Monday, October 19, 2009

Zim unity government collapses

We said from the outset that this deal would not work. As long as Mugarbage held onto power, neither the West nor the rest would be fooled. Zuma, the ANC, Tsvangirai tried mightily but as you saw with the milk saga recently, the Mugarbages' still rule the roost and real change hasn't come about. Mugarbage is solidly in charge and now isn't even pretending, he knows the ruse has failed. Tsvangirai has pulled out early which is something Mugabe's father should have done.

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Eight months after entering a power-sharing deal with Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has announced he and his party will boycott cabinet and withdraw from dealing with Mr Mugabe's party, in the biggest breach yet in the transitional Government.

''It is our right to disengage from a dishonest and unreliable partner,'' Mr Tsvangirai said.

The catalyst was the jailing last Wednesday of Roy Bennett, Mr Tsvangirai's deputy agriculture minister-designate, a white farmer who is scheduled to stand trial tomorrow on three-year-old terrorism charges that his party, the Movement for Democratic Change, says are fabricated.

Bennett was granted bail on Friday, but party officials said their decision to disengage had not changed. ''This is the time for us to say enough is enough,'' said Thabitha Khumalo, a spokeswoman for the MDC.

Mr Tsvangirai laid out a broad array of grievances. He accused Mr Mugabe's party, Zanu-PF, of selectively using the law to punish his legislators, putting 16,000 of its youth militia on the government payroll and remilitarising the countryside on bases used in last year's discredited election to organise a campaign of terror against his supporters.

Although he stopped short of quitting the Government, Mr Tsvangirai warned that if a working relationship were not restored, he would call for elections supervised by the United Nations.

His strategy appears to be in part an effort to get senior political leaders in the African Union and the Southern African Development Community, guarantors of the power-sharing deal, to pressure Mr Mugabe to be more conciliatory. So far, regional leaders have effectively ignored Mr Tsvangirai's pleas to step in.

But the move also reflects rising anger in the ranks of the MDC. Mr Tsvangirai, who outpolled Mr Mugabe in elections last year but withdrew from the run-off after an onslaught of attacks on his supporters, has sought to put a good face on the deal in recent months.

He had argued that the country and its devastated economy had stabilised. But Bennett's jailing after seven months on bail seemed to have been the breaking point for the MDC.

Mr Tsvangirai said it ''brought home the fiction of the credibility and integrity of the transitional Government''.

Although no one has been prosecuted for the murders of about 200 people before last year's presidential run-off, or the abduction and torture of human right activist Jestina Mukoko, seven MDC members of Parliament have been convicted on what Mr Tsvangirai called ''shadowy charges'', and others still face prosecution.

After months of relative quiet in Zimbabwe, civic leaders and human rights workers said last week that tension was mounting. - The Age

2 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

You can't blame the guy for trying, but I'm not sure what he thought was going to be the outcome - inevitable as it was to the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha, Dobes, you missed your calling as a comic. Pulled out early you say ... brilliant.