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Zimbabwe power share?
February 11, 2009 7:09 AM   Subscribe


 
Are we reading the history of Zimbabwe, or the future of the US?
posted by orthogonality at 7:12 AM on February 11, 2009


Regarding parliamentary/presidential governments: how does that work? Is the President still the most powerful politician in the country? Is it like two separate branches of government where the Prime Minister is the head of the congress, more or less, and the President is the head of the executive branch? Anyone have any idea whether Tsvangirai will be able to change the course of Zimbabwe, or is it just political deadlock and Mugabe still holds most of the power?
posted by billysumday at 7:21 AM on February 11, 2009


I'm wondering waht this means. Obviously it's Zimbabwe so it can't mean anything good: Has Tsvangirai been brought inside only to be sidelined, subverted or destroyed? Will he acheive powere but turn out to be just as much as a shit?
posted by Artw at 7:25 AM on February 11, 2009


Are we reading the history of Zimbabwe, or the future of the US?

Oh, I know! Just the other day I heard that Obama is gonna take all the farms away from white people and give them to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson! Cause you know his dad was an African!
posted by billysumday at 7:32 AM on February 11, 2009


Could we, er, not do that? Cheers.
posted by Artw at 7:51 AM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Regarding parliamentary/presidential governments: how does that work?

It depends on the country. The President may be a figurehead or the real ruler.

In the case of Zimbabwe, as I understand it, Mr Mugabe retains in full the constitutional role (and de facto power) of fucking with, over, and up, as it applies to everyone and everything.
posted by Phanx at 7:52 AM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Regarding parliamentary/presidential governments: how does that work?

The first link in the FPP has a small diagram explaining the power sharing arrangement. Mugabe retains control of the national security apparatus and Tsvangirai controls the ministerial cabinet.

This does seem like good news. It wasn't long ago that the idea of Mugabe sharing any power at all was pure fantasy. Maybe this will lead into a gradual easing of Mugabe from power, in a way that lets him save face.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:11 AM on February 11, 2009


Man, unless there's something I don't know about Prime Minister Tsvangirai, this man had better receive a Nobel Peace Prize or something for all his efforts.

He continued his struggle despite threats, beatings, jail time.
He pulled out of the runoff vote last year because of violence against his supporters.

Yet he continued his drive for justice/change despite the risk of being eliminated at any time
He never asked for military intervention (afaik), and continues (pretty much) to be ignored by most of the developed world.

God Bless you Prime Minister Tsvangirai! I hope you are the real deal and I hope you will see the change you have spent all these years fighting for.
posted by bitteroldman at 8:11 AM on February 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sounds like Mugabe's last gasp effort to keep at least half a hand on the tiller. May that effort expire sooner rather than later.
posted by YouRebelScum at 8:14 AM on February 11, 2009


I don't trust Mugabe not to continue maneuvering for power. This will apply even after he's dead.
posted by oaf at 8:56 AM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, unless there's something I don't know about Prime Minister Tsvangirai, this man had better receive a Nobel Peace Prize or something for all his efforts.

Its natural to lionize anyone who's been subjected to the persecution that Tsvangerai has, and he's trying to do some very difficult things, but he's been indecsisive bordering on incompetent over the past year. He took weeks to decide whether he would participate in the second round of elections, then announced that he would participate if the government met certain conditions, which they didn't, participated anyway, then withdrew again like three days before the election because Mugabe's thugs were attacking his supporters, which anyone could have predicted would happen. He then said he would refuse to participate in mediation talks unless Mbeki were removed as the mediator, and then participated anyway even though he wasn't. He then said that the MDC wouldn't join the govenment unless they were given control of the home affairs ministry. Now, Zanu and the MDC will share home affairs, but its not hard to guess how that arrangement will turn out. The only significant ministry that he's getting full theoretical control of is finance, and Mugabe is only giving him that because Tsvangerai may be able to get other countries to provide aid, not because he or his cronies are going to cooperate at all with his policies. Letting the MDC and Tsvangerai have some minimal figurehead positions in the government isn't a sacrifice by Mugabe at all; its a self-interested attempt to get aid and and reduced sanctions from the international community.
posted by gsteff at 10:26 AM on February 11, 2009 [5 favorites]


In one sense this is the most positive step Zimbabwe has taken in years. But as gsteff notes, it's largely a Potemkin village restructuring in order to relax the stance of the international community, and to the extent that's true, shame on Tsvangirai for participating in a sham. Still, that's probably why he has dithered over this offered power-sharing for so long, and I hope he changed his mind because there are guarantees of real support.
posted by dhartung at 12:07 PM on February 11, 2009


I wonder if Tsvangirai happens to remember the name of Joshua Nkomo. Mugabe does.
posted by aramaic at 12:30 PM on February 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe is turning 85, and the political party he controls has put out a wish list of requested donations for a bash, according to The Times of London, which got the list from what the paper calls a reliable source. It includes: 2,000 bottles of Champagne, 8,000 lobsters, 4,000 portions of caviar, 8,000 boxes of Ferrero Rocher chocolates and 3,000 ducks . . . . . The request adds: "No mealie meal." That's the ground corn most Zimbabweans eat - or did, before the economy collapsed.

Can we round up a Wiki drive to send a ton or two of ground corn over there? His birthday's on the 21st so there's plenty of time. It's only fair that the ruler of Zimbabwe has a proper Zimbabwean feast.
posted by crapmatic at 12:31 PM on February 11, 2009


blah, not Wiki, I mean MeFi
posted by crapmatic at 12:31 PM on February 11, 2009


I'm sure the fucker has birthday cake every fucking day If he wants to.
posted by Artw at 1:13 PM on February 11, 2009


I would love to think that this is the start of the change in Zim .. it has been so so long that change has been needed...fingers crossed that Morgan can start to drive change unfettered by Mugabe
posted by ghost32 at 2:53 PM on February 11, 2009


You might want to read the wiki peice on Joshua Nkomo before you start holding your breath, per aramaic.
posted by Artw at 2:59 PM on February 11, 2009


Err, that was my point Artw.
posted by aramaic at 6:15 AM on February 12, 2009


Pfah, stupid keyboard.

...anyway, my point was that Tsvangirai = Nkomo, from Mugabe's point of view, and that therefore the outcome will be the same unless Tsvangirai is very, very careful.
posted by aramaic at 6:20 AM on February 12, 2009


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