Will Zimbabwe deal ever work?

October 13, 2008

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe addresses supporters at Harare airportZimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has sworn in two vice-presidents ahead of talks on power-sharing. He has also allocated important ministries to his ZANU-PF parties.

It’s a familiar pattern.

Mugabe imposes his will and MorganTsvangirai’s opposition cries foul.

Will former South African President Thabo Mbeki be able to mediate a breakthrough? After being ousted as president by his ANC party, he might not be so confident to be seen walking hand in hand with Mugabe at the airport as he has in the past.

Zimbabwean opposition MDC leader and Prime Minister-designate Tsvangirai greets supporters at rally in Harare

As every twist and turn in the talks is analysed, the word endangered is increasingly used. Endangered talks.

But what about ordinary Zimbabweans? They seem more endangered every time the formation of a cabinet is delayed by accusations flying from one side to another.

Will inflational jump to astronomical levels again? Yes. Will food shortages worsen, probably.  Will Zimbabweans see their country on its feet again? It is not likely to be soon.

The words of Western leaders have long been ineffective and in any case, they have their own financial collapse to worry about right now. African countries appear no more inclined to take action than before.

In the meantime, it seems Mugabe is directing the show again.

How long can this go on?


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This deal will not work. Remember history and what happened to J Nkoma.

Ironically Mbeke is retaining his mediator role. Historically he has made no progress for the grass roots people. At least that’s what my friends living in Zimbabwe tell me.

There may be some hope if China continues to invest and create employment. Their model of non inteference is welcomed by many African countries including Zimbabwe.

The west should adopt the Chinese model for involvement in Africa. This would require ridding themselves of their traditional values and adopting the Chinese approach. It seems to be welcomed by many Africans.
At least there would be more development which should help employment because Mugabe and his friends will never give up control.

Posted by buffalojump | Report as abusive

They have been going down hill ence they kicked out the white land owners…Most Africans are not able to govern themselves…Looks like the Chinese will now move in and take control of most of Africa ,in the next 20 years.

Posted by oldewok | Report as abusive

I respectfully disagree,

The ‘Chinese Approach’ focuses on two principles:

First, it will do business with anyone, regardless of human rights issues or attempts by the civilised world to impose sanctions on a repressive government.

Secondly, China recently attempted to ship weaponry to Mugabe at the hight of the political crisis, and only recalled the shipment when it threatened to cause global embarassment.

I fail to see how this ‘China Approach’ could be considered desirable. Rather then cure repression, it seems to reward it (as well as seeming like an attempt at bandwagoning).

Posted by defcom | Report as abusive

tired of this Mugabe run Zim, can’t u see nothing is goner change. This man told u long back that God will remove him , and the only way gone removes someone from earth is through death. Mugabe is blood-thirsty. A deal won’t work for him but war will, and war will help polish his past crimes. But wait who is going to fight hungrY!!only if China provides weapons and food at the same time. Let God judge the man, Implement no deal

Posted by Nono | Report as abusive

Frankly this GNU will not achieve anything because Mugabe has all the power. Even if MDC get some of the key ministries they have been crying for they will have no influence on the policies to be followed. The deal says Mugabe has only to “consult” Tsvangirai and, with Mugabe, that means the later will be lucky if he is informed.

Zimbabwe’s Cabinet has only been a window dressing but with no power. It was the Joint Operation Command (JOC) – a set group of Mugabe cronies including security chiefs who made all the key decisions. That is not going to change. Parliament has long lost its power to hold ministries to account much less JOC.

As for the ordinary people they have never had a look-in!

So Mugabe is free to do as he please- which is what he has done for years now! We can hope against hope that some good will come out of this GNU but the hash reality says otherwise!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

Why do Reuters journalists keep bombarding us with blogs about Zimbabwe?

There are more than 50 countries in Africa. US-backed Ethiopian troops are slaughtering and raping people in Somalia; the war in Congo is still killing Africans; Darfur has not been resolved; there is near-genocide in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia; there are democracy issues in Egypt, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Uganda, etc; there are clashes and environmental dissster in the delta rehgion of Nigeria, etc etc.

Yet, Ruters and other Western journalists keep bombarding us with Zimbabwe day after day simply because a few whites are being asked to give back the land they stole from the local population three rape, murder, tortute, and apartheid…

Do you really take all Africans for fools or why this naked anti-Zimbabwe propaganda?

If you want to cover Zimbabwe, why not mention the Westyern economic sanctions that stripped hospitals bare of medicines and ruined the lives of millions?

Posted by Vincent | Report as abusive

I have said it before on your Blog site: While Mbeki is involved, these talks are doomed to failure.

Get rid of him, and let the UN handle the talks, perhaps they can put Mugabe in his place.

Posted by Powerless | Report as abusive

The deal will never work. As long as Mugabe and his cronies are still in power then we are poised for another decade or more of suffering. He(Mugabe) is so power hungry that even when he signed the MOU he was under very serious pressure such that he could not do anything. We just have to pray for devine intervention. Thats ALL.

Posted by Jaque Tadziripa | Report as abusive

Vincent the princess of oppression values are showing again. Knock the west and close your eyes.

Because of people like Vincent I am convinced the China model is what will be successful. It is non inteference values based and helps prop up leaders who many in the west and living in the countries don’t want. But princess Vincent and others who dogmatically hate the west find the model more appealing.

Posted by buffalojump | Report as abusive

Why the censorship? Can’t handle the truth? :)

Posted by Vincent | Report as abusive

Mugabe is naive to think he can hold on to power. Tsvangirai is even more naive to believe that Mugabe would want to share power with him. But the most naive, are those who are encouraging these two down this dead end route. 1000s of Zimbabwean lives have been lost in the last 6 months whilst we tried out this nonsense. How many more lives will it take before they see sense?

Fresh elections supervised by the UN; is the only sensible option! MDC, for once, is talking sense.

Zimbabwe will not need foreign troops to police fresh elections. The majority in the Police and Army were coerced by their Commanding Office into joining Zanu PF thugs in the post 29 March acts of violence and murder. The COs have a good lives, but not those in the junior ranks. Like the rest of us, they too are suffering. They too want change; in the past they were naïve they are not stupid.

We do not need an army to contain Mugabe and a few of his die hard cronies!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

Very true Uncle Wilbert!!

Posted by Miriro Mukori | Report as abusive