All weekend, speculation has been that Mugabe and Tsvangirai would reach agreement on Sunday and seal the signing by making a joint appearance at today’s (Monday) Heroes Day Ceremony in Harare. 

But journalists who had been waiting 16 hours for the expected breakthrough were disappointed when talks that had gone on all day Sunday were adjourned in the early hours of Monday morning without a deal being reached.  Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara (MDC Breakaway party leader) are set to recommence negotiations under mediation by South African President Mbeki today, Monday, August 11.  (Zimbabwe Times August 11, 2008 @ 5:46am.) 

All three leaders refused to be drawn on what the problem was, but what they did say can be seen as revealing.  Mugabe, who was first to leave the hotel venue at 1:30 am today said, “No, we have not concluded… We are hoping to finish tomorrow (today).  He agreed that there were “sticky issues”.  Tsvangirai emerged ten minutes after Mugabe and said, “No comment… I suppose President Mbeki is going to give a comment.”  Later Mutambara added, “The talks are work in progress.  We are continuing tomorrow morning.” 

The issue at stake is said to be Zanu-PF’s insistence that Mugabe must be recognised as president.  Tsvangirai has been offered a role as Prime Minister.  But, as I have said before; under the present constitution, the President retains all executive power, making the role of Prime Minister a mere irrelevancy.  Tsvangirai is said to be prepared to accept Mugabe as a Figurehead President, with executive power vested in Tsvangirai as Prime Minister. 

For the sake of the people of Zimbabwe, I hope a workable agreement is reached, and that the country can begin the long road back to the success that it inherited at independence in 1980. 

But I fear that will not be possible as neither Zanu-PF, nor South Africa’s ANC, nor China will accept a solution that removes power from the Marxist rulers of Zimbabwe and their Marxist sponsor states.  Zanu-PF, South Africa and China are all powerful because they have overwhelming military strength and the opposition has none. 

I suspect any agreement that may be reached will result in nothing more than a fig leaf of legitimacy for Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe.  That might suit China, South Africa and some western investors.  It may result in some relief for the people of Zimbabwe, as aid and investments pours back into the country.  But power will remain vested in the dark, Marxist forces that destroyed Zimbabwe once – and will do so again.


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.

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

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