Has Mugabe's Twisted Mind Changed?

OPINION – Last week, in Harare, Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe signed an agreement in which, formally at least, he offered to share power with his opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, who became Prime Minister designate.

"My belief in Zimbabwe and its people runs deeper than the scars I bear from the struggle," Tsvangirai declared, during the deal signing ceremony. 

In other times, his sound bite might have resonated. Instead, it was a mere footnote to the history being written in the dealing rooms and executive suites of Wall Street and in the conclaves of Washington as the global financial crisis trampled the world’s markets.

That, it sometimes seems, is Africa’s curse. However much lip-service is paid to its needs – so basic and so urgent – when the crunch comes, the priorities move closer to home, to pocket books and mortgage repayments, pensions and stock portfolios.

As he signed the agreement, Mugabe seemed in a curmudgeonly mood, revisiting his complaints on purported Western interference in the affairs of his land, bemoaning the desire of African political opposition "to want to be the ruling party" – as if political opposition anywhere had a different agenda in the rotation of power that forms the bedrock of democracy.

Signing the power-sharing agreement, Mugabe referred to some of those same nations once again to describe their role in bringing about the deal with Tsvangirai.

This time, he thanked them for their help in a rambling address that provided as much a psychological glimpse into the soul of a tyrant at bay as a statement of political intent.

Indeed the two seemed to fuse a man who still saw the world in much the same terms as he did when he took power in 1980.

"The problem we have had is a problem that has been created by the former colonial power. Why, why, why the hand of the British? Why, why, why the hand of the Americans here? Let us ask that," Mugabe said.

I wonder if Zimbabwe’s power- sharing agreement is real or whether Mugabe’s state of mind is still the same as it was in 1980.

In this line of thought, I wonder what Mugabe has in store for Zimbabweans. What becomes of the fallen economy? Will his power sharing deal with Tsvangirai get rid of the sky-rocketing inflation and the wheel burrows of money that people push? Or defuse his militia?

How about all the victims families who were caught at the frontline of that election battle? Does the deal erase all the visual images that are still imprinted in their fragile, traumatised minds? I doubt!

Without forgetting the Zimbabwean migrants who lost their lives in the heat of the xenophobia in South Africa; obviously a bit of hatred was born between these two neighbours. It’s still being nursed. An already shaky bond was broken.

In any war, a number of tactics are deployed, their success depending on the level of trickery and skill involved. Just like in the epic movie ‘300’, millions were overcome by a few 300 tactical gladiators. It’s not in the might and the numbers, but in the skilful trickery of the regiment.

"The best way to get rid of your enemy is make him your friend."- A proverb.

If Tsvangirai admitted that he still has incurred in the struggle. What makes him think the tyrant Mugabe will not dig deep into those scars and rip them open?

As reports of political violence resurface, caused by Mugabe’s militia who share a similar fame to the notorious genocidal Interahamwe.

Or maybe the real foe is in the enemy camp- I mean Tsvangirai in Mugabe’s camp. He knows what he wants, what he is doing, why he is shaking hands with the devil and how he got in there. Or does he?

Then there are the laws that protect the likes of Tsvangirai. Maybe the international bodies like the UN, EU and AU have their eyes on Zimbabwe. Then what? 

Mugabe has defied them before as he becomes more sanctions resistant. They shot fiery darts at him but the tyrant plucked them out without bleeding. He thought he had won, little did he know that the poison had coursed its way through his veins. Then followed the collapse of the economy and the dissolution of his people’s human rights.

Alas, Bob Marley’s dream of a free Zimbabwe and a united Africa becomes a faded memory though not forgotten. It could be revived, you know

Maybe Mugabe’s attitude has changed, but then you can’t really tell. One day he batters and makes Tsvangirai prisoner, releases him and then kills his supporters and makes himself the winner of unfair elections and now they are sharing power? Mark you all this is done while the whole world is watching!