Last week, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai suspended his party the Movement for Democratic Changes (MDC) participation in the unity government, citing dishonesty on the part of President Robert Mugabe.
To many, this decision did not come as a surprise. When Tsvangirai agreed to form a unity government many people remained sceptical of its success.
It was seen as a tough decision for the MDC to work with ZANU PF under the terms of the treaty brokered by leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in September 2008.
Analysts noted that the MDC had little choice but to accept the deal, probably under pressure.
This might explain why international aid for the reconstruction of Zimbabwe has not been abundantly available. Donors have been insisting that they wanted to see a proper, functional government, which incidentally has not yet materialised.
Pessimists who thought that Mugabe would not treat the MDC as equal partners in the inclusive government have been thus vindicated.
The sceptics argued that Mugabe garnered fewer votes in the first round of elections in 2008 than Tsvangirai but remained President. They therefore distrusted the coalition and quietly resented Mugabe as a manipulator who would fight to control key posts in the government.
It is believed hat Mugabe undermined the deal right from the beginning and though the detention of MDC official, Roy Bennett, an aid to Tsvangirai, on “terrorism” charges with and the conviction of three MDC officials on separate charges, made sure that the MDC would be put in an impossible position.
Human rights activists complained that the law was being applied selectively in a deliberate attempt to reduce the number of MDC MPs in Parliament.
Somehow, I will agree with MDC that their leaving government is due to Mugabe’s dishonest. However, I will also partly blame the international community.
I believe had the donors accompanied their support of the inclusive government with aid the pact would not crumble.
Mr. Tendai Biti, who was appointed the Finance Minister, was expected to rebuild the ruined economy and win the confidence of western donors and investors.
However, months later when Tsvangirai went on an aid ‘hunt’ he returned with a paltry $200 m, far short of the $8bn the country needs Despite, the fore mentioned however, I say MDC should not leave government.
As has been previously noted, fighting from within is the best way to win the game. Not shouting from outside without any real influence.
And honestly, the main losers in these political games are the poor citizens who are tired of poverty, cholera and hunger. Please save them more pain.
I hasten to add, I’m not saying either Mugabe or Tsvangirai should go on his knees. No way. They should both compromise.
The writer is a journalist with The New Times