Jacob Zuma, the Zim issue

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THERE was a media frenzy after the meeting of the Southern African Development Community Organ on Peace and Defence in Livingstone three weeks ago. For some reason, the meeting was hailed as a victory for the MDC even though the official communiqué painted a somewhat different picture. President Mugabe was alleged to be cornered and his party, ZANU PF, on the back-pedal. It was claimed, South African President Jacob Zuma was cracking the whip and his pointwoman on Zimbabwe, Lindile Zulu, was permanently in the air, shuttling between Harare and Pretoria to maintain the pressure on the beleaguered Mugabe. And as expected, across the sea in London, the British followed the developments with interest. Their parliament quickly announced they would fund all the costs of the roadmap to elections in Zimbabwe. In South Africa, Zuma was equally beside himself with excitement. He dispatched his envoy, Mac Maharaj, to begin talks on reforming the Zimbabwe’s security sector. We all knew what this meant – negotiating the exit packages for Constantine Chiwenga, Happyton Bonyongwe, Perence Shiri, Augustine Chihuri and Paradzai Zimondi. Zuma was also expected to deliver something else in Namibia: to bulldoze ratification of the SADC Tribunal, a court that had ruled that the Zimbabwe land reform programme was unconstitutional and illegal although our own Supreme Court had upheld the land reform as legal. Technically, Zuma was running Zimbabwe’s affairs from Pretoria. The independent media, always extolling the virtues of being colonised so brazenly, went into overdrive with excitement. They wanted Mugabe’s head delivered on a platter in Namibia where the SADC heads of government meeting would supposedly ratify all these audacious decisions. Now, a day or so before the milestone meeting in Namibia, things have changed. The independent media is on the back foot and Zuma is no longer going to Namibia. Some of us knew it had to come to this rather quickly in order that not only Zimbabwe, but that SADC itself, survive. Zuma was plunging SADC into chaos. He could not go to Namibia to answer questions about how he wanted to run the affairs of another member state from Pretoria because he did not have the answer. It is only our former colonial masters with an answer to this question and it looks Zuma wants to turn himself into one. It is easy to understand why progressive people within the ANC like Julius Malema have problems with such kind of leadership. There is talk that Zuma has been promised the Nobel Peace Prize for what he is doing! It is no wonder that with such unexpected support from Zuma, Morgan Tsvangirai would emerge from the recent congress that his party held in Bulawayo to announce boldly that they were ready to rule the country. Really? But they have not shown us their party manifesto. I have challenged Tendai Biti on several occasions to show us their manifesto and he has not responded. If they have one, why do they want to keep it a secret? On Independence Day, Tsvangirai published a message that can be loosely considered their manifesto and it had fundamental flaws. For instance, it claimed the issue of land only emerged 20 years after independence in 2000. He was wrong. The issue of land has always dominated our fight for freedom since the First Chimurenga in 1896. If his manifesto can get it wrong over such a fundamental issue, what really does he understand about our freedom? On which principles and guidelines does he want to rule? If he wants to rule the country on the basis that land was not the major reason for the war for our freedom, then whose agenda will he rule the country on? We know the people with that agenda are our former colonisers. He must shamelessly admit that his party stands for the political agenda of our former colonial masters, there cannot be another way. Mr Tsvangirai can only rule after we have gone through an election. Considering the delaying tactics that his party is employing in the constitutionmaking process and his overwhelming desire to rule, is Mr Tsvangirai saying we can go to elections using the Lancaster House constitution? But then he is on record condemning the document as a ZANU PF blueprint? Perhaps the point to consider regarding Mr Tsvangirai is that he is a mere pawn. Those who handle him have the capacity and the political programme.

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