Spectre of Mugabe may wreck MDC hopes of aid

Plans by the MDC to rebuild the country with the help of foreign aid could be scuppered because Mugabe is still in power, according to report published on Times Online.

The report said that MDC insiders felt Tsvangirai has walked into a
trap and that Mugabe had no intention of sharing power, that the wily
octogenarian will easily outwit him and that the Old Crocodile will
corrupt and co-opt MDC politicians with money, Mercedes and mansions.

Reporter Martin Fletcher said the global political agreement was
vague, toothless and riddled with ambiguities that offer Zanu (PF)
ample opportunity to thwart MDC initiatives.

He cited no clear division of power between Tsvangirai and Mugabe, and
the fact that Zanu retained a large measure of control over the
security services. The two parties were also locked in a bizarre
compromise of jointly running the hotly disputed Home Affairs Ministry,
which controls the police.

The report cited other problems, such as the future of Gideon Gono, the
Reserve Bank governor, and signs that the regime had not shown the
slightest intention of mending its corrupt and violent ways since the
agreement was signed last September. Its leaders had continued to
imprison MDC activists, harass white farmers, restrict Tsvangirai's
movements and enrich themselves at the people's expense.

Curiously, according to Fletcher, some of the MDC's most ardent
proponents of unity government agreed with much of this. They knew that
the agreement was flawed, and felt it was far more than Mugabe deserved
after using violence to subvert the election, and far less than the MDC

They argued that they had no option and that if they were smart,
determined and ruthless enough, they could destroy the regime – We can
fight and deliver at the same time, which we’ve never been able to do
before, a senior official said.

They also argued that the international community could start
channelling aid to some of the 13 ministries in its control – including
finance, health, energy and water. By controlling so many ministries,
they would be able to rein in Mugabe's powers of patronage,
exacerbating rifts within Zanu (PF).

MDC insiders also believed they could use their parliamentary majority
to great effect. They would seek to repeal repressive legislation,
including that which crippled Zimbabwe's independent media. They could
hold officials accountable.

The MDC also controls every city council in Zimbabwe, and believes
that with Western assistance these can quickly begin restoring water
supplies, mending roads and providing other basic services that have
largely collapsed, said the report. Finally the MDC has in Tsvangirai
by far the most popular politician in Zimbabwe, who should now be able
to travel freely, attending meetings, addressing rallies and winning
airtime as he has never been able to before.

But, writes Fletcher, there is just one problem with the MDC's scenario.

It depends crucially on Western aid beginning to flow. Britain, the US
and the EU say that this will not happen unless the new government
demonstrates a genuine commitment to reform – a development they find
almost inconceivable as long as Mugabe remains president. –Timesonline

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