I see lots of signs that the cattle prod has been used! There is lots
dust, confused cattle are running in all directions and the crack of
long whips and the cries of the herders are all going great guns. The
MDC/Zanu teams fly to SA today and talks start tomorrow - as
time ago even though the initial discussions failed to take off because
South Africans could not get Zanu PF into the pen.
Blair spoke to the Libyan leader and he in turn invited Mugabe to
for discussions, the Malawi leadership also had Mugabe over for tea.
Smith's experience with coffee in Pretoria in 1976, Mugabe should
tea with a regional President means. I suspect that Mr. Mbeki was
the prevarication by Zanu PF as he was right in the middle of the G8
in Germany and news of a hiccup would not have been welcome at all. I
sure the power dial on that cattle prod was screwed up to maximum!
Then we have the extraordinary sight of several Zanu PF functionaries
World Economic Forum meeting in Cape Town saying that Mr. Mugabe would
out of office shortly and Zanu PF would then tackle the task of
themselves. They also said what we all know, that economic recovery
not begin until he is out of the way.
How true the talk of an attempted coup might be, is anyone's guess,
there probably is some fire behind the smoke, or is it just dust in the
tank pen? For sure the armed forces are as fed up as any of us with the
rapid deterioration in the economic situation.
The question we must all ask, is this our 'ground zero?' Where the
got that saying from I am not sure but its meaning is quite clear. We
a turning point and what I want to know is what is around the corner?
I think there are some specific pegs on which we can hang our hats.
the process underway in South Africa. It seems clear to me that no SADC
leaders are blinking. Mugabe and Zanu PF are going to get the full
in the democratic dip tank. We will get major changes to the way the
elections are going to be held and might even get some constitutional
changes. So at last the people of Zimbabwe are going to get an
to vote in a way that will allow them to express their real feelings.
Secondly, we can now be sure that heavyweights in Zanu PF have decided
Mugabe must go - and as soon as possible. They actually thought that
time ago but now that they have come out in the open on this issue it
as if we might actually expect some movement on that front - a pity
because I would like to see him in the dip tank and then dealt with on
other side. That may not happen now but he is a wily opponent and a
Thirdly, we are fast approaching the point where we simply cannot cope
the rapid changes in the economy. Fuel went over Z$100 000 a litre this
week, the US dollar is trading at 120 000 to 1, the Rand is approaching
000 to 1 and the pound is off the scale. This means prices have doubled
week. I run a supermarket and we are marking up everything but simply
keep pace. No matter what we do when pricing, everything we sell is
replacement cost and you can only carry this for so long before
There is talk that the Reserve Bank will cut another three zeros off
currency next week and this would mean that one Zimbabwe dollar would
equal one million of the 'old' dollars. Chaos reins in commerce and
and those in the public sector are frantic. How do you keep up with
sort of changes when you have a government which is still trying to
bread at Z$825 for a 700 gram loaf? Recent legislation on prices and
incomes - launched with much fanfare as the solution to our inflation
problems, lay down that a business person can go to jail for 5 years if
he/she violates this sort of crass stupidity.
Power cuts, for whatever reason, are now a serious issue. Crops are
without water, essential services are being affected and the lives of
millions being made even more unbearable. This week a group of
NGO's sent an urgent memorandum out saying that these conditions
to a total collapse in 6 months. I think they are right in the basic
but wrong on the timing, we cannot take much more of this.
So are we at 'ground zero'? I think so and am just a little
that the powers that be have left this situation too late to really
and manage the outcome. We cannot bring the elections into 2007, there
just not enough time to do all that is required and hold a free and
election thereafter. So we are going to have to have some sort of
emergency help to stabilize the economic and humanitarian situation
the political agenda is tackled.
This simply will not happen if the talks starting tomorrow morning do
run their course and produce an outcome that all involved will buy
Zanu PF is in a clear minority in this scenario and has little or no
maneuver. They must now prepare themselves for a new dispensation and
they cannot do that fast, they will be marginalised and cast aside.
The question everyone is now asking is the MDC ready? We are battered
bloodied by recent activities of this dying regime, but we are not out
any means. We have no money, little left in terms of infrastructure and
equipment, our Head Office stands almost completely empty in Harare -
and visitors are terrified of even visiting the building. But make no
mistake; we have the people with us. I am constantly asked why we have
reunited the two leadership groups that claim the name MDC? The reasons
very simple, the people are not divided or confused, they know what and
they want to take the reins in government. If the MDC allows the people
decide who will represent the Party in the next elections we all know
We are not prepared to compromise the right of the ordinary person in
MDC to choose who will represent them in the coming contest. I am
that our policy position is now almost ready and should be published
This will then give all who have Zimbabwe's interests at heart a
read what sort of New Zimbabwe will emerge from the ashes of the old
under MDC stewardship.
Ground zero is for all of us in one-way or another, it's also a
opportunity to build a new structure to replace what we have lost in
destructive processes of our 9/11.
Bulawayo, 15th June 2007