Saturday, January 31, 2009

Opposition Party gives in

from the NYTimes

JOHANNESBURG — After months of resisting intense pressure from leaders across southern Africa, Zimbabwe’s opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, announced Friday that he would do as they have insisted and join a coalition government as prime minister with his nemesis, President Robert Mugabe.

For "leaders" read South Africa....Why are the "leaders" pressuring Tsvangirai to give in to a dictator? Why don't they pressure Mugabe instead? Answer: They are all revolutionaries...and if Mugabe can be voted out, so can they...

Mr. Tsvangirai now faces the daunting job of sharing control of the nation’s police, reviving Zimbabwe’s moribund economy and rescuing an increasingly famished, sick and impoverished population with a partner, Mr. Mugabe, whose security forces have viciously beaten him and thousands of his supporters over the past two years. Even as the power-sharing talks were taking place, Mr. Mugabe’s government abducted and allegedly tortured dozens more opposition supporters in just the last few months.

Mr. Tsvangirai first agreed to form a joint government in September, but then refused after Mr. Mugabe claimed all the ministries that control the repressive state security forces, including the police. But at the insistence of the Southern African Development Community, the 15-nation regional bloc overseeing the negotiations, the current deal shares oversight of the police with Mr. Mugabe — a compromise Mr. Tsvangirai had initially rejected....

Only Botswana's president has the nerve to say "the Emperor has no clothes":

“These power-sharing agreements are not the way to go on the continent,” said Mr. Khama, whose government is the only one in the region now openly criticizing Mr. Mugabe’s party for using intimidation, violence and murder against its opponents. “You can’t have a situation where a ruling party, when it senses it may lose an election, can then manipulate the outcome so they can stay on in power.”

But the real culprit is South Africa, who pushed the deal despite Zuma's pretending he backed Tsvangirai:

Others, like Brian Raftopoulos, research director for Solidarity Peace Trust, a non-governmental organization, contend that joining the government was the opposition’s best option, in part because its long term survival as a party depends on decent relations with regional powers such as South Africa.

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