Kicking And Screaming – Take Mugabe Back To SADC or AU

OPINION – “A prime minister cannot be given responsibility without authority and be expected to deliver" – Morgan Tsvangirai August 15, 2008 rejecting Robert Mugabe's attempt to make him a titular Prime Minister.

Accusations and counter accusations between Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) suggest that the hawks in Zanu (PF), who fear losing their prized positions in the vent of an agreement, are winning the battle in the Zanu (PF) corridors.

But they should be warned and exposed because they do not have wishes of the people at heart – only greed – and for that reason are willing to drag the rest of Zimbabweans through unprecedented hardship.

Their insistence on Zanu (PF) maintaining all the top ministries is tantamount to giving the MDC, which won the only legitimate election in March, a few insignificant Ministerial posts and hoping that it will be satisfied.

They fail to realise that the MDC is now more of a mass movement than Zanu PF. Unlike Zanu (PF) which is only responsive to Robert Mugabe’s whims, the MDC is accountable to people who voted for it to implement changes that will bring food and jobs to them.

The agenda that they voted for has already been compromised by the African Union and the SADC’s complete abrogation of their responsibilities when they sent an opposition from whom an election had been stolen to negotiate with the electoral robber – totally negating the democratic expression by Zimbabweans.

Breaking up of the talks without an agreement on the allocation of Ministries between the two parties would spell disaster for the country, which is already in a disastrous situation, with the latest development that pupils cannot write their exams due to lack of preparation, compounded by lack of printing materials for the examination papers.

As Tsvangirai was right in saying that the prime minister could not be given responsibility without authority and be expected to deliver, so the MDC as a party must refuse to be given meaningless posts from where it will not be able to effect meaningful change.

The MDC has already compromised from its earlier position that “the prime minister must chair the Cabinet and be responsible for the formulation, execution and administration of government business including appointing and dismissing his ministers.”

The people who voted for the MDC would not accept further compromise in being appointed junior ministers and they would be the first to rebel against the transitional government in the event of it failing to deliver on promises made.

As the MDC accepted, and Zanu (PF) accepted to be bound by the outcome of negotiations, so the negotiators should accept accept to be mediated if one party says it does not accept what the other side is offering. The MDC has already said that negotiating with Zanu (PF) is a waste of time if Zanu (PF) insists on keeping all the important ministries.

Zanu (PF)’s Patrick Chinamasa, who masquerades as Minister of Justice, with all the privileges of a Minister, yet he was neither elected nor appointed legally, says the MDC is negotiating through the media, yet the MDC is only telling the public the state of affairs with the talks – that it is now fed up and the facilitators should be told that we have reached a deadlock.

The MDC has not said it is pulling out of the talks, only that the negotiating process needs the outside intervention of a fresh and neutral person who can say whether Zanu (PF) is being reasonable or whether the MDC is being unreasonable.

It is not up to Chinamasa to say that he does not agree that the negotiations have stalled, as he was quoted saying: “I don’t see the need of a facilitator. We must keep talking.” Who is he to say the negotiators must keep talking and wasting time while Zimbabwe is sliding irreversibly into the abyss.

By refusing to go back to the facilitator with the impasse, we can only conclude that Zanu (PF)’s position is untenable and that Chinamasa fears to be told as much, or that Zanu (PF) is simply stalling for time – knowing that at some point the MDC will say that it does not want any more to be party to the suffering of the Zimbabwean people.

Kicking and screaming as Zanu (PF) was dragged to the negotiating table, so it should be dragged back to the facilitator – not knowing whether former President Mbeki still has his position, but certainly the African Union and the SADC who underwrote or guaranteed the negotiations, should now review the situation.

It is gross responsibility on the part of the SADC and the AU to remain silent while Zimbabweans are going through such a disaster as this financial year, this monetary year, this academic year and this agricultural season. – www.changezimbabwe.com