Mugabe must play ball

mugabe_oldPresident Robert Mugabe is prepared to go in order to keep Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono, Attorney General Johannes Tomana and other old boys in their jobs.

Less than 100 days in office, the power-sharing government is facing a potential stalemate that could paralyse the whole institution or even cause it to collapse. Certainly, collapse of the power-sharing government will be catastrophic for Zimbabwe, but it is something that may not surprise many people given the acrimonious circumstances of the birth of the administration and the fragility it has exhibited since its February 13 formation.

What most Zimbabweans will no doubt find shocking and unacceptable are the reasons that may bring about this debilitating paralysis in the administration, the so-called outstanding issues.

Outstanding because they were considered too peripheral to stop formation of the power-sharing government and therefore could be postponed.

Outstanding issues that in reality are only outstanding as an example of the extent to which President Robert Mugabe is prepared to go in order to keep Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono, Attorney General Johannes Tomana and other old boys in their jobs (read on the gravy train).

Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara are scheduled to meet again this week – the sixth time they will be meeting inside three weeks to discuss the reappointment of Gono, Tomana, ambassadors, permanent secretaries and provincial governors.

Previous meetings failed because Mugabe is adamant his loyalists must keep their jobs.

We are reliably informed this week’s talks will not achieve much. The principals will have to declare a deadlock and formally request SADC to return to Zimbabwe – much earlier than the six months the regional body had said it would wait before reviewing the power-sharing deal.

Yet Mugabe – a man who really should be charged for ruining our once beautiful country – gave his word in Pretoria last September that he was agreeable to a review of all senior public appointments to ensure they reflected the new power-sharing arrangement. Shame on the old man!

But the MDC formations are not without blame for this depressing state of affairs. They have been too eager to praise the unity government as the only viable alternative for Zimbabwe – that may be true.

However, in their haste to prove that they took the right decision to join the unity government, the MDC formations have been overzealous in playing public relations for the coalition government while there is little or nothing at all to prove that Mugabe and his inner circle have truly changed their ways.

Yes, there are encouraging signs that the economy is moving towards stability; schools and hospitals have been re-opened.

But more work remains undone. The same thugs who have destroyed agriculture continue to invade farms. The rule of law remains absent, human rights continue to be violated – and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The point is that the MDC must demand that Mugabe plays ball or they are out of the unity government. The starting point is to insist Mugabe keeps his word on the reappointment of senior public servants.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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