Supporters of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe are urgently
calling on the ruling party to constitute a government with or without the
opposition. The ultimatum reportedly comes after opposition demands for fresh
elections if the power-sharing impasse is not promptly resolved. Partisans of
the ruling ZANU-PF party blame the opposition Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) for the impasse after the MDC accused President Mugabe of awarding top
ministerial positions to his ruling party.
the opposition contends that only fresh elections would resolve a
dispute over who controls key cabinet posts. The ministerial appointments are
widely viewed as a make-or-break issue under a power-sharing pact signed with
President Mugabe. The political impasse is reportedly raising fears that last
month's power-sharing deal may collapse and worsen Zimbabwe's economic crisis.
Sydney Masamvu is a Zimbabwe
analyst with the International Crisis Group in South Africa. He tells reporter
Peter Clottey from the capital, Pretoria that the ruling party is showing
arrogance in the face of economic and political crisis.
"This is a statement coming
from the hardliners within the ZANU-PF who from the onset wanted to see this
deal collapse. After the 27th of June, when Mugabe claimed that he
had won a landslide victory, he did not proceed to form a government, even
though he claimed that he had won a landslide election victory for the simple
reason that he knew that his so-called landslide victory was a sham," Masamvu
He said the ruling party's
claim of an overwhelming election run-off win was not credible.
"And there was no way he was
going to form a government alone which would be recognized by the rest of the
world, and as such, I think this statement is actually meant to perpetuate
their self interest. But they are disconnected from the reality on the ground,
which actually cries out for a political settlement in Zimbabwe to turn around
the fortunes of the country," he noted.
Masamvu said there was need
for the opposition to match the ruling ZANU-PF party strategically in the
"I think the issue of Morgan
Tsvangirai participating or not participating in next Mondays' peace
negotiations is actually an issue of power game to leverage his bargaining
position. But it is actually important to know that if this agreement fails to
take off, then the only option is to go back again to another election which
would be internationally supervised in free and fair conditions, which should
yield a government chosen by Zimbabweans with a full mandate to put the country
on a path to economic and political recovery," Masamvu pointed out.
He said it would be
difficult for the ruling party to refuse to accept international supervision of
an election if it comes down to it.
"Their choices are fairly
limited. They can go it alone and continue to be isolated and have sanctions
reinforced. They can compromise. But still what you can see is that events of
the past weeks have shown that even if a deal is worked out between ZANU-PF and
the MDC and an inclusive government is formed, it is a matter of time before it
crumbles, because you can see that there is a lot of mistrust. There seems to
be no appetite, and there is no chemistry for the ZANU-PF to work with the MDC
in a corporative government. The appetite is really not there, and as such, you
can actually see that this deal is actually dead before it even started," he
Masamvu said there seems to
be too much suspicion from both the ruling party and the opposition MDC which
has led to the political impasse.
"What is lacking is actually
goodwill from the ruling ZANU-PF, which is scuttling this deal. As much as
there is optimism from people who are putting the suffering of the people in
the negotiations, they have the optimism and the willingness to make this deal
work," Masamvu noted.