Why Mugabe agreed to the Government of National Unity

mugabe_bobPresident Robert Mugabe`s (pictured) Zanu PF performed dismally in the March 2008 harmonised elections. Despite losing the election, Mugabe still did not want to relinguish power into the hands of capable people.

Mugabe therefore successfully rigged the presidential result, while conceding defeat to Morgan Tsvangirai, but he made sure that the result showed Tsvangirai to have won but not enough votes to be able to form a government. Mugabe and his cronies that included George Chiweshe who was then the head of the Zimbabwe Election Commission(ZEC) and members of the so called Joint Operations Command (JOC), withheld the rigged result of the presidential election in excess of five weeks and kept the nation guessing what had happened to their vote. During this period, Mugabe was testing the mood of the nation and the international community, whilst strategising on his next course of action on how to `win` back the presidential election and remain in power. Under pressure from the international community, ZEC finally released the fabricated result and as such there was going to be a run-off between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

Morgan Tsvangirai initially agreed to participate in the run-off but he later withdrew from the race as Zanu PF unleashed their militas and members of the armed forces to torture, harass, intimidate and kill MDC supporters. This resulted in the death of over 200 opposition supporters, some of whom were never accounted for up to this day, over a year after signing the Global Political Agreement(GPA). However, despite the withdrawal, Mugabe continued with the election in which he was the only candidate. He `won` in all the ten provinces including Harare and Bulawayo with a `landslide victory`. What a shame election, it was condemned from all corners of the world. Even Mugabe`s loyalists in the region joined the chorus in condemning the election. . .

Mugabe could not form a government on his own because he had lost the parliamentary majority and regional and international leaders were refusing to legitimise his government. Under pressure from regional and international leaders, Mugabe reluctantly agreed to form a Governmet of National Unity with the two formations of the MDC. But why did Mugabe agree to `sharing` power with the MDC? The answers to this are as follows:

(a) The targeted sanctions were really biting hard and he expected them to be lifted with the help of the MDC.

(b) The economy was collapsing and there was no more paper to continue printing the useless ZW$, basically there was no economy to talk about.

(c) The regional leaders, his usual friends were increasingly isolating him.

(d) Mugabe wanted to legitimise his presidency.

But knowing Mugabe from his past, he is not someone who is prepared to share power with anyone. Look at what he did to Father of the Nation, Joshua Nkomo with his ZAPU. All Nkomo managed to secure from that accord was a guaranteed vice presidential post and a home affairs ministerial portfolio. Nothing for the people of Matebeleland, they continue to be marginalised and the wounds of Gukurahundi still have not been healed. Mugabe is as sly as a fox, the MDC fell into the same trap, they were forced to sign a dodgy document called the GPA, but all Mugabe wants from the MDC is to campaign for the removal of sanctions and start attracting the donor community back into Zimbabwe. Mugabe is not prepared to share power, never in his life time. Mugabe`s government was broke, hence the only reason why he conceded the only meaningful ministry of finance to the MDC, to go round the world and beg. Even in the finance ministry, he made sure that his blue-eyed boy Gideon Gono remains at the helm of the RBZ despite having destroyed the economy through his quasi-fiscal activities. Gono is there to continue masterminding the looting of state coffers and diverting any funds that come in to prop-up Mugabe and Zanu PF. That is why the Gono saga is a sticking point in the GNU. Gono will stay to keep Mugabe and Zanu PF in power. Tomana will stay to continue with the arrest and prosecution of MDC supporters and officials on trumped-up charges.

Now Mugabe is saying that he has done his part in the implementation of the GPA, but the MDC hasnt because they havent succeeded in calling for the removal of sanctions. Guys in the MDC, beware of Mugabe. All he wants is to use you in the removal of sanctions and as soon as you have achieved that, you are excess baggage and would get rid of you from the government and start looting all you have worked for the people of Zimbabwe. Mugabe should call for the removal of sanctions through respecting the rule of law, respect human rights, stopping degrading and inhuman treatment and harassment of people of a different political view from his. Guys in the MDC, lets think carefully about our continued participation in the GNU, whether we will achieve any meaningful change when Zanu PF still controls all the state instruments that matters in bringing that change. They will continue to frustrate all your efforts and the people of Zimbabwe will say you were part of the failure. Justice delayed is justice denied. Frazer Muzondo, Milton Keynes UK

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