
they will be
luxuriating in hotels or zooming in sports cars to the tourist
like Victoria Falls .
The mediator we have for the talks
has a questionable record. At a time when
the world was appalled by the
gross human rights abuses by Mugabe, [former
president Thabo] Mbeki casually
commented that there was no crisis in
Zimbabwe. Now Mbeki will pat Mugabe on
the back while arm twisting
Tsvangirai to accept whatever share of power he
is offered .
This equal power sharing settlement will give Zimbabwe some
particularly if it creates conditions conducive to free and fair
against unilateral government
November 11, 2008
HARARE - Political and economic analysts have warned of total
collapse if President Robert Mugabe goes ahead to unilaterally form
government that excludes his political rivals from the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).
Such government would immediately be
confronted by a legitimacy crisis and
may find itself assailed by the same
problems that have plunged Zimbabwe
into its worst economic crisis, they
say. Mugabe is under pressure to
embrace far-reaching political reforms,
accommodate his political rivals and
form an acceptable government to drive
Zimbabwe's economic recovery.
"That government will be a non-event as
political and economic instability
will worsen," said Eric Block, an
economic analyst. "It would be a 'no
change situation'. The economy will
continue to decline."
Although Mugabe controls the political space, he
has lost control of the
economy because of his government's populist
policies. Foreign investors are
unlikely to see Zimbabwe as an attractive
destination because nothing would
"If Mugabe forms a
government on his own, the country will continue to
Mugabe and his party, Zanu-PF, have vowed to go it alone if
with the MDC over the composition of the Cabinet continues.
When the matter
was referred to the Southern Africa Development Community
mediation, the regional body ruled and recommended that Zanu-PF
and the MDC
should run the Home Affairs ministry together. The ministry
police, immigration, birth and death registration and the
administration of passports.
After the SADC´s summit
this week, Mugabe has reportedly asked MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai to
submit a list of his own nominees for Cabinet to enable
Mugabe to form an
all inclusive government. The MDC sees Mugabe's plan
that Zanu-PF intends to reduce Tsvangirai and his party
to the position of a
junior and ineffective partner in a coalition
government. The MDC rejected
Mugabe's plan and the SADC recommendation.
The MDC says the running of
the Home Affairs ministry is among seven other
issues that have stalled the
power sharing deal signed on September 15. SADC
refused to entertain this
argument and urged Mugabe and Tsvangirai to run
the interior ministry
together. Since the harmonized elections in March,
Zimbabwe has been without
a Cabinet. Mugabe feels encouraged by SADC's
decision and has pledged to go
ahead and set up a government with or without
Barnabas Tondhlana, former Associate Editor of the banned
Daily News on
Sunday says Mugabe should embrace his opponents as he fears
the situation is
now ripe for civil unrest.
"The situation will
really get much worse than they are at the moment," he
good thing about the power-sharing deal is that it was going to unlock
needed capital from the international community, which is the first
step towards resolving the current crisis. Mugabe alone cannot be
with that capital. If he goes it alone, there will not be any
investment to dream of."
The inclusion of the MDC in the new government
was generally expected to
attract foreign investment because of the
perception that the MDC enjoys
resolving the impasse, says a history teacher at a Harare
the ruling by SADC complicates the whole issue as it
leaves both Zanu-PF and
MDC with tough choices on how to proceed.
"The MDC controls the lower
house," says the teacher. "If Mugabe goes it
alone, he will not be able to
control Parliament. Mugabe will find it hard
to push through Amendment
Number 19 which will legalise the new changes."
There was consensus that
the MDC must continue to search for a solution to
the crisis and address
allegations of preparing for foreign military
should exhaust all the channels available to see arbitration," says
Chitsiko, a teacher in Chitungwiza.
"By pulling out, the MDC would have
shown contempt for African institutions.
They still deserve respect despite
their apparent failure to resolve the
the African Union has a limited capacity to resolve the
Zim leaders interested power, not serving people
Makanza Wednesday 12 November 2008
I think the negotiation
process between the political parties in Zimbabwe
has gotten out of hand and
is now more of a leadership circus.
