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Will Zimbabwe power-share work?

February 11, 2009

Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai became the new prime minister on Wednesday, sworn in by President Robert Mugabe — his old political rival.

Tsvangirai vowed to rescue the stricken economy and called on the international community to help salvage the economy of Zimbabwe where unemployment is above 90 percent, prices double every day and half the 12 million population need food aid.

The new unity government will also have to grapple with a cholera epidemic that has killed nearly 3,500 people, the worst outbreak of the disease in Africa in 15 years. Millions of Zimbabweans who fled the country will be cautious about coming back until they see results.

Foreign investors and Western donors have made it clear money will come only when a new democratic government is formed and bold economic reforms are taken – such as reversing nationalisation policies.

What are the prospects for the unity government given the historic animosity between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, the shear scale of Zimbabwe’s economic collapse and the ongoing detention of opposition activists?

Comments

There is every prospect that this will work because the element of fear of sudden change has been removed.
Tsvangirai and his officials will be able to present their agenda rationally to to the people without it being called Western agenda.
He will be able rid the country of corruption because he is not involved in it.
Most people will support him for the change programme and they will be able to remove Mugabe, if he has not already gone.

Posted by Jaya Mupfumi | Report as abusive
 

its going to work because it has to, there is no other choice.

for democracy and economic common sense to prevail the change has to be gradual. Any quick change will in a defensive/violent Zanu PF response which will lead to war. Zanu and MDC must gradually change themselves weeding out the corrupt elements in both parties.

Posted by mageza | Report as abusive
 

THE WORLD MUST GIVE THE NEW ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT A CHANCE.THE IS A LOT WHICH NEED TO BE DONE.ZIMBABWEAN PEOPLE SUFFERED ALOT, THEY WANT TO PROVE TO THE WORLD THAT ZIMBABWE CAN BE DEMOCRACY COUNTRY.THE WORLD IS CHANGING EVERYDAY.OBAMA SAID’ HE WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD.PEOPLE USED TO CALL HIM DIFFERENT NAMES BUT HE NEVER CHANGE HIS POLITICAL MOTIVE.THE IS A LOT OF THINGS WHICH HAPPEN IN THE WEST BUT THEY ARE BRUSHED ASIDE.LOOK WHAT HAPPEN HERE BROWN SAID BRITISH JOBS FOR BRITISH PEOPLE.MUGABE TOOK ALL FARMS FROM THE WHITE FARMERS AND YOU DID NOT BRING ANY FARMS FROM BRITAIN THE WORLD THE GAVE SANCATIONS TO ZIMBABWE THIS NOT FAIR.THE WORLD MUST SUPPORT LIKE ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. LOOK AT ISARAL IT DOESWHAT IT LIKE AND NOBODY SAY ANYTHING.

 

the agreement has to work for the good of the people. i think the international community should be more supportive because irrespective of who is in power the Zimbabweans need help. No country in the world deserves the shambolic health care and education system in place in the country.

 

Another bad precedent started by the Kenyans! What is the future of elections in Africa if no one respects the outcome?

Posted by concerned african in the west | Report as abusive
 

Morgan Tsvangirai has put his own head in a noose and will hang for it.

Mugabe called him a puppet of the west, but now he is Mugabes puppet and will dance to the ZANU-PF tune for as long as he is useful to them, then the puppet strings will become rope!

Posted by Limnothrissa | Report as abusive
 

president mugabe is playing all the roles of the arms of a government. i am suprised how he is also the chief justice who swares in his power sharing prime minister.this means the prime minister is directly under him and answerable to him. soon we will see the president hearing cases in the high court and giving his own rulling on the countries economic crime perpetrators or the country has no judiciary at all. please president mugabe share real power like president kibaki did.

 

NO -It won’t work.It is a marriage of convenience.Mugabe needs Money,so trying to exploit Tsvangirai and swallow the opposition,just as he did with Nkomo’s Zapu & Tekere’s Zum.

Posted by Christoper Wallace | Report as abusive
 

Thabo Mbeki is a genius! Like many Africans all over, he understood the MDC to be the cat’s-paw for British interests. However, unlike Mugabe, he realised that if an African is stupid enough to be a British puppet, African leaders could find a way to make this same person a puppet for Africans instead!

Thus, he successfully convinced Mugabe to stop fighting MDC and start extricating them from the western clutches. It took some time, but Mbeki has prevailed!

The question becomes, given this massive African success, what is going to be Britain’s comeback? The foolishness about denying aid has no value, Zimbabwe does not really need welfare from the West. This GNU gives sufficient cover for countries like China, SA, Russia, etc that were hesitating from investing because of the loud protests from the MDC.

It feels good finally seeing Africans win against western machinations!

Posted by Masimba Batanai | Report as abusive
 

One can only wish good luck to the new alliance. But as everyone knows, two people who hate each other can not work together and achieve. The underlying hatred will be felt in the management of government affairs and the arrest of MDC minister candidate can just provide the light to what we can all expect for the future and who really has the power in that land. If the newly appointed Prime Minister do succeed to undo Mugabe tricks, he will save Zimbabwe from eroding further, but if he can’t, then trouble lay ahead.

 

The power share will not work. The noose tightens on the MDC. Starting with the arrest of the Deputy Minister of agriculture. Little has changed other than a picture.

Britain says jobs for the British but let’s remember this includes British of all races, religions not just for those who are of a certain colour.

I welcome $$$ for indinginous people of North America in NA rather than sending it to people who hate westerners. We will use it to create opportunities for ourselves and others of all races.

