Tsvangirai’s headache

via Tsvangirai’s headache – DailyNews Live 7 August 2014 by Fungi Kwaramba

HARARE – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is in a Catch-22 situation in his bid to press regional leaders meeting in Zimbabwe next week to resolve a deepening socio-economic and political crisis.

His bitter rival President Robert Mugabe is set to take over as chairman of the 15-nation Southern African Development Community (Sadc).

Sadc, the regional body that brokered the Zimbabwe power-sharing deal in 2008 after disputed elections, will hold its 34th summit on August 17 and 18.

The Sadc Heads of State and Government Summit will be held at the Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls.

However, analysts have pointed out that while Mugabe might now have an upper hand through Sadc, the economy and infighting within Zanu PF will be his undoing.

The summit will be the crowning moment for Mugabe, who became deputy chair of Sadc in Lilongwe, Malawi, during the 33rd summit last year, but takes the reigns as the new chairperson next week.

Southern African leaders, who last July endorsed the re-election of the Zimbabwean veteran politician, brushing aside appeals from the opposition MDC who said the vote was rigged, will enthrone Mugabe as the Sadc chair.

At 90 years, Mugabe is Africa’s oldest leader.

Assumption of the chairmanship entails hosting and chairing the summit of heads of state and government, council of ministers meetings, standing committee of senior officials’ meetings and sectoral meetings.

Zimbabwe will also be expected to chair extra-ordinary meetings at summit, ministerial and at other levels.

Tsvangirai’s party told the Daily News yesterday that there was still hope to use the summit to either formally or informally appraise regional leaders about the dire state of affairs in Zimbabwe.

Douglas Mwonzora, the MDC spokesperson, said the forthcoming summit offered the opposition party and the people of Zimbabwe “a window of hope”.

Mwonzora said the regional bloc should be informed that a new Constitution — that was a key component of the global political agreement (GPA)  brokered by Sadc leaders — has not been fully implemented.

“As a party, we will make presentations on the state of affairs in the country whether  formally or informally,” Mwonzora told the Daily News.

“We are going to dispatch a delegation to inform Sadc about the dire state of the country’s economy, the failure by the Zanu PF-led government to adhere to the new constitution which is a product of the GPA.

“For instance, there is an unwillingness to implement rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights, people cannot demonstrate. There are a lot of human rights violations and the most telling is in Chingwizi.”

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Chingwizi, a transit camp in Mwenezi district, which government set up in February to house at least 3 000 people who had been displaced from the flooded Tokwe-Mukorsi Dam basin where they used to live.

People at Chingwizi are living in squalid conditions and often fight running battles with the country’s law enforcement agents keen to evict them from the transit camp.

While Mugabe’s appointment, which will see him presiding over the continental body until August 2015 and subsequently as a member of the Sadc Troika until 2016, Mwonzora insisted that “Sadc is not Robert Mugabe.”  Analysts said the appointment has reinforced the importance of using Sadc legal and policy frameworks as a departure point for engagement.

“What we are doing is we are formally and informally approaching Sadc heads and appraise them about the situation,” Mwonzora said. “We will not go to Mugabe who is the author of the present problems.”

Tsvangirai’s erstwhile comrades in the MDC renewal team have also said they were going to dispatch a delegation to Sadc.

Rugare Gumbo, Zanu PF spokesperson, said Tsvangirai and his party and the entire opposition were free to do as they wish.

“We cannot talk about that. The elections are over, let us talk about the economy,” Gumbo said. “As far as we are concerned, what they are doing is their business. We are concerned about development.”

Piers Pigou, southern African director of the International Crisis Group, said Mugabe was being rewarded for ensuring elections were not violent, “even if there remains profound questions about the deficits in the process, raised by Sadc and the AU, although not major enough for them to pull back from endorsement.”

“An accommodation of Mugabe is regarded as the best way of containing him — better inside the tent than outside,” Pigou said.

Stephen Chan, professor of World Politics at School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, said it also suggests that there should be a succession process in Zimbabwe.