The Southern African Development
Community (SADC) leadership have once again
failed as they have many times
before with regards to the Zimbabwean issue.
Allocation of ministries in
my view is a peripheral matter. Instead, the
SADC leadership should have
insisted that the Zimbabwean political
leadership discuss issues of
substance rather than dwell on a peripheral
matter which, once substantive
issues of policy, level of authority and
decision making processes have been
outlined, will naturally fall away.
I am amazed that it has taken three
SADC meetings, after former South
African President Thabo Mbeki had referred
the matter to them just to get a
decision on ministries, but still no
agreement has been reached.
That tells you something about the capacity
and quality of the political
leadership we have in the region. What are we
to say of our leaders who
cannot resolve an issue as minor as
The political leaders in Zimbabwe have not even begun to talk about
economic and social policies that will inform this unity government and
hence guide the programme implementation at the ministry level irrespective
of which party is heading which ministry.
I think the process by all
accounts has broken down and will not extricate
Zimbabwe from its quagmire.
All evidence points to the fact that these two
parties cannot and will not
I therefore see this process going on for another six
months leading up to a
United Nations (UN) resolution for new elections
under UN supervision.
Anything else by SADC and the African Union will
unfortunately not yield any
So what action can we
as Zimbabweans take? Are we to just sit and watch
while our leaders shuffle
from one meeting to the next, issuing communiques?
In the meantime, many
in Zimbabwe continue to perish from hunger and
Zimbabweans today can hardly put a meal on the table, the school
are all back home as the teachers are on strike, some hospitals
and child mortality rates and the numbers of women dying after
have reached unprecedented levels, many continue to leave the
The prices of food charged in United States dollars are
unheard of anywhere
in the world even for people working and earning hard
Does any of these political leaders perceive the exigency to
get a solution
on Zimbabwe now as a matter requiring an emergency response.
Is there an end
of this story of ours where the worst seems unimaginable but
Maybe, just maybe, if women were involved and
leading in the current
negotiation process on Zimbabwe, perhaps a solution
would have long been
Hear ye Oh leaders of Zimbabwe, our cries
for human dignity and respect for
I feel the birth pains
of many women struggling to feed their families, care
for the many HIV/Aids
patients and orphans.
I have seen many children with stunted growth in
the villages in Zimbabwe
due to hunger and malnutrition; lonely child-headed
households with teary
eyes that have lost their youthful zest for life,
having been thrust
prematurely into adulthood.
With no means of
survival and no one to care of them, they are vulnerable
and exposed to the
vagaries of abusive predators. Their plight is not anyone's
can wait another day and another meeting.
Many women who have
demonstrated for a speedy resolution of the Cabinet
issue have had their
calls go unanswered, their voices unheard.
Many who claim to speak on
behalf of the poor and marginalised are
themselves well fed and clothed and
their children attend private schools.
Political parties that purport to
represent us have no clue of the suffering
of those whom they claim to fight
They have never slept on an empty stomach, with nothing in their
to eat the following day.
They do not know what it is to
scout the forests, hills and valleys days on
end competing with baboons and
monkeys for wild fruits.
They have never stared into nothingness with
nowhere to go and no idea where
their next meal is coming from. They do not
know what it is to cross a
crocodile-infested river in search of greener
pastures to lands afar only to
be brutalised and abused.
So they can
afford the endless travels across the borders of the region from
to Zimbabwe and back to South Africa, talking simply about
Wow! Are we supposed to be impressed by these tomfooleries of
who have lost their identity and do not know who they are, have
no vision of
the future of the country and have completely devoured the
legacy of the
They certainly have no interest of the people but
are engrossed with either
acquiring power or retaining it.
is aptly named a "power-sharing deal". That is all that it is. It
the sharing of power between political parties and not about
people of Zimbabwe.
Hear ye Oh leaders of Zimbabwe our cries for peace
and prosperity! Why are
your hearts so hardened and cold, your eyes red with
hatred and anger?
