WOZA, the 60,000 strong “Women of Zimbabwe Arise” organisation, have been marching the streets of Zimbabwe calling for “Bread and Roses”.  “Bread” represents food, and “roses” represent lasting dignity.  Most times, they are arrested and beaten for their presumption, but last week 300 man and women marched through the streets of Bulawayo without police interference.  WOZA rejects the idea of a “Government of National Unity” being touted by South Africa’s President Mbeki as the goal for the current round of meetings between Mugabe and Tsvangirai in Pretoria.  Quite rightly, they’ve seen through the stitch-up being forced on the people of Zimbabwe by Zanu-PF, South Africa and China. 

The “talks” are important for Mugabe and Zanu-PF, because they are expected to result in legitimizing continued rule by Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe, with Mugabe as President and Tsvangirai as a powerless deputy, or as Prime Minister.  Zanu-PF are determined to retain power, and it is in the interests of both China and South Africa that they do.  Fundamental political change in Zimbabwe will not be tolerated by either of these two powerful sponsors. 

South Africa’s Financial Mail wrote instructively on this subject in its feature “negotiating from a kneeling position.”  Essentially, Tsvangirai’s MDC won the parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe and Tsvangirai won the Presidential Elections.  They should not have to negotiate for a share in a Government of National Unity.  That is not what the people of Zimbabwe want.  But the MDC have no means by which to assume power, because the Zimbabwean police, judiciary and military are all required to support Zanu-PF – they’d be unemployed or dead if they didn’t 

As I’ve written several times before, China’s interest in Zimbabwe – indeed the whole of Africa – goes back a very long way.  Clever people those Chinese – 50 or more years ago, they saw the almost unimaginable wealth of Natural Resources that fill Africa to bursting.  And so, with the liberal-inspired collapse of western power and influence throughout Africa after World War 2, the Chinese stepped in to fill the vacuum.  The People’s Republic of China trained and armed Mugabe’s terrorists during the so-called “war of liberation” in Rhodesia.  China will never allow meaningful political change in Zimbabwe. 

As I’ve pointed out before, and now South Africa’s Financial Mail observes in their article above, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress will not allow change in Zimbabwe.  If the people of Zimbabwe are allowed to change their government, what might happen in South Africa one day when the people get tired of the ANC? 

So, with China and South Africa being the only two powers that matter in Southern Africa, there will be no change in Zimbabwe.  Mugabe might be retired or die, but Zanu-PF will rule while South Africa and China hold the whip hand.  (Botswana is the only country in the region that is calling for real change, but sadly Botswana has little influence and no power.)

END

Author, Peter Davies was a soldier in Rhodesia from 1963 to 1975, where he took part in the capture and interrogation of terrorists.  His novel, Scatterlings of Africa, is based on his own experience during Rhodesia’s war on terror, and personal observations of how terrorist activities impacted Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and its people.  http://www.peterdaviesbooks.com

Readers who would like to make a contribution to help innocent pensioners, who are unable to buy food and other basic necessities in Zimbabwe, should please contact Patricia Williams by email patashnix@btinternet.com.

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