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Monday, September 15, 2008

Zimbabwe Power Sharing

"Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe signed a power-sharing agreement with opposition rival Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday, relinquishing some of his powers for the first time in nearly three decades of iron rule."
Unfortunately, although ceding control of the police force, Mugabe is keeping control of the Armed Forces. (Or as I read somewhere today that I can't find now - the Armed Forces remain in control of Mugabe.) There was a similar agreement in 1980 between Mugabe and a then rival. Mugabe used the military to destroy the opposition in the Gukurahundi.

Here's hoping things turn out better this time.

The key will be if the generals who back Mugabe let MDC actually gain some control. If they are worried about their own survival, they will gladly destroy the deal - the rest of Zimbabwe be damned. The economic survival of Zimbabwe will depend on reshaping the current system (by MDC) and a large dose of foreign aid. Both of those codnitions rely on this power sharing being legitimate. Any action by the military to undermine the new government will undermine any chance for restoring the economy, which is vital to improving the lives of every Zimbaweans.

[And, to top it off, there was some violence between MDC and ZANU-PF supporters outside of the venue where the agreement was signed.]

PS: Excerpts from Tsvangirai and Mugabe's speeches today,

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