[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Tsvangirai to Mbeki: demolition job
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Sun Jun 1 06:00:08 BST 2008
Tsvangirai’s explosive letter to Mbeki:
Wally Mbhele and Dominic Mahlangu Published:Jun 01, 2008
‘If you go on like this, there will be no country left’
Zimbabwe has gone to the dogs and has been plunged into horrendous
violence on Mbeki’s watch.
Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has
accused President Thabo Mbeki of “complicity” and secretly conniving to
perpetuate Robert Mugabe’s rule.
In an extraordinary attack on the South African President, whom regional
leaders last year appointed mediator in the Zimbabwe crisis, Tsvangirai
warned that “there will be no country left” if Mbeki was allowed to
continue in the role.
The Sunday Times is in possession of the explosive letter dated May 13
that was delivered via official channels.
In it, Tsvangirai tells Mbeki: “The MDC sees your role as mediator as
neither appropriate nor effective.”
He accuses Mbeki of:
# Lacking neutrality;
# Dividing the MDC;
# Blocking United Nations discussions on Zimbabwe;
# Helping Mugabe’s government acquire weapons;
# Suppressing the Khampepe-Moseneke Report on the 2002 Zimbabwe
elections, which means Mbeki has no “moral claim to mediate a state of
affairs at which he has, in secret, connived”; and
# Breaching the principles of mediation by showing a lack of respect for
News of the letter comes as Zimbabwe gears up for the June 27
presidential runoff election between Tsvangirai and Mugabe, and as the
Zanu-PF militia and security forces intensify their crackdown on
“Not only have you been unable to denounce the well-documented
post-election attacks on our people, but your government even played a
role in Zimbabwean government procurement of weapons of repression (tear
gas and batons, for example) and agreed to allow passage of arms of war
purchased by the same government through South African territory during
the troubled post-election period,” says Tsvangirai.
He points out that when Mbeki started mediating in Zimbabwe, “the
country still had a functioning economy”.
“Millions of citizens had not fled to other countries to escape
political and economic crisis and thousands had not died by
impoverishment and disease.”
He says that since the March 29 elections, “Zimbabwe has plunged into
horrendous violence while you have been mediating. With respect, if we
continue like this, there will be no country left.”
Tsvangirai’s letter came as another letter — allegedly written by Mbeki
to US President George Bush — surfaced in which Mbeki is said to tell
Bush to “butt out” of Zimbabwe.
Presidential spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga yesterday told the Sunday
Times that “neither Tsvangirai nor the MDC leadership had written a
letter of (that) kind to Mbeki.
“We are concerned that there are people who seem to be ready to peddle
lies about the mediation process and a range of other issues,” he said.
However, senior MDC leaders said they were in possession of a receipt of
In yet another indication that Mugabe will still not accept defeat, the
government mouthpiece The Herald quoted army chief of staff
Major-General Martin Chedondo urging soldiers to vote for Mugabe.
“Soldiers are not apolitical. Only mercenaries are apolitical. We have
signed and agreed to fight and protect the ruling party’s principles of
defending the revolution ... If you have other thoughts, then you should
remove that uniform.”
Mugabe’s wife, Grace, was also reported as telling Zanu-PF followers
that the MDC would not be allowed to take power.
“Even if people vote for the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai will never set foot
inside State House,” she said.
Tsvangirai’s letter also reveals how he handed Mbeki copies of secret
documents outlining a decision by the Zimbabwean government to deploy
soldiers, war veterans and militia in a violent campaign.
“You expressed deep concern and suggested you would convene a meeting
between myself and Mr Mugabe before the SADC summit (in April). I
travelled to South Africa and waited for a full day for this meeting ...
No one from your office ever contacted me.”
He says the MDC remains “fully committed to SADC’s critical role in
Zimbabwe and has no problem with South Africa’s participation in
Rather, “it is your own involvement as exclusive mediator to which we
He adds: “When the MDC attempted to appeal to the UN Security Council to
investigate and help stop the carnage, it was you, the so called neutral
mediator, who blocked a possible road to a resolution of the crisis.”
The MDC says Mbeki’s infamous “no-crisis” appearance on television with
Mugabe was the last straw.
“Following this comment and others you made to SADC heads of state, it
became clear to the MDC executive that it must urgently review (our)
relationship with you and your role in the mediation.”
Mbeki is further accused of trying to split the MDC by talking to other
party leaders behind Tsvangirai’s back.
“As a leader, whilst you may not have respect for me as a person, I can
only ask you to respect the position that I hold, which position and
responsibility has been endorsed by the majority of Zimbabweans, who
voted for me,” Tsvangirai says.
# Visit www.thetimes. co.za to read Tsvangirai’s letter in full
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