As you all know the SADC summit took place on Sunday, 5 heads of State
attended with officials and Ministers representing those that could not
attend. They deliberated for 12 hours and then issued a communiqué that
basically endorsed the position adopted by Mr. Mbeki and then the SADC
Troika. The most significant part of the whole exercise was that all 14
States supported the decisions reached, there were no disputing views.
It was a minor political victory for Mr. Mugabe, Mr. Mbeki and the Troika.
It was a major failure of leadership.
The final decision that the two main parties should share control of the
Ministry of Home Affairs and that the rest of the power sharing deal should
stand as agreed by Mr. Mbeki, is neither rational nor workable. It ignores
the political realities in Zimbabwe, reduces the chance of success for the
new Government and could lead to the total collapse of the deal if the MDC
decides to reject the package.
In a rerun of the Kenyan situation where regional leaders striving for
compromise, imposed a solution on Kenya that is a hydra headed monster,
barely capable of walking let alone running the country, the SADC States
have taken the easy route out and in doing so have run the risk of creating
a failed State in Zimbabwe and unleashing uncontrollable violence and
But take it or leave it, it’s a done deal and an appeal to the AU or the
UN - both themselves dysfunctional institutions, will change little. This is
the end of the road for negotiations.
At this stage the future of Zimbabwe is totally in the hands of the MDC and
Morgan Tsvangirai. If we accept what has been decided and go into the new
government on this basis, we will be committing ourselves to a near
impossible task. It will be up to us to turn the economy around, establish
conditions for free and fair elections in two years time and to try and heal
the country, now more deeply divided than ever.
In this exercise neither Zanu PF nor the Mutambara group have anything to
offer, except to try and not be spoilers. They bring nothing to the table
except failure and corruption and unrepresentative participation in the
institutions of the State. Not one of the Mutambara representatives in the
new government will be elected while the great majority of the Zanu
representatives hold their seats through intimidation and rigging.
The problems facing any new government are staggering - GDP has collapsed to
less than half of what it was 10 years ago, the local currency is worthless
and cannot be used for ordinary transactions any more, thousands are dying
weekly from starvation, malnutrition and disease. 95% of all teachers in the
public sector are not working, 3 million children are out of school and
hospitals and clinics are either closed or non-functional. Food supplies
have run out and everywhere people are desperately looking for whatever food
The news today that the aid agencies feeding the majority of the people will
run out of food in January and are cutting allocations by half in December
to try and reach 4 million of the most affected people. The dilemma of the
MDC is that if they walk away from the SADC deal they will leave ordinary
Zimbabweans naked in a blizzard that will offer only death or flight.
The tragedy of this situation is that Mr Mugabe and Zanu PF do not give a
damn - they want the deal to fail and think that they can in fact do 'very
well' on what is left of the Zimbabwe economy. They do not worry in any
sense about the impact of the final collapse of Zimbabwe on our neighbours.
They are only concerned about one thing - how to hold onto their total
control of the State and thereby protect their standard of living and
The tragedy of the SADC summit is that it is clear that after all these
years and numerous declarations of commitment to democratic principles and
to all the recognised human and political rights, when it comes to applying
those lofty principles to a real time political crisis in their midst, they
But that is the reality of African politics at this stage in our history.
Not pretty or easy, but the stark reality.
So what do we do? Our National Council will meet this week and receive a
report from the leadership together with recommendations on the way forward.
It will be the most difficult decision for the MDC since we were formed in
1999. Unlike our compatriots, we care, we care deeply for the plight of
Zimbabweans - all of them affected by the collapse and crisis created by
failed leadership, greed and corruption.
This time the consequences of rejection of a flawed deal for our people will
be immediate and terrible. Morgan stated in Johannesburg that a million
people face death from starvation if the SADC brokered deal collapses. He
was not exaggerating.
12th November 2008