Friday, February 13, 2009

Tsvangirai Finally PM of Zimbabwe But Key Ally Arrested

Two days ago, after months of chaos, Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe.

Being Prime Minister of Zimbabwe is probably the worst job in the world given the conditions under which he is working. Tsvangirai is under the thumb of Mugabe and can't get help from the outside world because they don't recognize its legitimacy even though he has been included in the new government.

I never thought Mugabe would ever share power with anyone. Well, you can be sure Mugabe is going to make life hell for Tsvangirai and the Movement for Democratic Change. Not that he hasn't done so before but now he has to share power with Tsvangirai he will undermine every which way he can.

For instance, the police arrested MDC activist Roy Bennett today at an airport outside Harare. Bennett is a white farmer who had his land confiscated by Mugabe earlier this decade and became active in the MDC. He was elected as an MP in 2000. However, like many other opposition activists he has been jailed. Bennett has spent the last two years living in exile in South Africa. Tsvangirai had tapped Bennett to be Deputy Minister of Agriculture but was arrested at an airport outside Harare upon returning to the country.

These are the sort of stunts Mugabe is going to pull on Tsvangirai probably in an effort to get him to resign. What does Tsvangirai do? There's probably not much he can do right now except to build alliances with constituencies that have been traditionally loyal to Mugabe namely the military. Of course, just like everything else time is in short supply in Zimbabwe.

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