- Southern Africa
Mugabe finds a new way of dividing MDC
Robert Mugabe has ordered his rival Morgan Tsvangirai to urgently submit a list of ministers from his party so that he can scrutinize and scrap those he deems unfit for the post.
Sources who attended the weekend SADC South Africa summit say when it was clear that Tsvangirai would not give in to pressure Mugabe ordered him to submit names for ministers from his party.
Mugabe took the move when it was clear that nothing would be achieved at the meeting. No SADC leader objected to it. Whether he will respond positively or not only time will tell," he said.
Sources say Mugabe already has his preferred list of the MDC. The plan is, if Tsvangirai refuses to submit his list, he would go ahead and publish the fake list. " The idea is to cause division within MDC. Those on Mugabe list would be expected to rebel against Tsvangirai if he says he did not select them. So its a divide and rule thing"
Zimbabwe’s parliament is due to meet on Tuesday and a constitutional amendment - which has yet to be formally put on the agenda - needs to be rushed through to create the prime ministership that Tsvangirai has been allocated under the deal.
The final communiqué said it was imperative that a new Government be put in place pursuant to the September 15, 2008 agreement that paved the way for the creation of an administration headed by President Mugabe with MDC-T and MDC filling several Cabinet portfolios.
Bone of contention
The summit also endorsed the earlier position of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security calling for co-management of the contentious Ministry of Home Affairs by Zanu-PF and MDC-T.
MDC-T had demanded sole control of the ministry with Zanu-PF insisting the portfolio should be shared for national security reasons.
Insiders close to the proceedings in Sunday’s meetings said Sadc leaders had at the end of the day been left convinced that co-managing Home Affairs "presented the best possible way for the agreement to move forward".
But MDC says it would not be bullied by Mugabe. "This issue of submitting names is foolish. its a government of national unity, so he Mugabe must also submit his party’s names to us for vetting"
"Our position as of now is that a false settlement is riskier than no settlement," said Nelson Chamisa, spokesperson for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Party leaders plan to meet on Friday to consider the future of the power-sharing deal signed nearly two months ago, after a summit failed to broker a compromise.
"The purpose of the meeting is to deliberate on the SADC summit and the future of the dialogue process following the outcome of the summit ... We are getting the entire party leadership to reflect on this to sculpt a way forward ... Zanu-PF is on the war path. Now we have rejected the carrot, the next thing will be a very, very huge stick.” He said.