Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mbeki Gives Mad Bob the Thumbs Up — Again

You have got to be shitting me!!

Mbeki gives mad Bob the ok – again??!!

If this turns out to be true, we need to chuck the halfwit neanderthal Mbeki out of office.

This is unforgivable and unconscionable!

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President Thabo Mbeki is lobbying African leaders to recognise Robert Mugabe as Zimbabwe’s head of state — despite worldwide condemnation of Friday’s “sham” presidential election.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai made the startling claim during an interview with the Sunday Times on Friday. He said Mbeki wanted Mugabe — who was the sole candidate after Tsvangirai pulled out last week — acknowledged as president so that his controversial mediation could move forward.

Tsvangirai’s name was still on the ballot despite his withdrawal. While some people expect Mugabe to be sworn in immediately upon the release of the results today, others have indicated that an inauguration is expected this week upon Mugabe’s return from the African Union summit in Egypt.

Said Tsvangirai: “I have received information that President Mbeki is busy lobbying at the African Union to have that position taken, and for President Mbeki to promote Mugabe in these circumstances flies against the grain of international opinion, disregards the feelings of Zimbabweans, and undermines, again, his credibility in the mediation effort.”

MDC vice-president, Thokhozani Khupe, who attended a pre summit conference in Egypt this weekend, confirmed South Africa’s delegation had lobbied AU colleagues to maintain the status quo after a caucus meeting on Friday — which would include recognition of Mugabe as president.

“(Minister of foreign affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma) said the SADC (Southern African Development Community) was about to strike a deal on the transition, but we as the MDC are unaware of any deal,” said Khupe.

“Ministers here are being told by South Africa not to meddle and to leave things as they are.”

MDC spokesman George Charamba said at the summit: “The South African foreign minister yesterday — in a meeting with other foreign ministers — placed it in on record that she, on behalf of the SADC, can confirm that they are nearing a deal where we will have a power-sharing arrangement because the results of the March 29 election did not yield a clear winner.

“Based on that, the AU is supposed to trust the SADC to deliver a solution to Zimbabwe — that automatically closes the platform for other Africa leaders to express their positions on Zimbabwe, because if a solution is imminent, who would want to disrupt that solution?”

Dlamini-Zuma’s spokesman, Ronnie Mamoepa, could not be reached for comment.

Mbeki is at the AU summit where the Zimbabwean crisis is expected to feature prominently.

The MDC has sent a delegation without Tsvangirai as the state will not grant him a new passport.

African leaders are under intense pressure to take action against Mugabe at the summit. But while African leaders slammed Mugabe for his reign of terror in the run-up to Friday’s runoff election, they have been reticent on what action they intend to take against him John Musukuma, spokesman for Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, who has been highly critical of Mugabe, said Mwanawasa had on Thursday officially called for the runoff to be suspended.

He added: “Well, that’s water under the bridge now. We will simply have to move forward with negotiations.”

Musukuma declined to respond when asked whether the SADC — which is chaired by Mwanawasa — would accept Mugabe as a legitimate presidential winner.

A Pan-African Parliament observer member indicated that the AU was divided on acknowledging Mugabe as president.

Meanwhile, a UN Security Council statement had to be watered down after South African objections.

The UN said it deeply regretted Zimbabwe’s decision to go ahead with the poll because it was not free and fair. But it stopped short of calling the elections illegitimate after Pretoria’s objections.

A member of the AU observer mission also indicated that Mbeki was likely to take a “legalistic” approach to the poll. “He will play with time until he takes over the chairmanship of SADC (in August). He will be in a more powerful position to influence the process.”

The observer said that Mugabe was likely to feature large in Zimbabwe’s political future. “The elections have given Mugabe a bargaining chip. He is going to be in a stronger position to bargain.

The problem is that Zanu-PF does not want a settlement without Mugabe. That’s what makes it difficult for Mbeki,” the observer added.

“Tsvangirai also does not recognise that a win-win outcome for the MDC is not possible because of the fear within the Zimbabwean security establishment that they would lose their positions.

“I see a battle between the SADC, AU leaders and the West. For me, I think it’s a stalemate.”

He added that the AU election report would acknowledge that the poll had taken place, even though it was unlikely it would be declared free and fair.

Mugabe, too, was confident ahead of the AU summit, telling supporters at a rally this week: “I am going to go to that AU summit ... I want to see whose finger there is clean.”

Mbeki’s legal adviser Mojanku Gumbi would not comment because she is a member of his mediation team. Tsvangirai, meanwhile, is awaiting the AU’s response. “The problem is they might recognise Mugabe without appreciating that what is needed is transition, and then they would have missed an opportunity of influence, because we will not be a part of that,” he said.

However, Tsvangirai said Mugabe would be forced out by the chaos he had created. “We are now nearer to finding a solution than ever, because what does Mugabe now do?

If he gives himself this sham victory, how is he going to solve inflation of 2000000%; how is he going to solve the massive unemployment; how is he going solve the massive humanitarian crisis; the problem of food and services in the country?”

Tsvangirai said Mugabe would not survive beyond the next South African presidency, and rejected claims that he would go into exile.

Meanwhile, contrary to state-run newspaper reports of a “massive turnout” for the runoff, Marwick Khumalo, head of the Pan-African Parliament observer mission, said it was “very, very low.

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