“It will likely be one of at least two years to allow for stable transition and to accompany Mugabe’s filling of these valedictory roles,” he said.

“Both Sadc and the AU accepted the electoral outcomes of 2013, despite the controversies involved; so, for these groups, no lines have been crossed.”

Pedzisai Ruhanya, the director of Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI) think tank, said the MDC will yield nothing from the summit.

He said the fact that Mugabe will take over at Sadc does not however mean that the regional body will not listen to Zimbabwe’s problems.

“If they want to make presentations, it should be about the undemocratic terrain in the country,” Ruhanya said.

“They must speak about the broader institutions on governance. The fact that Mugabe will assume the chairperson-ship does not mean the MDC cannot be heard.”

“One person cannot constitute Sadc, but the MDC should not continue to be cry babies. The MDC should organise the people and confront this regime. The opposition is fractured. Before they go to Sadc, they should first organise themselves.”


  • comment-avatar
    Bazur Wa KuMuzi 10 years ago

    Opposition political parties need to highlight the current socio-economic development. The crisis instigated by Zanupf is the one that matters. The violence perpetrated by Zanupf thugs now on fellow blacks as evidenced by the attack of farmers in Masvingo and the invasion of Zapu leader’s farm by armed Zanupf supporters in Nyamandlovu are just but some confirmations of tyrany. The MDC-T missed opportunities to effectively halt Zanupf just before, during and immediately after the 2013 elections. All opposition political parties must refocus on issues of the daily brutalities perpetrated by Zanupf as they are witnessed.

  • comment-avatar
    Washumba 10 years ago

    Pane arikuzivavo here kuti world cup yapastage ipi ndanga ndisipo

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    Nintalan 10 years ago

    Tsvangirai and the rest are kidding themselves if they think making representations to SADC are going to help democratise Zimbabwe. They need to take to the streets to protest, and give others the courage to do the same. SADC don’t care about the Zimbabwean economy, but they care about political and social unrest.

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    Albert Zinwamhanga 10 years ago

    The government should be aware that Obama has promissed billions of dollars to some SADC governments with the release of the funds tied to either the boycott of the SADC Summit by those governments or the disruption or outright rejection of the SADC agenda set by the in coming charman for the summit.

    The Zimbabwe government should also be aware that on his recent trip to Britain, Tsvangirai was tasked to cause mayhem in the country before, during and after the SADC summit. We have seen those merchinations taking shape recently. The idea being to prop up the dying MDC and force a negotiation between Zanu pf and the MDC thereby making the MDC relevant.

    There are also plans to withhold funding by Europe on all erstwhile European funded SADC projects during our chairmanship of the grouping and even cause such disharmony and discord such as has never been experienced before in the history of the grouping, the idea being to frighten Africa in a way that some people will advocate for the withdrawal of Zimbabwe’s leadership of the AU next year. The government should throw in jail, all MDC leaders calling for violence and whilst they are in jail, those people should be dealt with permanently. Surely there must be something wrong with our jailing system if people fall over each other to commit crimes in order to go to jail!!!!! Are our jails sunday picnics? Even after leaving jail, some of these people wll not waste time to call for violence again so as to go to jail again – inxewsiblw!!!! One should never want to come within 10 mles of a jail once one has been to jail. Political malcontents should never leave jail soundering in political suits.

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      Roving Ambassador 10 years ago

      Load of boulder dash, what will sadc and the AU bring to Zimbabwe except more !misery ? What a waste of time and resources. Use the money to help out the Chingwizi refugees.
      Its just a meeting of very old thieves discussing ephitars on their graves.

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      No one has ever called for violence except ZPF. What mushrooms have you been chewing. Did not the ‘old man’ once say he has degrees in violence???? You memory is indeed very short and extremely selective Albert. Morgan, despite his mistakes has not called for violence. There is only ONE violent party in Zimbabwe!

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    supermondo 10 years ago

    Mugabe is going there to sleep while zim dilapidates.

