Moves by the former ruling party to play down the attacks claiming the individuals who criticized the facilitator did so in their personal capacities are not convincing because the regime has not dissociated itself from other similar attacks on local and foreign leaders by the same people in the name of the party again. A typical example is how the State-owned media and the president’s spokesman as well as army of propagandists take turns to pour scorn on MDC-T President Morgan Tsvangirai.
Zanu-pf’s damage control on SADC and President Jacob Zuma is insincere and just too little too late. It is a regrettable climbdown after soul searching and realizing how the regime has committed political suicide at the click of the mouse – thanks to the internet and the party’s laisez- faire approach.
It is insulting public’s intelligence for the regime to try to split hairs when the Supreme leader is the one who started it all and his followers were only lending him a hand in his attacks on a fellow African leader and regional body.
There is no way SADC and indeed President Jacob Zuma should have been treated so badly by a regime that has lost friends through out the world some of them still in the process of being deleted by grassroots jasmine revolutions.
The admission by Zanu-pf Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi that there were attacks but only that they were not coming from the government shows the regime knows how much harm was caused.
With increasing international isolation regionally and overseas, Zimbabwe is fast coming to terms with the limits of behaving like a pariah state and the risks of treating other world leaders and their representatives with contempt. One important point though is that no matter how much the regime will try to pull wool on the public’s face, the damage has already been done.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London, zimanalysis2009