Monday, November 02, 2009

Zimbabwe: Mugabe calls Tsvangirai "dishonest"

The ongoing political feud in Zimbabwe's unity government deepened after President Robert Mugabe called Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai "dishonest".

The state run Herald newspaper quoted Mr. Mugabe as accusing Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party of pretense, saying Zimbabwe's cabinet is not a party affair.

Political observers say Mugabe's latest comment casts doubts on the ability of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to resolve the ongoing rift.

Tsvangirai recently "disengaged" from the government after accusing President Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party of persecuting his partisans.

Rejoice Mgwenya, a political analyst said that Mr. Mugabe's accusation is misplaced.

"We all know that politicians are not exactly saints and Tsvangirai has had his bouts of dishonesty here and there, but when judgment is coming from a person like Mugabe who for the past 25 years has been responsible (for) cheating in elections. It's very debatable what he is saying whether we can take it with a pinch of salt," Mgwenya said.

Mugabe also said the decision by Tsvangirai and his MDC party to halt collaboration with his ZANU-PF was hypocritical.

But Mgwenya said President Mugabe doesn't have the moral right to accuse people of dishonesty.

"We know what he is talking about, (and) dishonesty can only be associated with ZANU-PF," Mgwenya said.

President Mugabe said that Zimbabweans have the ability to solve their own problems.

But Mgwenya said that there is need for outside help to resolve the crisis.

"We are almost a year ever since the agreement was signed and he (Mugabe) is talking about issues that could have been easily resolved with a stroke of a pen…but the mere reason that these agreements were bankrolled by SADC means that there are certain issues that cannot be handled internally," Mgwenya said.

He said the regional body should continue its mediation efforts.

"I think SADC here really has got a legitimate role to be accepted as mediators in this crisis," he said.

Over the weekend, the delegation of regional mediators announced that there was need for a full SADC summit to address the deepening rift within Zimbabwe's power-sharing agreement.

Mgwenya however said Zimbabweans have often been disappointed.

"Once again the expectations of Zimbabweans have been violated in the sense that we expected the Troika to spell out… that these specific issues can be resolved and that Mugabe should resolve them," Mgwenya said.

He said the SADC "full summit" recommendation might not be enough to resolve the crisis.

"By passing the buck to a higher summit, it means that we might get back to the same scenario where SADC heads of state who will simply refer back again to the scenario of Zimbabweans can resolve their own problems," he said.

Mgwenya said Zimbabweans should fight for their rights.

"The overwhelming sense of helplessness and collective bereavement that has engulfed Zimbabweans is a simple case of lack of civil action awareness. In other words…if politicians are failing to resolve these issues…Zimbabweans are capable of taking their destiny into their hands," Mgwenya said.

He said there is reason to suggest that Zimbabwe's politicians seem disinterested in resolving the ongoing challenges.

Published with the permission of Voice of America

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