THE political negotiation process has predictably yielded no solution for Zimbabwe.
In my view this is because of a real and clear point that has sadly been ignored.
The central problem to the Zimbabwean issue is that Robert Mugabe does not want to pass on the baton of power to anyone including members of his own party Zanu PF.
To him the current talks cannot in any way negotiate about his retaining of power and he will use every trick in the book to achieve this.
We have seen how over the years Zanu PF members who have dared challenge his right to rule perpetually have been dealt with thoroughly and ostracised from the party.
We have also seen how party members were cowed into endorsing him as the presidential candidate for the March 2008 elections. As a result I believe that the current negotiation process is clearly an exercise in futility.
The mediator and some of the other Sadc heads of state appear not to see that this is the issue that needs to be dealt with if any progress is to be made.
Going forward from where we are now, I see the need for all to whom Mugabe listens to persuade him to exit the front line scene and revert to a party leadership advisory role and allow others to lead Zanu PF and negotiate a “meaningful” power sharing deal with Tsvangirai and the MDC. As long as Mugabe remains an active player in the process, the combination will not work. The sooner the mediators face up to this, the better for Zimbabwe.
Whilst only time will tell whether Tsvangirai will live up to expectations as a national leader, there is no denying the fact that he is one man who, against enormous odds has been brave and persistent in pursuing democracy.