ZANU PF and MDC officials have lately been demonstrating dislike for each other. In parliament on Wednesday MPs from across the political divide heckled and shouted at each other over a sanctions motion which Zanu PF wanted to introduce.
The business of the House was adjourned as a result of the fracas which is emblematic of the cracks in the super-structure of the GNU. It isn’t looking good.
Already battle lines have been drawn between President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF and the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC. Daggers have been drawn and the victim — the inclusive government -— may face imminent death if regional and continental leaders fail to flex their muscles and force the two chief political protagonists to compromise and resolve the outstanding issues of the September 2008 global political agreement (GPA).
The intervention should be for the sake of the suffering Zimbabweans whose rights since Independence in 1980 have been trampled upon by a regime whose political survival has been through brute force. The days of camaraderie in Sadc and the African Union should come to an end! The two bodies should move swiftly and firmly to save the shaky government which is sitting on a powder keg threatening to explode any time. They have to demonstrate the same zeal they exhibited when the Madagascar crisis erupted last year.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai should be told to their faces that this is not time for politicking and they should find each other sooner rather than later.
Regional and continental leaders should move in to resolve the deadlock which is threatening to tear apart the gains of the last 12 months and return the country to the pre-June 2008 era.
There is evidence galore that Zanu PF’s intransigence and insincerity in fully consummating the GPA has left the unity government hanging precariously while Sadc and the AU, the guarantors of the pact, watch.
The government is weighed down by a deep-seated deadlock on how to manoeuvre through the outstanding issues of the GPA, which in my opinion was a poorly crafted pact signed in a rush to restore peace and stability as the country was gravitating towards anarchy and degenerating into a failed state.
Several issues that could have been tied down by the pact were left hanging and are now haunting and threatening the robustness of the house Mugabe, Tsvangirai and the smaller faction of the MDC led by Arthur Mutambara built.
Dramatic events that will shape or destroy the inclusive government have happened in the last two weeks — Britain’s foreign secretary David Miliband on January 19 said Tsvangirai’s MDC holds sway in the removal of sanctions imposed on the country; Zanu PF’s political bureau responded last Wednesday declaring that the party would not concede further ground; and Tsvangirai in a state of panic last Friday called for partial lifting of the sanctions.
The three events highlighted how estranged Zanu PF and the MDC-T are in this inclusive government.
Strangely, there is growing belief among Zanu PF bigwigs that government would be better off without the MDC-T because they strongly believe that Tsvangirai and his party do not add any value by joining the government. This explains why Mugabe and the people from his crowd attribute the current slow and painful economic recovery to the MDC, arguing that it was acting Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa who came with a magic wand in January 2009 — the introduction of multi-currencies — before the formation of the inclusive government a month later.
Zanu PF wanted Tsvangirai and the MDC-T to use their international goodwill to have sanctions lifted against the country, Mugabe and his inner circle.
So myopic is the reasoning in Zanu PF that its leaders fail to realise that they owe their continued stay in government and political legitimacy to Tsvangirai and the MDC-T.
Zanu PF forgets that the inclusive government has largely been donor-funded under various programmes, among them the humanitarian plus, and that once it collapses the support for education and the improving health sectors will be withdrawn as Mugabe’s government alone lacks the trust and goodwill of the donor community.
Because of Zanu PF’s intransigence, the MDC-T has reached a breaking point! Those in the know in the party say Tsvangirai is under tremendous pressure to pull out, not disengage from government as he did last year.
MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti’s statement earlier this week exhibited the growing frustration in the party. Biti wrote: “In the last four weeks, following the Zanu PF congress, we have seen an acceleration of destruction and insanity on the part of the former ruling party. We have seen an increase in the decibels of destabilisation and recklessness. This has been manifested in unlawful farm invasions, disobedience of lawful court orders, the … vitriol against the president of the MDC and intransigence at the negotiating table.
“It is clear as a pikestaff that Zanu PF is creating the conditions for the total breakdown of the inclusive government. It is clear to us that Zanu PF is making a case for the establishment of irreconcilable differences amongst the parties leading to a total breakdown of this relationship.
He said the “inevitable consequence of their homicidal actions” would be the holding of free and fair elections under the protection and supervision of Sadc.
Surely Mugabe and Zanu PF cannot win a free and fair poll and the danger is that the party will unleash violence to secure victory even if the election is supervised by Sadc, the AU or the United Nations.