AND so the farce continues. Zimbabwe’s octogenarian dictator, Robert Mugabe, fresh from an overseas visit funded by the public purse, met with Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition for yet another “last gasp” round of “crisis talks” on power-sharing.
They met amidst yet another flurry of rhetoric signalling that, come hell or high water, there would be no settlement.
Mugabe’s people set the tone for the talks by announcing that a new government would be formed “with or without” Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai, without the machinery of state in his hands, could only lamely demand that the power sharing deal should involve actual power sharing.
He too is being disingenuous.
You cannot escape the conclusion that he is playing for time, waiting for Mugabe to exit the stage one way or another so he will be the stronger party in the negotiations.
Be that as it may, the whole talks thing has become a regional farce, with heads of state paraded about in increasingly ludicrous garlands of dead flowers as the talks charade drags on.
The fact is that there is no political will from Mugabe and only the most flaccid interest from Tsvangirai in making this power-sharing arrangement work.
It looks increasingly as if former President Thabo Mbeki, feeling the hot breath of his political rivals on his collar, rushed through a half-baked agreement.
The much heralded “deal” signed in Harare on the eve of Mbeki’s political demise was, in reality, no deal at all.
It was merely an undertaking to continue seeking a deal that has left the door open for both parties to tug the reigns this way and that as Zimbabwe gallops towards a social and economic abyss.
The talks charade must stop and the world must apply pressure to bring about real change.
It’s clear that Mugabe doesn’t want a deal and he is simply using delaying tactics. He wants to hold onto power at any cost, until he dies. Nothing will change in Zimbabwe until the murderous madman is gone. Tsvangirai is right not to do a deal that would simply perpetuate Mugabe’s grip on power. There is no solution to this crisis other than Mugabe’s exit from the stage, preferably to face trial in The Hague. Anything less would be a betrayal of the Zimbabwean people.
What is needed is military action, backed by SADC and the UN Security Council, to remove Mugabe by force. Sadly, that’s not going to happen.
Mugabe should be condemned from the highest level of the ANC who should also now acknowledge their own mistakes for supporting Mugabe in the past.
From Mandela himself and the current President.
Mugabe should be given an ultimatum to get out or be removed by force.
How many more lives are the leaders of the Southern African states prepared to risk.
It is now their responsibility to do something or forever bear part of the burden for this tragedy.
Do something ANC, or continue to be remembered for doing nothing.