Zimbabwe’s incumbent President Robert Mugabe is reportedly calling for a government of national unity with main opposition Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) party led by Morgan Tsvangirai. This comes after the opposition party claimed it has successfully won last Saturday’s presidential election with more than 50 percent of the vote casts.
Presidential results so far released by Zimbabwe’s electoral commission put the MDC ahead, with 49 percent. President Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party follows in second place with 43 percent, while independent presidential candidate Simba Makoni trails the pack with about eight percent.
Gordon Moyo is the executive director of the Bulawayo project, a non-governmental organization in the country’s commercial capital. From Bulawayo, he tells reporter Peter Clottey that President Mugabe wants immunity from prosecution.
“The latest information that I have, and I have it on good record, is that there are talks that are going on between the MDC led by its President Morgan Tsvangirai and ZANU-PF, mainly Mugabe himself. Mugabe would like to have a soft landing. He has lost the election and he does not want to be humiliated. Therefore, he would like to have some of his colleagues in ZANU-PF to be accommodates in the executive in the cabinet so that they can be his eyes, his ears. And so that they can also protect him and again, that can also lead to a smooth transition during his tenure of office and era to a new era,” Moyo pointed out.
He said his information denotes that President Mugabe initiated the meeting between his government and the opposition led by Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC.
“So Mugabe is the one who called for these talks. And he would like to be accommodated in one way or the other,” he said.
Moyo said both the government and the opposition are in secret negotiations about a possible union government.
“Mugabe would like to have a government of national unity. He would like to have some ministers and cabinet ministers in the new government. And he would like to play a role in one way or the other. He would like to be protected. He is afraid of the total change and because he would be humiliated in another election. He has been boasting over the air and saying he will not lose this election, but now that he has lost, he would like to have a soft landing. And he would like to be accommodated in one way or the other and he would like to have some influence in the new government. So, he is the one who called for it. It is not the opposition. It is not Morgan Tsvangirai who has won the election convincingly,” Moyo noted.
He said if the election were forced into a run-off, incumbent President Mugabe would not win.
“Mugabe doesn’t want a run-off because if there is a run-off, he will lose abysmally. It would be a whitewash. The population of Zimbabwe in its entirety will go for change. Those that voted for the independent candidate will vote for the opposition, and those people who did not vote will this time around vote. The Matabeleland region, which voted for Makoni, would stand up in its numbers to vote for change, and Mugabe would be humiliated beyond any reasonable understanding. So he would like to avoid that and he would like to hand over power to Morgan Tsvangirai, but under a condition that there is a government of national unity. He is now bargaining this government of national unity for him to step down and avoid embarrassment and humiliation through a run-off,” he said.