Tsvangirai sworn in as Zimbabwe's first PM

Discussion in 'Politics' started by dong20, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    "Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been sworn in as prime minister in a unity government with President Robert Mugabe.

    The new prime minister must deal with an economy in ruins, 90% unemployment and a cholera epidemic which has killed more than 3,400 people.


    Hyperinflation is causing prices to double every day and the country stopped publishing inflation figures after it was last estimated at 231m%*. People are using foreign currency wherever possible. "

    BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Tsvangirai's tough choice

    * Now estimated at 5 Hextillion %

    I understand his motivation and why [under pressure from the SADC, and amid MDC infighting] he may have felt he had no real choice but to concede and try something - but I still think it's a sell out. It is 'power sharing' in name only, and even then just barely.

    The deal itself, and by being complicit in its inception the SADC afford legitimacy to a regime that deserves neither. It effectively ensures that Mugabe will remain the de facto leader for as long as he draws breath, hardly a just or desirable outcome for what little is left of Zimbabwe.

    I'm still a little surprised and very disappointed this has finally came to pass, and it's a dark day for the continent. I expect little or nothing will change - within a day Mugabe has reneged on a prisoner release deal ... arrested lawyers to prevent them meeting arrested women's rights movement members ...
     
  2. mindseye

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Messages:
    5,685
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Dong20 -- I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I wanted to thank you for keeping us up to date with this story.

    I appreciate that this forum shouldn't be solely about American politics, and you've been a real leader in the effort to keep it from ending up that way. I thought about sending this as a PM, but the work you've done deserves public acclaim.

    Do you think Tsvangiri knows what he's getting into?
     
  3. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    Thanks, I try to add a sprinkling of internationality to the forum. It's nice to know it doesn't go entirely unnoticed.

    I think he does, for the most part anyway. I certainly don't think he can be under many illusions about Mugabe's true nature nor the reality of any 'power sharing'. I do believe he was railroaded by Mbeke and the SADC as well as outmaneuvred by Mugabe - but one must also remember he's a high ranking politician in a bankrupt African nation - so while he may [in real power terms] be a dog with few teeth, he can still bark.

    I have somewhat mixed feelings, on one hand I do feel he 'sold out' - on the other I salute him for even attempting what might end up being the political equivalent of the Torment of Tantalus.

    As for what happens next; he may be looking to post Mugabe days and seek to lay a foundation for a future power base - in which case I don't see much likelihood of significant or substantive change in the near future. Alternatively he may prove to be a true thorn in Mugabe's side.

    I can't help but think he may come to regret the choice he 'made', although this is mostly speculation, I can't be certain about anything. Of course, politics is widely seen as a means to wealth and power in [many] African nations, so even some small measure of either is far more than most can hope for. One can't begrudge him that.

    Whatever happens - I only hope he doesn't fall prey to temptation and follow the [all too common] pitfalls of 'African politics' in the process. It's hard to be sure but time will tell. I will be watching Chinese invovlement in Zimbabwe during this coming year.
     
    #3 dong20, Feb 11, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  4. superbot

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Messages:
    1,440
    Likes Received:
    53
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Great Britain
    I sincerely hope his first job is to get rid of that pig Mugabe by what ever means he can.....
     
  5. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    A brilliant idea! I wonder why nobody else has tried that. No, wait ... :cool:
     
  6. D_Tintagel_Demondong

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    4,055
    Likes Received:
    8
    Bob is at it again.

    On Friday, the former Zimbabwean opposition activist, Rob Bennett, was arrested just before becoming a Cabinet minister. He was charged with conspiracy to commit banditry, sabotage and terrorism.

    The Movement for Democratic Change nominated Bennett to be deputy minister of agriculture in a national unity government with President Robert Mugabe’s dictatorial ZANU-PF party.

    Bennett was pulled from an aircraft at Harare, the Zimbabwe capital airport. He was returning from South Africa, where he had been living for three years. He was also the party's treasurer.

    So once again, Bob is using his strong-arm tactics to destroy his opposition. Considering that he, quite literally, murdered his opposition to take government control of Rhodesia in 1980, I would expect nothing less from this scumbag.

    Yes, I believe that Tsvangiria is a figurehead and this latest action is a classic Mugabe act.