Why Oh why Zimbabwean political leaders are you full of
resentment, killing even the milking cows, eating the seeds
and plundering the fields before the harvest.
proud people that could feed themselves with plenty left to spare now
empty with begging bowls in hand. Why have you defiled the country and
turned each and every one of us into either a thief or a beggar, despised by
Even those that have remained home, you have raped,
maimed and killed like a
blood-thirsty brood of vipers.
And yet you
unashamedly sit and dine with other leaders in countries afar
while your people go hungry and many lie dying in deserted
hospitals with no
medicines, equipment and staff.
Hear ye Oh leaders of Zimbabwe our cries
for basic human rights!
You drive around in fancy cars while many travel
on foot or live at work
because they cannot afford bus fare. You live in
opulent luxurious houses
with many rooms in the leafy green suburbs of
Harare lit by generators and
watered by boreholes, while many wallow in
their faeces and die of cholera
in the high density suburbs of
You do your shopping in the best malls of the world in South
and Asia while many forage and scour the dustbins and dump
sites of Harare
for their next meal.
When your child gets sick, they
are flown for medical care to the best
hospitals and are served by the best
doctors and receive the best medicines
and best nursing care while a sick
orphan is simply taken to an empty local
clinic to die.
attend the best universities and schools in the world while
many children in
Zimbabwe are sitting at home and the academic year a write
this while you claim to be a leadership that wants to serve the people
want to continue to lead. What a contradiction in terms. Surely, history
will judge you accordingly.
What happened to selfless leadership with
a passion to serve the people?
What happened to the mantra "power to the
people", or in African National
Congress terms, "the people shall
I would like to join the call by Botswana President Ian Khama,
to call for
fresh internationally supervised elections on Zimbabwe now
These power-sharing talks in Julius Ceasar's
words are "much ado about
nothing". They are going nowhere and will lead us
Let the political leadership declare 2008 as the year of the
Hear ye Oh leaders of Zimbabwe our cries for
After Barack Obama won the USA Presidency, I am encouraged
to believe that
one day the people shall indeed govern in Zimbabwe. -
again, when faced with a choice between morality and expediency, the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders chose
The stark reality of Zimbabwe is that for the third time this
Mugabe regime has stolen or gerrymandered an election. It is a
kleptocrats and murderers. Western powers will give no aid for the
SADC-suggested "power-sharing" solution, and SADC will stand uselessly by,
wringing their hands while Zimbabweans starve to death.
they are prepared to act with integrity, condemn the indefensible
a proper power-sharing agreement on the Mugabe regime will there
solution in Zimbabwe.
EDITOR'S MEMO : MDUDUZI
Posted to the web:
BARACK Obama’s historic
election as the first black US president has captured the world’s imagination
and projected America as a beacon of democracy where the idealism of its
founders remains alive.
of prejudice and racial cleavages, Obama’s seminal achievement redrew America’s
political map and confounded generations of hitherto sure-proof political
wisdom. But could such a feat be replicated in Zimbabwe’s own politics? How
feasible is the prospect of a Ndebele president, Nambya, Tonga, Venda, or mixed
race, disparagingly still officially referred to as ‘Coloured’ almost 30 years
since the end of white colonial rule?
today boldly opens a debate that has so often tended to incite rather than
provide insight, and invites readers to dispassionately and critically
interrogate this most emotive of subjects that lies at the very core of the soul
of our young nation. To set the ball rolling, New Zimbabwe.com editor MDUDUZI
MATHUTHU provides a historical context of the framing of ethnicity in Zimbabwean
IN THEIR hugely revelatory
book, MUGABE, David Smith and Colin Simpson (1981) record how Lord Soames – the
British-appointed transitional governor of Rhodesia – summoned Robert Mugabe in
1980 to raise concerns about “intimidation by his supporters in certain areas,
notably in Manicaland…”
This was in the run-up to
Zimbabwe’s first elections in 1980 which pitted Mugabe against his main
opponents -- Joshua Nkomo (PF-ZAPU) and Bishop Abel Muzorewa (UANC).
