Saturday, February 14, 2009

Roy Bennett Arrested

The new "unity" government of Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) has begun...

...with the arrest of MDC Treasurer General Roy Bennett, a long time opponent of the Mugabe regime's land-seizure policy (and victim thereof), and the MDC choice for Deputy Minister of Agriculture in the new government.
Richard Cornwall, a senior researcher at the South Africa-based think-tank, the Institute for Security Studies, told IRIN the abduction bore the hallmark of "hardliners" attempting to "scupper this deal [unity government] before it gets off the ground."

He said the focus has been on the divisions between Mugabe's ZANU-PF and Tsvangirai's MDC, but recent developments showed "what sort of divisions exist within ZANU-PF, not all of who agree with the unity government." The next few days would determine Mugabe's "ability to bring the hardliners to heel," he commented.

Cornwall said it was understood that the "hardliners" were from the Joint Operations Committee (JOC), which comprised security chiefs of the army, police, Central Intelligence Organisation and the prisons department, and was coordinated by Emmerson Mnangagwa, at one time a presidential pretender.
Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC leader and the Prime Minister of the new government, says the world should no longer see Robert Mugabe as the main problem.

He's right, but for all the wrong reasons. ZANU-PF clings to power as a bloc, with several hands all taking from the till. R. Mugabe and his family are just a part of the kleptocracy. And the kleptocracy will continue to look out after its own, which means that men like Roy Bennett are their blood enemies.

But as long as Mr. Tsvangirai believes that his invitation to the government is entirely contingent on turning a blind eye to the ongoing malfeasance, expect him to keep saying things like this.

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