HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsMugabe, Tsvangirai fight unedifying

Mugabe, Tsvangirai fight unedifying


Reports that President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai aborted a crucial meeting over the term of office of Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri are worrying.

Now some senior government officials report the meeting could be convened today or at least sometime this week to solve this potentially divisive issue over whether to extend Chihuris contract or terminate it altogether.

The dispute over Chihuris tenure came as reports say Southern African Development Community (Sadc) executive secretary Tomaz Salomo could be on his way to Harare next week to assess the political and security situation in Zimbabwe in relation to the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

It is a fact that Chihuris term expired almost 10 years ago, but Mugabe has for one reason or another extended it by a year consecutively up until today.

With the intransigence that Mugabe has exhibited in the past, especially by failing to uphold the GPA that gave birth to the inclusive government, one wonders whether he will now consult the PM on this pressing issue.

Chihuri may still be reappointed, but at a price. One wonders why Mugabe does not want to consult Tsvangirai over security matters as if he is not the countrys Premier.

If Mugabe does not want to consult Tsvangirai, why did the former ruling party, Zanu PF, sign the GPA guaranteed by Sadc member states? Whichever way, it is clear the Chihuri issue is as discordant as other problematic issues such as the appointment of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono.

These important matters must be resolved before going into an election. Are there no better candidates for the Commissioner-Generals post? Why burden the country with anti-reformists at a time Africa and the world are marching to a very different future?

What new ideas do these people have when they have been at the helm for this long without any strategic changes within the security forces?

Mugabes appeal to his fellow AU and Sadc rulers in Addis Ababa recently to support early elections fell on deaf ears. He evidently no longer speaks for Zimbabwe. It was frankly embarrassing.

Learned as Mugabe is, he should be aware of a Chinese proverb which says: Man gets most tired when standing still. There is no doubt that Chihuri is tired already having assumed the police mantle nearly two decades ago in an acting capacity.

So why should Mugabe and Tsvangirai fight over Chihuri at the expense of the country? Chihuri must be allowed to rest somewhere on his farm, not in the demanding post of police chief. Tsvangirai should, however, not always blame everything on Mugabe because the only person that can change him (PM) is himself.

So the moment Tsvangirai complains of just about everything in the wobbly inclusive government or blames anyone for the current state of affairs in the country, he should know that hes giving up change on a silver platter to his political opponents in the government.

Tsvangirai and all democratic forces should not give up on the GPA demands. They are the only means by which we can survive.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai must resolve their differences not only over Chihuri, but also other security chiefs whose terms will expire this year. The argument proffered by Tsvangirai and MDC leader Welshman Ncube opposing the attempt to unilaterally renew Chihuris contract is crucial.

Curiously, another incumbent of contentious office, Tomana, is busy threatening the Press for writing about the expiry of Chihuris contract. Probably, Tomana is aware the focus will soon shift towards him once the Chihuri matter is settled.

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