The past few days have clearly demonstrated that Mugabe is the master of double-speak. Opening the Zanu PF 11th National People’s Conference last Friday, Mugabe was defiant, reiterating the position which he first took on October 14 while addressing the Zanu PF National Youth Assembly. He said then the inclusive government was not working as it should.
“Some will say let us negotiate and give it another life. I am reluctant because part of the things that are happening (in the inclusive government) are absolutely foolish and stupid,” he said.
Having spewed vitriol at the MDC and the inclusive government at the conference and having vowed to hold elections mid next year, it was a great surprise to see Mugabe on Monday holding a press conference with his other principals in the inclusive government — Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara — extolling the achievements of the unity government.
“We would want to believe that we have done quite a lot and also raised the economic performance in the country,” Mugabe said.
Gone was the defiant declaration that elections would be held mid-next year — come what may — and replaced by a joint agreement to fulfill certain processes before the polls.
Mugabe was not done yet. A day after presenting a united front with Tsvangirai and Mutambara, he was in Gutu addressing chiefs castigating the MDC.
The fact that Mugabe can afford to engage in double-speak at different fora suggests that he is just playing to the gallery. These ping-pong pronouncements by Mugabe substantiate our call for elections to be postponed until such a time as the economy has stabilised and meaningful democratic reforms have been undertaken.
For Mugabe to continuously call for elections when most of the objectives of the GPA have not been fulfilled proves that his is not an agenda in the country’s interests.
For Mugabe to continuously call for elections when the government does not have enough money to adequately pay civil servants and when no serious measures have been put in place for national healing to curb incidences of violence smacks of a personal and selfish agenda.
The calls by Mugabe have brought about uncertainty in the country and are likely to result in investors shelving their plans to inject much-needed funding into the country’s near empty coffers. This is after numerous investment conferences to try and attract investment.
Which leaves us to ask, what game are you playing, Mr President?
Without a clear position, the country will continue to hobble on aimlessly, and the victims will continue to be the people of Zimbabwe, the very people whose interests you purport to be promoting.