Saturday, 26 July 2008

Richard Dowden panicky as British (MDC) neocolonial puppets get entangled in talks with ZANU.

One thing totally rotten about people like Richard Dowden is the total lack of shame and strange paternalistic complex they exude while hymning for british imperial and neocolonial misbehaviors. In doing so they allow what could be a very brilliant mind to undergo a baptism of shit. All that the article below is trying to say is that 'its against british interests for their puppet (Tsvangirai) to be negotiating with a man who has dismantled british neocolonial and settler loot in Zimbabwe. That is the plain naked truth. I have also included another 'self-deluded' piece from Richard Bowden below just to show how desperate the british are to see the back of Mugabe, a man who has literally kicked british interests straight in the teeth in Zimbabwe, and completely decolonised Zimbabwe's land.

What this unfortunate child of empire is failing to realize is that the energy behind those in the decolonising campaign far out-match the energies of those whose brain and stomachs can be bought by british pounds. Its not about the person of Mugabe. The struggle (Chimurenga) started in the 1890s. Its can ONLY continue. Up until ALL the remnants of the whitemen's racism in Zimbabwe is TOTALLY dismantled.

Mugabe's power ploy

Zimbabwe's president is using talks with Morgan Tsvangirai to buy time while he prepares for war
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* Richard Dowden
* The Guardian,
* Saturday July 26 2008
* Article history

It is clear what Robert Mugabe wants to see from the talks with the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that began in South Africa on Thursday. On December 27 1987 he sat down with Joshua Nkomo, the leader of the Zimbabwe African People's Union (Zapu) and signed a unity accord. It followed seven years of sustained violence against Nkomo's party in which some 18,000 people died. The creation of a government of national unity made Nkomo vice-president. Three Zapu leaders were given cabinet posts. They might as well have been hamsters in a cage on Mugabe's desk.

This is what Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC, must remember as he sits down at the talks. Like Nkomo, his party has been battered, with many of his MPs dead, in hiding or facing charges, and more than 1,500 officials in prison. The mediator, Thabo Mbeki, and other African presidents would be happy with a deal similar to the 1987 accord. But will the MDC be able to arm-wrestle a deal that leads to Mugabe stepping down or to free and fair elections - or even a joint Mugabe/Tsvangirai control of the state and its security apparatus? The question, as Humpty Dumpty said, is: who is to be master?

Much is being made of the Kenyan model forged earlier this year when the country exploded after a stolen election. Raila Odinga, who most neutral observers considered to have won, accepted the post of prime minister under Mwai Kibaki's presidency. But Kenya is different. The security apparatus remained largely unengaged, if not neutral, in Kenya's violent January. Kibaki is no Mugabe, and Kenya's politicians are more cynical. In return for a slice of the power pie, they traded in their loyalty to principles and voters.

In Zimbabwe everyone in the power structure has been appointed by Mugabe, all are loyal members of Zanu-PF. Several of the military and security bosses have pledged their refusal to allow Tsvangirai to come to power. Their "right to rule" comes not solely from their "conquest" of the country by war against white rule, it is also because many Zimbabweans voted for them. In the March parliamentary elections, Zanu-PF gained more votes than Tsvangirai's MDC. Even discounting rigging and bullying, the unpalatable fact is that there is still popular support for Mugabe and those around him.

Is it conceivable that some time in the near future - two weeks to complete the talks is an unlikely deadline - prime minister Tsvangirai will say to Emerson Mnangagwa, the man who organised the reign of terror since the March election, that it is time to retire? Could he tell General Philip Sibanda that he is no longer head of the army? Miracles of reconciliation, peace and power-sharing have happened before in Africa but this is not credible. Mugabe and his cronies have allowed the country to be destroyed in order to hold on to power. Talks, for Mugabe, are not about reaching a compromise, they are a time-wasting ploy while he prepares for more war, or a tool for retaining - even extending - power.

