Mugabe Now "A Prisoner Of Circumstances"
JOHANNESBURG – An MDC-T official said in an interview here last week that President Robert Mugabe had lost control of affairs in Zanu (PF) and Zimbabwe. Roy Bennett, the exiled MDC-T Treasurer-general whom Mugabe has so far refused to swear-in as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, said the military wing within Zanu (PF), led by Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and his State Security counterpart, Sydney Sekeramayi, had seized total control of Zanu (PF) and transferred their influence to the government. “Mugabe is now a prisoner of circumstances in Zanu (PF) and that is the reason why he was forced to stand in the last elections,” said Bennet. “Mugabe remains at the helm of the Zanu (PF) because he is being used by the military junta to gain its power. If he goes, there will be questions on who should replace him and Zanu (PF) will fall apart. Because of that, everyone in Zanu (PF) now wants him to die in office.” Bennett said that even after the March 29 2008 elections – in which Mugabe and his party were embarrassed by the then opposition MDC and its leader, Tsvangirai, Mugabe was willing to cede power, but was forced to remain in the race by the junta, which offered to ensure that he wins the subsequent run-off. A gory campaign of retribution followed after the first and only recognised round of voting, the security forces unleashing violence on the electorate for ditching the geriatric and his waning party, which is being blamed for causing Zimbabwe’s economic rot that spanned a better part of the past decade. After about 200 MDC supporters were killed and thousands of others internally and externally displaced, Tsvangirai subsequently pulled out of the sham presidential run-off vote, which Mugabe ran alone and declared himself winner, but Zimbabwe’s economy continued on its downward spiral – a critical shortage of basic commodities and a Cholera outbreak underlining the serious humanitarian crisis that had bedevilled the nation. The situation only changed when the MDC agreed to form a national unity government with Mugabe and the smaller MDC led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara. Zanu (PF) has, however, continued to throw spanners into the works by standing in the way of political and economic reform – human rights abuses, farm seizures, media restrictions, suppression of personal freedoms, selective application of the law and a culture of impunity persisting even under the current administration. However, Bennett said all this should be blamed on the military arm of Zanu (PF), which continues to reign supreme. “As things stand now, Zanu (PF) political heavyweights like Mnangagwa and Sekeramayi make decisions on a day to day basis within that party and for the past 30 years they have been doing things with impunity and will continue to do that until they get a chance to negotiate an exit strategy,” added Bennett.
Source: The Zimbabwe