December 1 2008
Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki:
Facilitator in the Zimbabwe Crisis Talks
Former President of the Republic of South Africa
Pretoria, South Africa
I am writing this letter because I am convinced your efforts and mediation in the Zimbabwe crisis have failed and your services as mediator have outlived their usefulness and purpose. I write this letter, which I believe, any ordinary Zimbabwean would have written to you.
From the time you were relieved of your duties as president of the republic of South Africa, you have been writing a lot. First it was to the president of your party, the African National Congress (ANC), Jacob Zuma and then to the president of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai. Your letter to MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai specifically prompted this response.
Your Excellency I took the following quotes from your letter to MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai as appearing in The Sunday Mail of 30 November 2008.
“…no longer treat themselves as opposition parties or protest movements...”
“…Such manner of proceeding might earn you prominent media headlines. However, I assure you that it will do nothing to solve the problems of Zimbabwe.”
The harsh exchange of words, a shift from your previous stance of quiet diplomacy, has made me come to the conclusion that you can no longer effectively play the role of mediator between the feuding parties ZANU-PF and the MDC. Recent remarks by MDC Vice President, Honorable Thokozani Khupe and the letter written to you by the chief negotiator and Secretary General of the MDC, Tendai Biti typify the relationship that exists between you and the MDC. It is under this background that I am calling on you to, in the same manner you stepped down from presidency of the Republic of South Africa, recuse yourself gracefully. I personally admire the glorious exit you had from the office of the president of your republic after you were recalled by your party.
In the same manner, I expect you to have a dignified exit because I feel that you are no longer fit for purpose as you have become part of the crisis in Zimbabwe instead of providing good counsel on how to address the monumental crisis in my country.
Let me take this opportunity to remind you of some important political developments we can never pretend to be oblivious of, not because you are not aware, but to emphasize the importance of the particular events to us the people of Zimbabwe. It is now more than a dozen and half months from the time you were appointed mediator at a summit in Tanzania and exactly nine months after the last credible election which Mugabe lost.
On 29 March 2008 Zimbabweans went to the poll to choose a new leadership for their country. 1,195,562 votes were cast in favour of Morgan Richard Tsvangirai of the MDC and 1,079,730 votes were cast in favour of Robert Gabriel Mugabe of ZANU -PF. Simba Hebert Stanley Makoni and Langton Toungana shared the remainder of the votes. The results of the parliamentary and other elections were not as disputable as the presidential election.
Not withstanding the delay in the announcement of the results, and other practices inconsistent with holding of democratic elections, local, regional and international observers concluded the poll to have been fairly credible and reflecting the will of the people of Zimbabwe. Jose Marcos Barrica, the head of the Southern African Development Community observer mission, described the election as "a peaceful and credible expression of the will of the people of Zimbabwe."
Controversial as the result of the presidential election was expected, the poll did not produce an outright winner and there was need for a second round of polls which was scheduled for June 27 2008 by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party unleashed a trail of violence characterised by threats, abductions, torture, murder targeted at the supporters of the MDC. Morgan Tsvangirai was forced to withdraw from the “violent sham” to save lives since the environment was no longer conducive for the holding of free and fair elections. ZEC and Robert Mugabe proceeded with the election despite having been discouraged to do so by leaders of the region (accept yourself), the continent and the United Nations.
What boggles the mind is the manner you responded to the MDC’s view of your role. While you were quick to attack the MDC leader in manner akin to ZANU PF’s political cousins, you have never publicly condemned Mugabe’s murderous and ruinous policies in Zimbabwe.
These two events form the basis of your continued mediation, post election for the establishment of a unity government based on the last credible election of March 29 which had failed to produce a result that would have possibly solved the political crisis then, an issue you seem to have relegated to the periphery of the whole mediation process. The manner in which you wrote to Morgan Tsvangirai show a tendency towards an attitude opposite to that you have for Robert Mugabe who you marveled as one of your greatest leaders in your letter to ANC president Jacob Zuma.
The alteration of the Global Political Agreement which you again relegated to the periphery saves as a clear testimony that there is insincerity which will forever make it difficult for the MDC to go into a government of national unity in which they do not have guarantees and "power". In his own words MDC Spokesperson, Honorable Nelson Chamisa said “It's difficult to be hopeful when you are dealing with an insincere, deceitful and dishonest party like ZANU-PF” I strongly believe these are among the facilitator must be solving rather that force march negotiators into a hotel to agree on a constitutional amendment. We have seen documents being authored,thempred with and thrown into the dustbins while the masses are scrambling for wild fruits with wild aniumals.Your insistence that a unity government be established at all costs leaves more questions than answers.
Things are not well and people have been placing their hopes on these talks which you seem to be taking lightly and are far from delivering the change we can believe in. Your Excellency I strongly believe your continued mediation in the Zimbabwean crisis is thrusting yourself on people who no longer want you as mediator, which is unlike what you did when the issue of your presidency, charity begins at home but should not end there.
I want to put to you that Zimbabweans are no lesser human beings than South Africans or any other people. If the people of South Africa through the ANC asked you to leave office why should you insist to remain mediating in the Zimbabwe crisis? If you are not serving Mugabe’s interest, whose interests are you advancing by refusing to relinquish that role?
Your Excellency let me also highlight the humanitarian crisis that led to the refusal to cooperate by the government of Zimbabwe with the “Elders” when they wanted to asses the crisis. I strongly believe you either failed to convince Mugabe to accept the elders, or deliberately blocked fearing they wanted to usurp the role of the mediator. The current Cholera outbreak is only symptom of an even graver situation and a total collapse of the running of the country due to mismanagement and greed.People are desperate for food and unfortunately we failed to prepare for this season,with disasterous consequencies,which could not have been avoidable even with the support your country had pledged, under the current corrupt government of Robert Mugabe.
Let me also inform you that all the universities,some polytechnics and primary and secondary schools have closed signaling the total collapse of the education sector,which will result in a generational intellectual deprivement of intellect in the demographic prognosis,if not adressed. Literally everything has stopped working. There is no fuel in the country, no electricity, no water, no currency, no president and the list goes on.
I hope you will soon realize the importance of this matter and recuse yourself from the role of facilitator and pave way for a neutral facilitator before we decide to free ourselves through means which may not be confined to conventional means, since a conventional fight is proving difficult under your mediation.