Mugabe Interview Gives us no Hope

I WATCHED the president’s annual birthday interview by Tazzen Mandizvidza.


By the way the interview was supposed to be a no-holds barred interview. However, what I witnessed was a very cautious and guided one and a rambling response from the same old angry Robert Mugabe.

One wonders if Mandizvidza is really the right person for the job, perhaps Supa Mandiwanzira would be better.

The president’s responses gave no new hope to any sensible viewer.

As usual, Mugabe spoke peace in a language of war and war in a language of peace.

The interview exposed Mugabe’s lack of seriousness about the inclusive government. If my understanding of the arrangement is right Mugabe is supposed to be the chairman of cabinet, deputised by Morgan Tsvangirai. Both have executive power.

Mugabe oversees formulation of policy, but the day to day running of the government is in the hands of Tsvangirai and the council of ministers. The vice-presidents’ role is nowhere to be seen in the arrangement.

Mugabe therefore has no brief to make unilateral policy statements. He has no right to declare that a constitution should be written within two years and elections held within the next two years.

President Mugabe still rails and rants against the West. He accuses No 10 Downing Street of a plot to effect regime change forgetting that over a million Zimbabweans also want regime change as the electoral results show.

If elections are held in this atmosphere it will be very easy to transfer the hatred to any party as a stooge of the West and we have pre-election violence all over again.

Mugabe has come out openly that he expects the MDC to be his public relations officers to the West.

There are however two difficulties associated with that task. The MDC must first be persuaded that it is them that called for sanctions and it is these that are hurting the economy.

The West must be persuaded that their sanctions are not targeted and are against our historical or is it hysterical land reform. It is like persuading an alleged thief to return one’s shirt when you have not convinced him that he has stolen it in the first place.

This is the problem confronting Zimbabwe and the West; they agreed that there is a quarrel but there is absolutely  no  agreement on the basic identification of that quarrel. That should give a headache to Sadc and the AU and should they send a demand that ignores these basic differences they will not help the situation at all.

A clear sign of Tazzen’s unsuitability as an interviewer came to the fore after Mugabe admitted that the last cabinet had been the worst since 1980. Mandizvidza failed to follow up his question and surrendered to intimidation.

Mugabe hints that some people in Zanu PF question if he did not sell out. He says it is they who sold out by not campaigning enough, at least before March 29. I believe Mugabe indeed sold out. He sold out the noble principles of the founding fathers of the nationalist movement. He sold out the aspirations of the black people who placed their trust in him in 1980.

If Mugabe’s rambling is typical of Zanu PF thinking then I fear for the inclusive government and also for my bleeding country. I urge the MDC and all progressive forces to stand firm and combat any shenanigans to derail a process that has begun for the eventual and permanent healing of our country. From the way Mugabe spoke we still have some way to go but we are getting there. God be with us.

Nqobizitha Khumalo,
Harare.