ZANU-PF to ‘swallow’ smaller MDC faction

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (R) greets Arthur Mutambara (L) head of the dissident MDC faction as MDC 's secretary general deputy Priscilla Misihairibwi-Mushonga and secretary general Welshman Ncube (R/background) look on, before convening for a round table meeting with South African President, chief negotiator Thabo Mbeki (out of camera range) in Harare, on July 05, 2008.

Zimbabwe, Harare– Highly placed sources within both ZANU-PF and the smaller Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) faction led by Arthur G. Mutambara have confirmed to the Harare Tribune that the next government Robert Mugabe will form will comprise members drawn from their ranks, minus those people from the main MDC faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai.This arrangement will be used by the then new government to argue to the international community that there is a government of national unity in Zimbabwe, as has been demanded since Robert Mugabe won a one man election contest on June 27.

Lending credence to this coming arrangement, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi , Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister, speaking in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, confirmed that Robert Mugabe will form a government of national unity, but failed to elaborate the role Tsvangirai will play in the new government.
ZANU-PF leaders, in forming the proxy-GNU with the full participation of the smaller MDC faction, hope to loosen the noose of condemnation they have been receiving from around the world, in addition to enabling them to stay in power. The proxy-GNU will be used as a ticket to argue for the removal of target sanctions that are already in place.
These revelations come days after members of the AGM-MDC faction attended the GNU talks held at the behest of Thabo Mbeki, which Morgan Tsvangirai and his aides refused to attend. Mr. Mbeki is the SADC appointed mediator in the Zimbabwe crisis.
Mbeki is reported to favour a government of national unity modeled on the ‘Kenyan Solution’ in which Mugabe remains president, with Mr. Mutambara, from the smaller MDC faction, taking on the role of prime minister.
ZANU-PF leaders, led by Emerson Mnangagwa, have decided to forge ahead with this arrangement without Morgan Tsvangirai because they don’t agree with Tsvangirai’s insistence that Mugabe should step down and should not lead any GNU between ZANU-PF and MDC.
An arrangement like that, in which Mugabe is not the leader, ZANU-PF leaders fear, will leave them exposed to possible prosecution for their crimes or the seizure of their lucrative businesses which they acquired using tax payer money.
Mr. Mutambara had earlier claimed in a written op-ed that he attended the meeting, in which he was pictured shaking hands with Robert Mugabe while smiling, thinking that Mr. Tsvangirai would also attend. But sources within the small MDC faction disputed his claim.
“They [Arthur Mutambara, Priscila Misihairabwi, Welshman Ncube] attended the meeting because ZANU-PF has promised them influential cabinet post ions in the proxy-GNU that is favoured by Mbeki, one that doesn’t include Tsvangirai,” one official within the smaller faction of the MDC told the Harare Tribune.
Mugabe is reported to have already drawn up a list of people who will be in his new cabinet and is set to announce it as soon the GNU is formed with the blessing of Mbeki. Secretary general Welshman Ncube, who led the rebels who broke away from Tsvangirai, Mutambara and other leaders from the smaller faction of the MDC have been given cabinet positions. Ncube is understood to have been given the role of arttoney general, on account of his massive experience as a lawyer.
Mbeki is reported to have assured Mugabe that “South Africa will do everything it can” to water down any sanctions the United Nations security council is likely to take after the G8 leaders meeting in Japan. Mbeki is expected back in Zimbabwe next week when the proxy GNU will formed.
The decision by the small MDC faction to join hands with ZANU-PF, will reduce the main MDC’s parliamentary gains to nothing. With their combined majority, Mr. Mugabe & Mutambara are able to form a viable government. That scenario means that ZANU-PF will be happy to dismantle the ZANU-PF militia and stop the intimidation and harassment of MP’s belonging to the main MDC.
The cessation of violence is one of the tenets on the long list of demands by the international community led by Britain and the US. In the absence of violence, the outcry by the international community will end and the proxy-GNU will be able to function smoothly-.-Harare Tribune News

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