Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mbeki’s plan to save Mad Bob

All this talk about a negotiated settlement for Zimbabwe is a flagrant negation of democracy.

The Kenya model is being touted, where the President who stole the election remains President while the opposition leader who was cheated is given a new post of Prime Minister.

In Zimbabwe this would be a travesty.

Zimbabweans have spoken. Despite massive rigging, the MDC won the parliamentary and presidential elections. It is irritating to hear, as we did on Talk Radio 702 yesterday, that the MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai
“failed to secure an outright majority” in the March poll.

In fact whether he did is a matter of dispute. The most plausible explanation for the long delay in announcing the presidential result is that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission were massaging the figures to bring Tsvangirai’s tally below 50% in order to declare there would be a run-off. The rematch has also been inordinately delayed so Mugabe’s thugs can murder and bully enough people before the next polling day.

To say Tsvangirai “failed to secure an outright majority” is to recycle Zanu-PF propaganda.

Now, in a desperate attempt to keep his friend in a job, President Thabo Mbeki is reportedly brokering unity talks that might see the June 27 re-run aborted.

Certainly Mugabe is doing his best to ensure the MDC doesn’t win. Apart from the murders of more than 60 MDC supporters since March, and the repeated detention of MDC leaders, including Tsvangirai, the most cynical ploy must be the use of food as a weapon against poor, starving people. NGOs and foreign agencies have been banned from handing out food aid. Only government workers may now dispense such parcels. And those who want to receive must hand in their identity documents, which means they can’t vote for the MDC. The message: vote Zanu-PF or starve.

Even against all this the MDC could still triumph, which is why Mugabe is relying on bootlicker Thabo to organise a deal for him.

No wonder Grace the Shopper says Tsvangirai will never move into State House.

MDC leaders have endured much to get this far. They should hold out against any Mbeki-orchestrated arrangement which keeps Mugabe in any kind of power.

Neither Thabo nor Bob can be trusted.

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