The charge sheet against
Mugabe was an impressive one. One incident, recorded in then Fort Victoria (now
Masvingo), particularly strikes me. Smith and Simpson write on page
“It was from Victoria Province that the
worst evidence had come – and more damagingly for Mugabe, it had come from his
old ally Joshua Nkomo. Nkomo told the governor that three of his workers, a
candidate called Francis Makombe and two helpers, were putting up posters in
Chibi tribal trust land near Fort Victoria when they were abducted by two gunmen
who identified themselves as ZANLA ‘fighters’.
“The three of
them were marched off to nearby villages, the peasants assembled and ordered to
ignore Nkomo’s party. The gunmen, Nkomo said, then told the crowd that Mugabe’s
party had equipment to detect how people voted. Anyone who voted for any
candidate other than Mugabe’s would have their heads cut
“The two helpers
were beaten, the candidate was last seen with burning coal being stuffed down
187, Smith and Simpson – both former Africa correspondents for UK media
organisations – reveal how Soames confronted Mugabe over the violence. Nkomo
said he could simply not campaign in many parts of Mashonaland for fear of
reprisals, Lord Soames declared.
“Mugabe seized on this at once,” Smith and
Soames,” Mugabe said. “I’m not new to this game, you know. That’s my part of the
country, Manicaland, that’s mine. The fact that Nkomo can’t campaign there is
down to the fact that I control it, I’ve had a cell there for five years. Is it
surprising that people don’t turn out there for Nkomo? Would I go to Nkomo
country (Matabeleland) and expect to raise a crowd there? Of course I
I was reminded of Mugabe’s
reference to “Nkomo country” while listening to Barack Obama’s victory speech
after becoming the first black President of the United States on November
Obama said by voting him
into power, and so overwhelmingly, Americans had “sent a message to the world
that we have never been a collection of Red States (traditional Republican
Party-leaning States) and Blue States (traditional Democratic Party-leaning
States): we are, and always will be, the United States of America.”
Whatever Mugabe meant, it is
clear in his mind he had a picture of a political landscape defined by tribe.
The logic of his argument to Lord Soames, which justified the use of violence
against Nkomo’s supporters, was that a Ndebele leader’s political ambitions
should be contained within the boundaries of Matabeleland, and by the same token
a Shona leader should only seriously mobilise in Mashonaland.
segmentation of Zimbabwe into “Nkomo country” and “Mugabe country” still holds,
and will remain political currency for a while. For that reason, the miracle of
the American election – translated in Zimbabwe to mean the election of a
President from a minority tribe – is as distant as the last page of Harry Potter
and the Order of the Phoenix.
In the 1980 elections,
Mugabe inevitably swept the Mashonaland vote and Nkomo did likewise in
Matabeleland. The order was repeated in the 1985 elections – held under extreme
violence in Matabeleland as Mugabe sent troops into “Nkomo country” in a bid to
crush the ZAPU leader’s backbone.
Mugabe, having himself
partitioned the country between himself and Nkomo in 1980, finally got to
exercise full control of the land when he, using violence, forced Nkomo to
abolish ZAPU and join a unity government in 1987, as his deputy. For the first
time, Zanu PF would carry the “Nkomo country” vote, which came to pass in the
1990 and 1996 landslide victories.
When Nkomo died in 1999, his
supporters were in an invidious position. He had reluctantly taken them into the
bowels of Zanu PF, and now they had no political home. There was no Nkomo, and
there was no serious “Nkomo country” political organisation to embrace their
This ‘decision time’ would
coincide with the formation of the MDC, which itself had assembled an impressive
group of “tribal” representatives from the region. It genuinely looked a
movement equipped to crash through Mugabe’s tribal barriers.
In the 2000 parliamentary
elections, the former “Nkomo country” would swing en masse behind the MDC –
claiming 21 of the 23 seats in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland
The novelty of the MDC was
its integration of respected leaders from Matabeleland, who were infused with
other leading figures from Mashonaland, to form what genuinely looked a national
party representative of the young and old, rich and poor, Shona and Ndebele,
black, white, Asian, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – to paraphrase
A question arises. Would an
MDC led by Gibson Sibanda – who, by virtue of being president of the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), was senior to Morgan Tsvangirai (secretary
general) -- have been a threat to Zanu PF in “Mugabe country”?
