I attended a meeting of supporters recently and asked them why they were so
down? I said we could look back on the last six months and record a number
of major achievements. We can say that we won the elections on the 29th
March, we have won the media war, we have won the diplomatic war and
reunited SADC for our cause and now we have the great majority of the AU
leadership rooting in our corner. That's quite a bag!
Mugabe by now must know that what he bought for himself and Zanu PF on the
27th June is in fact a nasty concoction of things that are reacting in all
sorts of unexpected ways. His Presidency has not been recognised and he
leads a regime that has lost all its credibility. The ensuing media blitz
has revealed every detail of his nasty plot to rig the election and to beat,
maim and traumatize our entire population. He has become an embarrassment to
Africa and the meeting of the G8 leaders in Japan this morning revealed how
damaging that can be to the wider interests of the continent.
By behaving as he has, he has destroyed the credibility of his closest
friends and condemned many to an uncertain future on the run from the law.
Included in his list of casualties is Thabo Mbeki who now carries the
rotting carcass of Zanu PF around and he cannot escape its foul odor. Any in
South Africa who thought that they were immune from the contagion must be
watching the floodtide of Zimbabwean refugees crossing the Limpopo with
apprehension. If this tide is not halted and reversed they know full well
what will follow.
Just to compound his problems, Mugabe's thugs have not yet woken up to the
fact that the situation has changed 'out there' and are continuing to obey
their orders to kill, maim, displace and intimidate. The picture of a young
MDC activist who was abducted two weeks ago and was found this morning
outside Harare says it all - he was shot twice and then his body burned
beyond recognition. We only found him because his companion survived a shot
to the head and crawled 6 kilometers to a road and fell into a coma from
which he has just recovered and could tell us what had happened.
I remember this young man because he came to my house several times to
collect material for his Province. I can tell you I can hardly write about
this stuff without tears.
So when Mr. Mbeki arrived in Harare on Saturday and sent a message to Morgan
Tsvangirai requesting him to attend a meeting with Mugabe, Mutambara and
Ncube, he was mystified? On what basis was this meeting being held, he
asked, what was the agenda? What about our preconditions? No answers - he
refused to be drawn into yet another diplomatic trap and be used by Mbeki at
the G8 summit in Japan. MDC will not recognise Mugabe as the legitimate Head
of State in Zimbabwe, we will not talk to Zanu PF until the present campaign
of violence directed at the general population and the MDC in particular is
halted and arrangements made to meet the needs of those affected.
On Monday the G8 leaders and 7 African Heads of State spent 3 hours
discussing Zimbabwe. What a tragedy that when we have such urgent global
needs that require addressing, we have to spend valuable time on a
delinquent regime in Zimbabwe. Still the mere fact that the most powerful
leaders in the world, together with the key African leadership, spent so
much time on the issue must encourage us. It would have reinforced the
decision by the African Union last week to get talks underway with the
Parties in Zimbabwe so that a political resolution of the crisis can be
We spent Friday and Saturday working on our approach to the negotiations
that are coming and cleared what our preconditions are and what our stance
in the talks will be. We received a very positive report from those who
attended the AU summit and felt that we were at last in a strong position
when it came to talks. Certainly the pressure on Mugabe and Zanu PF has
I have always said that the key to any resolution of the crisis here is
South Africa - it alone has the power to be able to dictate to Zanu PF and
if they did so they would get compliance immediately. This was the case in
September 1976 when South Africa eventually had to confront Ian Smith with
the harsh reality of his position. It could be the same today.
I really do not think South Africa has any alternative now but to facilitate
dialogue between Zanu PF and the MDC and when necessary to tweak Mugabe's
tail. As for us, we really can force the issue by simply withdrawing from
the process when unacceptable demands are being made on us. There can be no
resolution of the crisis without our participation, no way forward and the
status quo is just not tenable in any way.
The economy is now in an advanced state of meltdown - major business
organisations are closing down or halting operations. The administration is
collapsing and it has become impossible to maintain even the most basic and
essential of services. This, coupled to the continued violent physical
assault on the MDC and the people is driving people out of the country in
unprecedented numbers threatening the stability and security of all our
neighbors. This simply cannot go on for much longer, a solution has to be
found or the consequences for the whole region will be dire.
Inflation continues to accelerate fed by the activities of the Reserve Bank
and the State. It is now almost impossible to operate in local currency -
the price changes are so frequent and significant that locals simply cannot
afford what little is available and supplies are dwindling. We are surviving
on cross border shopping trips to find essentials.
There is plenty of evidence that those in power continue to loot the country
and take as much out as they can - they are clearly nervous about the future
and are trying to lay aside what they can find here. If you are one of the
select few who have access to the Reserve Bank you can now by a luxury car -
brand new - for the price of a single cigarette.
Bulawayo, 8th July 2008