IN OTHER WORDS: Betrayal
It took a lot of international pressure to force President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to accept a power-sharing deal with Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader. It will take a lot more to force Mugabe to respect it. The original agreement, brokered by Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s former president, left too many crucial details unsettled. Mugabe is now filling in the blanks in a way that ensures that he keeps all of the power. Last weekend, Mugabe announced that his loyalists would run all of the major ministries, including those that control both the army and the police. Mugabe’s generals are reported to be worried about retribution for the campaign of abuse and murder that they unleashed on Tsvangirai supporters during this spring’s presidential elections.
Tsvangirai rightly says he won’t serve in a government that shuts his party out of both major security ministries. Restoring the terms will take renewed diplomatic pressure.
The stonewalling of army generals and cronies should not be cost-free. It has not been cost-free for the rest of Zimbabwe’s people, who must continue to cope with desperate food shortages and the world’s highest inflation rate. The faster Mugabe and his generals are distanced from power, the faster Zimbabwe can be rescued from the disaster he has inflicted