Posted by buffalojump | Report as abusive
 

Buffalojump, the world asked Zimbabwe to respect RULE-OF-LAW. The MDC’s Bennett ran away from a warrant of arrest 3 years ago. Is it your wish to see Zimbabwe’s politicians interfere with the criminal justice system and overrule the judicial track in favor of Mr Bennett?

Another point, Baffulo, we don’t hate westerners, neither are we enamored by them either. Our country does not need free money from you. All we ask is your countries take away the sanctions unfairly imposed on Zimbabwe.
We need a TRADE not AID relationship with you. Keep your welfare money for your oppresed indigenes.

Posted by Masimba Batanai | Report as abusive
 

Zimbabwe has never respected the law. The competence level has been low. There has to be a clean out of government. The country has no sanctions only those who have chosen to abuse the people of Zimbabwe.

Posted by Masimba Batanai | Report as abusive
 

Mr Tsvangiarai knows well that he must wortk with the Hero-President Mugabe. For this he needs to be respectful and loyal to the Zimbabwean interest in order to be productive. If not he will go. He needs to be first pro-zimbabwean.

Posted by Pay | Report as abusive
 

Re Masimba Batanai on “sanctions”.

There are no trade sanctions on Zimbabwe, bar those on military equipment.
There are European Union and US sanctions on president Mugabe, his ministers and some of his business allies. There are also prohibitions against accessing balance of payments support from the international financial institutions. These are down to Zimbabwe’s arrears, which amount to tens of millions of dollars of unpaid dues to the IMF.
If Zimbabwe has exports to trade it can do so freely, within the EU and US included. Alas the past 15 years of misrule has put paid to its once flourishing export sector.

Posted by Chris1983 | Report as abusive
 

Actually Pay, Tsvangiarai needs to be first anti-cholera, then anti-state repression (e.g. being jailed and convicted without trial, being forced to pledge allegiance to Mugabe upon threat of torture and/or death), and then finally he can be pro-Zimbabwean. For the vast majority of Zimbabweans who are sick, food-deprived and destitute feeling better so that life isn’t so painful physically and mentally is the ultimate priority. When one is living in misery and despair nothing else matters. When there is substantial improvement, all Zimbabweans will be very proud to be pro-Zimbabwean and eager to demonstrate to the rest of Africa and all the world how well they can do things in their country.

 

The idea of Mr. Morgan to join the government of Mr Mugabe was a very good one in fact i relate him to the heroes of Zimbabwe, because he has saved the indiginoius people from suffering. Further still i blame the international community for neglecting the people of Zimbabwe. That reminds me of a speech by Kagame of rwanda when he was talking about the genocide in Rwanda were he said that Africa needs to wake up and respond to its problems because we are neglected by the so called international community when he commented about hte genocide visa vis the so called international community he believed and actually i also believed that they just sat and enjoyed when Africans were killing themselfs. The same thing has happened in zimbabwe were the international communities main work was to know how many people have died from cholera and i thing they were happy about it . Therefore i concure with president Kagame that Africa should wake up and forget the so called international community

Posted by frank | Report as abusive
 

The last paragraph asks what are the prospects for the unity government, unfortunately they are Zero! The west still fails to understand the medieval mindset prevailing within Zimbabwe. The strategem to cause the downfall and removal of the MDC participants is probably already in place.

Posted by RMacleod | Report as abusive
 

What power-share? Mugabe is still in-charge. Until then good luck! One President… One Nation… One Vision… is the only way democracy will prevail in Zimbabwe

Posted by A3ee3 | Report as abusive
 

I wasn’t aware Zimbabwe was following the rule of law at this time or recently. I thought it was the rule of Mug abe.

Regarding welfare, not interested but $$$ to continue to create opportunities.

Repressed , not

Posted by buffalojump | Report as abusive
 

If the arrest of Roy Bennett is any indication, it’s not going to work. What kind of power sharing is it when you use Military Intelligence and Police to lock up your opponents.

Masimba Batanai, if you look at Bennett’s case in isolation, you could argue that there is a need to let judicial procedures take their course. However, this ignored that Mugabe has chased away or intimidated judges who rule-of-law rulings were against the will of Mugabe. Similarly, the police have been politicised with crackdowns on the many impartial and professional police officers that used to make Zimbabwe’s police one of the best in Africa, and instead replaced them with Green bomber recruits and violent thugs who don’t even know the elements of the penal code.

In this wider context, everyone sees the arrest of Bennett for arms as what it is, a CIO trumped up false charge. When you face such overtly manipulated justice, due process and human rights law states that the charges must be dropped, and Bennett released.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive
 

I do not think this deal will work. I am septic about ZPF’s intentions. Mugabe swore the PM into office. He brought extra ministers to the inaugration ceremony. Is this a game of football where you bring substitutes? The service chiefs did not attnd the ceremony. Roy Bennett is behind bars. What with all those detained before him still in prison.

Mugabe has passed the begging bowl to Tsvangirai to find the salaries, medicines, etc and sort out the economy. If he fails its his fault. Another blame game in the making.

Posted by Roil Sigau | Report as abusive
 

Oh my God how long r will going to keep typing ,talking without action when everybody around us just keeps watching.I am getting to think Britain sponsored genocide in matebeland hence then don’t have a say when Mugabe start to kill the British in Zim, for the Ma Shona pple, they laughed and cheered when matebele pple where killed and forced to exile, Guys keep sponsoring and cheering , some of us got used to the suffering 30yrs back.

Posted by Noma | Report as abusive
 

No it will not work, you cannot have two cockerels in the same compound, anyone in Africa knows that

Posted by dan Brandt | Report as abusive
 

PAMBERI NE JONGWE, remember that!

Posted by RMacleod | Report as abusive
 

vurika!

Posted by tweezer | Report as abusive
 

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