Some will say “common sense”
– read tribal reality -- prevailed, and Tsvangirai became MDC President with
Sibanda taking a junior role. That way, the MDC could go on the offence in
“Mugabe country” while also courting support in “Nkomo country” where the
Ndebele minority was amiable, for lack of options, to political accommodation so
beautifully represented by Nkomo’s capitulation in playing Mugabe’s surrogate –
even if to save his people from killings and curfews.
It should also be
remembered, as Smith and Simpson point out, that Mugabe pulled out of the
Patriotic Front – backed by Zanu’s central committee – which should have
contested the 1980 elections, partly because he knew he would partition the
country on tribal grounds, and secure his majority anyway.
Smith and Simpson record, on
page 158, how at one session in late 1979, Josiah Tongogara
“made his final plea for dropping
the name Zapu and Zanu and running simply as the Patriotic Front. The war, he
said, had not been about personalities or parties but the removal of
discrimination and oppression.
“To a silence that was
rare in any of their meetings, Tongogara insisted that it would be ridiculous
for Zanu to refuse to consider Nkomo as a leader of the Front after they had sat
down and negotiated alongside him for 14 weeks in London. Tongogara knew then
that he’d lost. He was more disappointed than angry, and did not resist when he
was dispatched – before the meeting which formally took the decision to campaign
alone – to guerrilla camps in central Mozambique…”
Again, a question begs to be
asked. Was Mugabe a better leader than Nkomo, who by the way was more senior to
him in the struggle?
The conditioning of the
Zimbabwean people to see politics through the prism of tribal goggles would
again be represented by the MDC split of 2005.
In a subliminal perpetuation
of the “Nkomo country” and “Mugabe country” paradigm, the breakaway faction of
the MDC composed mainly of MPs from the Matabeleland region sought a Shona
leader to make them competitive in Mashonaland. The chief qualification for that
leader was tribe.
And Tsvangirai, in response,
sought a Ndebele deputy to deliver him votes from “Nkomo country”. Again, the
outstanding qualification for that deputy being tribe.
Whether these approaches are
successful then becomes a question of strategy, resources and viability
projection. But it’s inescapable that the plan is a tribal balancing act that
ultimately establishes the minority as junior partners in the national political
leadership in Zimbabwe remains the preserve of the Shona majority. A Ndebele
leading a political organisation is so readily labelled either a tribalist or a
separatist seeking to avenge past wrongs by Mugabe. Nkomo was labelled a
terrorist, and those who have come after him are cast as divisionists seeking to
derail the freedom train or are simply starved of resources to get their message
across. Those from minorities leaning towards the main Shona-led parties are
“progressives” who tragically soon discover that their progress has a ceiling.
This is the state of our nation we dare not deny.
Other than through war or
some act of God, it is difficult to see how a minority leader can win an
election in Zimbabwe. It is largely because Mugabe’s doctrine of “Nkomo country”
and “Mugabe country” was executed so methodically as to leave the nation
permanently divided and condemned to an eternal pursuit of elusive
Our neighbour, South Africa,
has had two Xhosa leaders – Mandela and Mbeki – despite Zulus forming the
majority. It is because they understood, to paraphrase Tongogara, that the
struggle was not about tribe and personalities but “the removal of
discrimination and oppression”.
For the country’s own good
and future health, Zimbabweans must make deliberate choices to reverse this
calculated segmentation by Robert Mugabe. The onus is no less onerous than on
the people of Matabeleland who need to regroup and end their political
prostitution for the measly reward of political accommodation.
In the same way that
affirmative action is being employed to reverse imbalances in resource
allocation between the poor black majority and remnants of the colonial order,
Zimbabweans have a collective responsibility to cultivate healthy politics that
guarantees opportunities for all who are qualified for the task.
There are no easy solutions,
but I am in no doubt that the process should begin with a model of progressive
reverse segmentation, moving towards a genuine unification of our national
Mathuthu is the New
Zimbabwe.com editor. He can be contacted via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org