     
  7. dong20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    6,130
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    The grey country
    Well, there was a great deal of violence over several years leading up to independence - by ZANU and ZAPU but the Lancaster House agreement had denied Mugabe an outright military victory. Under pressure from other leaders most notably Nyerere, Mugabe was essentially 'forced' to sign the deal and worry about the fallout later. Among other things but above all he had to accept [and adhered to] a 10 year agreement on land reforms. He has held a grudge thereafter.

    After his campaign against ZAPU and Nkomo, the next 'trigger' came when the initial £44m funding for the deal (funding for which Britain had committed itself until 1996) 'ran out' in 1988, and Britain refused more. While the original 10 year prohibition on compuslory land purchase and the funding committment had already expired, when Tony Blair came to power in 1997 he pretty much repudiated the agreement as a whole. Clare Short then rubbed salt in the wound for good measure, as is her way.

    Not to excuse his actions, nothing could do that - but in Lancaster House, and Britain's subsequent duplicity Mugabe had genuine cause to be pissed off with Britain. The attitude of many white farmers actions under the 'shield' of the original agreement surely added to the mix. These betrayals were motivation for his increasingly murderous behaviour, but they were not his only motivation, nor enough to mitigate his subsequent destruction of Zimbabwe.

    You see, the 'real' killing began after Mugabe assumed office, and it never really stopped. As for what he has proven himself capable of, I'd entirely agree with you. Looking back, I think in a sense for him, the war never ended - and he wants to bring Zimbabwe down with him. He has all but succeeded.

    As you say, the events surrounding Bennett are but the latest in a long succession. Not to ignore Mugabe's transparent motivation, but truth be told while he has his reasons for doing so, Tsvangirai could have chosen 'better' than Bennett.

    <Aside>

    Strictly speaking, my post title is misleading; Muagbe was actually the second Prime Minister of post independence Zimbabwe until 1987 when the post was abolished, Tsangirai thus being the third. I was meaning to draw a distinction between the ersatz nature of the current role - sorry for any confusion.
     
    #7 dong20, Feb 15, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  8. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Messages:
    7,453
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    36
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Mavs, NOR * CAL

    good luck.
     
  9. D_Tintagel_Demondong

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    4,055
    Likes Received:
    8
    I met a man named Paul and hour ago. We were waiting for a store to open. He wanted to buy shoes, I wanted to buy an umbrella. I told him about a nice bag that I bought at that store, then we started an interesting conversation while standing in the rain.

    He told me about his life in Zimbabwe, his tribe, the Ndebele, and the struggles for independence from Britain, then from Mugabe. He told me how his father was given a cabinet officer for telecommunications after Independence, and how Mugabe soon had him killed. That happened on a Thursday. After his father's death, Paul took his notes and memorized them, including Mugabe's personal phone number.

    He told me about his small country medical practice. One day, Mugabe's thugs brought in a bunch of dissidents. They had beaten them so badly that bones were protruding from their bodies. They were in handcuffs and leg irons, not that they were needed. Paul drove the thugs out of the hospital and said, "Guns have no place in a hospital." After X-raying then and operating on them, the thugs came back--with greater numbers. They arrested Paul and his nurst in the ICU, in front of the patients. He was handcuffed and pistol whipped then dragged out to the jeep. His nurse eliminated herself.

    Paul asked the police officer if he could get one phone call in order to get a replacement doctor. The officer reluctantly agreed. Paul dialed, spoke had a friendly conversation on the phone, then handed the phone to the officer. The officer, realizing that it was Mugabe himself on the phone, "melted". He was extremely apologetic and promised Mugabe that he'd release Paul, the nurse, and the patients. Two days later, the officer came to Paul's place with a goat--a sign of forgiveness and atonement. He told Paul that he was sorry; Paul pointed to his mother and said, "apologize to her. If you killed me, your apology would have meant nothing to me, but it would have devastated her." The officer apologized to her, and she told him to go to hell.

    Mugabe's thugs would take dissidents at night. They would never be seen again. Mugabe had eyes and ears everywhere--whenever you saw four or men walking in the streets, you knew that at least two of them were informants. Bartenders, waitresses, all kinds of city workers were informants. Years after the hospital clinic incident, a good friend of Paul's came to his house at night. He told him that he was on the list, and was to be taken away in two nights. Paul knew that he had to leave. He bid farewell to his wife and son and fled to South Africa. He then went to London, then Canada. Since then, he brought his family to Canada as political refugees. He now works as a night nurse.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted