Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Mugabe passes on UN trip, sends Mujuru

VICE-President Joice Mujuru is in New York where she will attend the United Nations summit of world leaders on the global financial and economic crisis and its impact on development. I think Mugabe's decision to pass over this meeting has to do with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's trip to Western Europe and the US.

Despite its failure to unlock the vaults of western treasuries, the PM's trip has made one thing resoundingly clear: Morgan Tsvangirai has arrived on the global stage. For whatever he did not get materially, Tsvangirai received recognition across Europe and the US. He was received warmly and in many respects, as a head of state. Mugabe must have calculated that it was not tactically astute to venture onto the global stage and be eclipsed by Tsvangirai's towering shadow which still projects across the western world as we speak.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Dinner with Morgan

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai inspects a guard of honour with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a visit to that country as part of his 3-week European and US tour.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party is holding a banquet for him on Saturday evening. Zimbabwean groups and other interested parties have been invited to come and wine and dine with the Premier – at the not too modest price of £75 per head!

Personally, I strongly feel that it is inappropriate for the Prime Minister, who is on state business, to attend a fundraising dinner for his political party. It is na├»ve of the MDC’s UK branch to conscript the Prime Minister into a partisan fundraising project in the midst of his very first foreign assignment on behalf of an extremely fragile coalition government. It is not strategic and it causes needless friction.

As a matter of protocol, it seems rather inappropriate for a statesman on an important assignment on behalf of the state, and enjoying such reception as established diplomatic protocol reserves for one carrying the seal of one's state, to detour into private political interests within the course of that same mission. It becomes particularly odious when those private engagements replicate the very objective of his official mission – fundraising on behalf of the state.