My colleague walked into the office and announced that Morgan Tsvangirai is to be sworn in as Prime Minister on 11 February. He’d heard it on the state radio this morning.
Surprised, we checked the news. One story confirmed what he’d heard – but the headline was curious: SADC agrees on Zim unity govt. That’s great if SADC agrees on what Zimbabwe should do. But what has Zimbabwe agreed Zimbabwe should do?
The international press was less convincing. Reuters says Opposition disappointed with summit – and reports that the MDC says the conclusions “fall far short of our expectations,” and that they’ll meet this weekend to think about it. CNN reckons Conflicting reports blur Zimbabwe deal and reports that the MDC says its “concerns remained unresolved.” So what is going on? According to CNN:
A source close to the talks said Tsvangirai agreed to all the decisions that the SADC made, but that other MDC leaders were unhappy with the agreement once he left the talks.
So does Operation Flip Flop continue? Will the MDC continue to waffle its way through these negotiations – when the very notion of negotiating with an entrenched and recalcitrant dictator is absurd.
A comment on our blog reads “Mugabe and Tsvangarai ‘working together’ was never a realistic or desirable outcome. Tsvangarai shouldn’t be working with Mugabe, because Mugabe is not capable of sharing power.” I agree with the theory of that. But unfortunately, as another colleague just pointed out, Tsvangirai is more desperate than Mugabe – desperate enough that he’s willing to negotiate in the first place.