What strengths does Tsvangirai have? The support of millions of Zimbabweans and a stubbornness that the flaky Nkomo lacked. Support from western countries is a double-edged sword. They provide financial, technical and diplomatic support but they also give Mugabe a cause - anti-imperialism - to unite his allies. And their power is waning. The Chinese and Russian veto of the American UN security council resolution calling for sanctions against Mugabe last week marked the full stop at the end of the west's exclusive post cold war domination of Africa. They cannot rescue Zimbabwe.

Much weight was put on the rest of Africa in sorting out Zimbabwe but the African Union ducked its responsibilities at its summit in Egypt last month and passed the buck back to Mbeki. His power as president of South Africa is ebbing daily. The African National Congress, now dominated by allies of Jacob Zuma, is removing Mbeki's allies from positions of power and is setting up a parallel ANC negotiation. In the next few months we may see South Africa begin to take the Zimbabwe crisis seriously.

But can Zimbabwe's economy wait? It is sliding quickly into subsistence and starvation with guns and mobiles. There are no buffers, just endless decline. Tsvangirai knows that confidence and financial support will not return without his say-so. But the ruling elite are not troubled. Some make good money out of Zimbabwe's ruin. They are shifting their money overseas; sending the Zimbabwe dollar on down. They can always bring a little foreign exchange back and buy a few trillion dollars to pay servants and purchase food and black-market fuel. The only question is how long the government can produce money to pay its troops, police and thugs?

For different reasons, both sides may play for time. At present whatever moral and political strength Tsvangirai has, Mugabe is in power. Unless something inside Zanu-PF happens to unseat him, the battle for democratic change in Zimbabwe is far from over.

· Richard Dowden is director of the Royal African Society. His book: Africa Altered States, Ordinary Miracles is published in September

The piece below by Richard Dowden is just plain hysteria and self delusion.

Zimbabwe has had two rulers leaders in 43 years. Both gave the finger to international opinion and led their country into isolation, conflict and despair. Ian Smith and Robert Mugabe have much in common, but, in the end, Ian Smith blinked and came to the negotiating table. Mugabe shows no sign of blinking. Not even when inflation hit 1,594% in February.

He was probably happy to see that picture of a bloodied, beaten Morgan Tsvangirai broadcast around Zimbabwe: that is what happens to those who oppose me. He probably wasn't too worried when the picture appeared on the front pages of the rest of the world. He knows they can't touch him.

Mugabe is a man who would let his nation collapse and his people starve to death rather than give up power. Sanctions mean little to him, as he struggles against the demons in his head: Tony Blair trying to depose him, British imperialism recolonising Zimbabwe, international capitalism destroying his socialist paradise.

It is true that there is little the outside world can do without South Africa. President Thabo Mbeki fears Mugabe personally and, even more, fears the hymns he sings. They can awaken South Africa's own devils and some of them are real: the inequality of millions of South Africans living in poverty while most land remains in the hands of whites. If Mbeki was seen to be aligning himself with Blair, he might light fire in his own house.

So, the South African policy for the past seven years of Zimbabwe's rapid decline has been for Zimbabweans to talk to each other and make a deal. That's hard when the government beats up the opposition, rather than talks to it. As long as South Africa stays on this course, with passive support from the rest of Africa, the rest of the world cannot apply pressure on Zimbabwe.

But apart from the blaze of news from the demonstration last weekend, the tectonic plates are beginning to shift in Zimbabwe. Last December, the ruling Zanu-PF party failed to deliver on a request from Mugabe to change the constitution (again) to allow him to rule until 2010. The two factions within the party came together on this issue at least. Mugabe no longer has the power or the patronage to play them off against each other. They want a contest now, not when Mugabe dies.

As the ruling party divided, the two factions of the opposition MDC have come together again. The MDC party, which split in 2005, is talking to frustrated presidential wannabes in the ruling party, and they are talking about the departure of Mugabe. Pressure is mounting on two fronts. Despite the violence against it, the opposition is planning its next big march on April 4. Watch this space.

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