Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Response to Denford Magora

I tried posting my comment on Denford Magora's blog but an internet explorer error message keeps popping up and aborts the operation. See Magora's latest entry "Biti Stole STERP From ZANU PF, Says Mugabe As Coalition Crumbles".

Denford, what do you make of the possible fate of Zanu PF and Mugabe's own manoeuvres? You have consistently looked at the inclusive government from the perspective of the MDC as the variable and Zanu PF as the constant in the overall grand scheme of things in Zimbabwe's current politics. I mean, you imply that MDC faces the choice of either walking out in frustration in the face of Mugabe's unrelenting obstinacy, or staying put but endure certain humiliation at the hands of Mugabe.


Either way, one gets the sense of an invincible Mugabe and Zanu PF whose immutable role is to be the unyielding constant against which all other variables react and ultimately suffer the inevitability of either of only two outcomes, both of which leave the constant intact. For us to see the whole picture, we need to look at whether or not Mugabe and Zanu's strategy is also viable or sustainable, even in the short to immediate term.

Will the entire party in its various factions rally behind and be identified with another scorched earth, power project reminiscent of June 27? Narrowing it further, are the hardliners themselves prepared to push the envelope on militarised electioneering a la June 27, taking into context regional and international factors and the very tenuous diplomacy that stopped June 27 from getting onto the agenda of the UN Security Council?

And will the economic interests associated with Zanu go along with a plan to railroad the MDC out of government and risk recreating the economic status quo ante? And how is it envisaged that the feeble movements in the economy, from the tentative engagements with the international community to all these other credit facilities being floated, will be sustained going forward should the political map be shaken so radically?

I think some of these issues need to be put at the centre of any analysis of the possible strategies any of the key players in this inclusive government is mulling. I don't know if I'm merely being naive, but it sounds too incredulous to believe that any of these parties would walk away from this arrangement and still be sure of their future outside of it.

For Mutambara, it is the only way his outfit is relevant; for Tsvangirai, this is the only respite from a militaristic assault by Zanu PF; for Mugabe, it affords a modicum of relief within which he may embrace the inevitable end of his long career; for Zanu PF, it pacifies popular anger with its monumental failures over time and also under Gono's outrageous reign and provides a platform to re-devise its power schemes for the future.

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