Zimbabwe: MDC Had to Get In Or Change Course

By | February 2009

I was not surprised to see the MDC joining the Government of National Unity. In fact, I concluded so the moment that party president Morgan Tsvangirai decided to go home from Botswana earlier in the month. When an opposition party takes the option of armed struggle off the table and vests all its energies in an internal solution after all nonviolent strategies have failed, there is indeed no choice other than to participate in the GNU or sink into oblivion. The MDC National Council’s decision to participate in the GNU—whether an elopement with Zanu (PF) or traditional marriage where the festivities of a church ceremony are not the main issue but paying lobola—was merely a coup de grace. My verdict is that Mugabe had already tactically and strategically outwitted the opposition, from the very moment that the MDC agreed to participate in the talks. When you plunge into a crocodile-infested pool, make sure you know how to swim.

Filed under: ACAS Bulletin
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Zimbabwe: What does the GNU hold for the MDC?

By | February 2009

In a piece written before the opposition MDC joined Robert Mugabe’s Government of National Unity in Zimbabwe, MIT assistant professor Clapperton Mavhunga (also a Zimbabwean national), writes that “… if the MDC decides to go in, it must not do so blindfolded, otherwise it will seal its own fate. If it stays out, it must change course.”

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Mugabe’s Endgame

By | December 2008

Could it be possible that while the public, the press, and the international community were busy with cholera, the illegal regime in Harare actually declared a state of emergency under cover of a “national emergency” (ostensibly against cholera)? I may not be the only one seeing the reality that what has intensified is not the energy with which Mugabe is combating cholera, but, rather, abducting human rights activists collecting information on human rights abuses and MDC activists.

Filed under: Briefs
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Editorial: In Zimbabwe Today, Politics is Violence

By | June 2008

In previous elections paramilitary violence came before the actual polling, usually slowing down in the week or so before polling when international election observers and the world press arrived. This has not been the case in the present elections, as violence since the beginning of May has been reported by numerous and diverse sources to be perpetrated by the police, military, and the militias under ZANU-PF control. The intention of this political violence is to terrorize, destroy, and break the will of the MDC and their supporters leading up to the June 27th run-off for the presidential election. What makes the political violence feel like such an excessively brutal betrayal this time around is that it had appeared, for a brief period in April, as if the impressive showing of the MDC in the election and the wide support it had gained would have insulated it from further reprisals from the ZANU-PF before the run-off. After all, wasn’t the world watching this time? This hope for a peaceful campaign was not to happen. As a number of the contributions to this special issue have suggested, violence is the only language ZANU-PF knows, and it has once again unleashed its complete arsenal, resulting in the killing of 50 MDC members as of May 25th, 2008, and the displacement of hundreds of people, including rural villagers, teachers, and activists.

Filed under: ACAS Bulletin, Bulletin 79
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