THERE is no doubt in my mind now that the nation is being held hostage not only by the ego of Robert Mugabe, but also that of Morgan Tsvangirai. The country is in a state of paralysis. This paralysis is the work of Tsvangirai more than it
is of Mugabe.
You see, Tsvangirai and his crew do not appear to have the interests of the nation at heart. Mugabe wants to talk, full stop. Until Tsvangirai and his crew assent and tell Mugabe they are willing to talk to him as head of state, the president’s hands are tied.
He will have to make meaningful concessions, with the whole world, including South Africa, keeping a close eye on things.
As it is, Mugabe has succeeded in making it look to other African leaders as though Tsvangirai is the pig-headed one, and it is not difficult to see why. You only need to look at the adverts the Department of Information is flighting. The dictator wants to talk, he says oh help me Obasanjo.
It is like the MDC are doing everything in their power to make sure Mugabe gets even more petulant and decides not to talk. By insulting him needlessly, trying to score cheap points and beating their chests, the MDC are not helping anybody, not even themselves.
Mugabe is quite happy to stay where he is until the end of 2008. That is fact. The suffering of the urbanites means nothing to him. They voted for the MDC and are too cowardly to go onto the streets, so sod them! If they want fuel, let them go to the MDC and get it. That is his attitude.
The rural folk, simple as they are, lead even simpler lives and their expectations are so low that Mugabe can still be assured of their support.
The MDC loses nothing, absolutely nothing, by telling Mugabe that they accept him as president of this country. After that, they must then withdraw their court case. But before starting the talks, they must then turn around and ask Mugabe to tell the world what the talks are about.
What exactly is he saying he is willing to talk to the MDC about? Is it about stepping down? That removes the burden from the MDC. Remember that any answer Mugabe gives will have a direct impact on how his legitimacy is viewed, no matter what he says. That would be a brilliant move. The government will then be in a fix.
Its answer will be of immense interest to every nation on earth. I still insist that if the emperor wants you to tell him he is dressed so that he can go back indoors and stop embarrassing everybody, by all means tell him he is dressed. The rest of the world knows the truth, and the ones who have told him he is dressed lose nothing. But right now the MDC is being stupid and prolonging the suffering of Zimbabweans.