Thursday, July 14, 2005

Information minister: "There is no political impasse"

Zimbabwe's information minister, Tichaona Jokonya emphasized that there not going to be any talks between ZANU-PF and the MDC saying, "Talk about what?" Listen to the interview here.

While this is hardly surprising, this latest episode in Zimbabwean politics beefs up an already healthy dossier of symptoms of a failing party in the MDC and it has all happened in the space of a week. The week started off with MDC's own Bennett blasting party leaders for corruption. Tuesday we realized that it was MDC, not ZANU-PF that viewed the talks as a political lifeline. Wednesday Tsvangirai abolished his shadow cabinet altogether. But even then it is apparent this was just another balancing act to ensure he remains in power.
"If the reshuffle was designed to end the well documented rifts at the top of the MDC leadership, the outcome would appear to be the opposite.

How, for instance, is Moses Mzila Ndlovu's elevation to foreign affairs spokesman at the expense of Priscilla Misihairabwi likely to heal the divisions within the MDC?

Mzila Ndlovu is a brute and a thug who physically attacked one of Tsvangirai's advisers last year, directly leading to his removal from the same position. So what has changed?

While reshuffles are not isolated to the MDC only, Tsvangirai's obsession with shadow cabinets and positional politics exposes him to criticism. If the suggestion that Mzila's return is because he has President Thabo Mbeki's ear is true, then one has to wonder whether Tsvangirai is in charge at all."
As if this isn't enough, MDC is also embroiled in another controversy with regards to Thabo Mbeki's stance on Zimbabwe. Tsvangirai is sure that Thabo Mbeki has decided to take an active role as opposed to his quiet diplomacy. Tsvangirai was saying,
"I think what President Mbeki can do, and which he assured me he is going to do, is to change tack, to change strategy around how to influence the course of events in Zimbabwe," Morgan Tsvangirai said.

He is going to find new strategies. He recognises that the quiet diplomacy has not produced the requisite result and therefore he cannot continue to operate in the same manner he has been operating for the last three years,"
Mbeki's office office meanwhile denied claims that they were changing their position on Zimbabwe,
"We have never classified our diplomacy as quiet or loud or whatever.

I don't know what Mr Tsvangirai is talking about. The president does not know the meaning of the word 'quiet diplomacy.' We have been arguing consistently that Zimbabweans themselves must deal with the challenges they face."
MDC is sitting on very thin ground at the moment.

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