  • comment-avatar
    Zim Patriot 10 years ago

    Nxxaaaaa Albert comrade you are delirious and delusional, what planet are you from, your propaganda will not work. We know the Devil is the father of all liars. Satan came to steal, kill and destroy and guess what, Jesus overcame him…….so Zimbabweans lets pray as a nation for truth and justice to rule supreme and most importantly for the Lord Almighty to deliver us from corrupt thieves, liars and murderers……we the people deserve a better Zimbabwe, with jobs and food on the table, with freedom of oppression regardless of political persuasion, language or race. Let’s pray for truth and justice to reign in our land once more!!!!!

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    bruce koffe 10 years ago

    Mugabe lead the defense of DRC Laurent Kabila ousted Mobuto after Kabila and his men staged a successful coup, then Mugabe was Chair of SADC defense this was against then Mandela. SADC like league of nations has no power in the presence of dictators like Hitler now Mugabe. So in short SADC is Mugabe and Mugabe is SADC. In Mozambique he beat SADC 100% by going ahead with an election before implementing any of the electoral reforms in his country. SADC went ahead with endorsing the same election despite the absence of voter’s roll. SADC leaders are like Mugabe’s wives as Dongo once said in Parliament that all parliamentarians are behaving as Mugabe’s wives. Mugabe is the same as biblical Nimirod who forced peopel to build tower of bable in fear of rain. He hunts down all those that object him even SADC leaders with their army and sovereignty are scared. Mwanawase of Zambia died mysteriously just before a summit where he had threatened to expose Mugabe. Mugabe is forcing everyone to support ZANU PF in fear of occupation of the white which he knows in his heart that white will never occupy Africa. But he is misleading everyone in particular SADC region including SADC leaders to believe that lie.

    • comment-avatar

      SADC is spineless. With the exception of Bots.

      • comment-avatar

        Bots is the shallowest administration in Africa. Without the West they are nothing. They just repeat western rhetoric.

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    bruce koffe 10 years ago

    Nimirod made people believe God will destroy the world again by the rain as such people was to build a tower of refuge yet God had said he will never destroy the world again by water. Nimirod’s desire was to have people around him and not focus on their on lives as individuals, he wanted people to believe he was their Savior. Who ever opposed was hunted down and hi was considered a might hunter. Bible is written in symbols as such hunting was not of animals but people. Mugabe is misleading the SADC leaders and some poorly thinking Zimbabweans that white rule will return to Zimbabwe as such the only part that can resist that is ZANU PF.Who ever is refusing that is a sell out and he hunts that person and kill. His real desire is to keep people around him and not focusing on their development while himself is amassing wealth and riches through that process of having people congregate around him and considering as their messiah

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    reader 10 years ago

    lets all meet in Vic falls on the 17th and 18th with our placards, signs etc and stage peaceful demo’s there for these cowardly leaders to see the population is against this Zaniod and Mugarbage.

    if we go as a country someone will listen, there will be reporters from the worls to record this so they will need to keep violence to a minimum.
    Lets not physically challenge lets just occucupy.

    • comment-avatar

      Reader, the opposition have missed every single opportunity to make a very telling statement for the last 14 years. Somehow they can’t rally a mouse behind a block of cheese. Zimbabwe could host every global leader in the world and the general population would hardly emit a wimper let alone put up a placard. Truly, we need to wake up.

      • comment-avatar
        reader 10 years ago

        @ NBS – Never said Opposition i said us normal people we the tax payers, we the trodden on, there’s enough of us.

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    Mena Bona 10 years ago

    Awarding this position to Mugabe is rewarding this man for ruining that country, trampling on human rights and doing away with opposition mostly ruthlessly. Education ruined. The health system ruined. No law and order. One of the worst human rights records together with Sudan, Somalia and the Central African Republic in the world, let alone Africa. Has everyone forgotten the Gukarahundi?
    The country resembles a rotting corpse. Little wonder Africa has such a leadership vacuum. Rewarding tyrants is a disgrace. What must the thinking world make of this.