Fait accompli

26 06 2007

The two major political parties in Zimbabwe are in talks in Johannesburg. They have not progressed past the talks about talks stage and as someone commented to me on the weekend “What political party is going to negotiate the conditions for its departure from power”. So even if it gets beyond the current stage it is unlikely to achieve much. The conditions that ZANU-PF (the ruling party) are imposing on the MDC to get to the talking stage are quite informative. It must:

1. Accept the legitimacy and significance of the liberation struggle (means: accept that we live in the past unlike the majority of the population who were born after the war ended in 1980)

2. Declare its acceptance of the president and government’s legitimacy and act accordingly in both language and actions (means: Bob is God and we did not fiddle the last two election results)

3. Drastically re-orientate its attitudes towards national events (means: kiss our arse)

4. Stop forthwith its promotion of violence (means: this is OUR speciality and we won’t have you competing)

5. Publicly and unequivocally commit itself to the irreversibility of land reform (means: we are not giving back what we have  stolen so get used to it)

6. Respect the country’s sovereignty and independence, respect all national laws (means:  we still make the laws around here and no matter how draconian, illogical and unconstitutional, you will kow-tow to us)

7. Publicly and unequivocally call of the lifting of sanctions (means: we really do want to go shopping in London and Paris and send our kids to elite foreign schools with money we have liberated from government coffers)

8. Stop calling for outside interference in Zimbabwe’s domestic affairs (means: killing, maiming, torturing and otherwise brutalizing our population is OUR business and is therefore allowed)

It’s all rather pathetic and very immature and of course so unreasonable that the MDC is not going to agree to most of it so the talks will go nowhere. Fait accompli.

Yesterday a well dressed and pleasant gentleman delivered a letter to my nursery announcing the formation of yet another union, the Zimbabwe National Farmers’ Union. I was invited to come along to the launch next month.  I could not really ascertain why we need yet another farmers’ union (I don’t belong to any at this stage, the Commercial Farmers’ Union is expensive and I get nothing out of it) so I suppose I will go along  but I remain leery of any attempt to gain credibility for the current state of agriculture in the country which I suspect this is (oh yes, government ministers will be there).

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