The West seems hell-bent on saving the beleaguered Zanu PF regime – in spite of a Zanu PF minister accusing Western embassies of fomenting the mounting unrest. The West apparently believes that there will be regional chaos if the regime collapses.
Behind the re-engagement process between the West and Zimbabwe is the International Monetary Fund which has been persuaded by Zimbabwe’s promises of economic reforms and says the country is capable of quick growth if it can only get some cash.
The word is that new loans will only come after reforms have been made but the Vigil can’t see how Zanu PF can undertake reforms. For instance, would this involve a 50% cut in the government wage bill as recommended? We do not believe this can be delivered as it would undermine Zanu PF’s support base.
Many others are equally sceptical. The Zimbabwean economist Tony Hawkins says ‘the IMF is being taken for a ride’. An article in the latest edition of the UK’s Economist headlined ‘Bailing out bandits’ makes clear its view that a lifeline for Mugabe is ‘a bad idea’.
The West is pinning its hopes on those they see as ‘reformist’ elements in Zanu PF. Vice President Mnangagwa, despite his genocidal history, is seen as one of them, along with Finance Minister Chinamasa, who made a poor impression at a money-raising conference in London’s financial district on Tuesday.
The Zimbabwean academic Alex Magaisa was at the conference and says Mugabe and Zanu PF can’t believe their luck at the prospect of new loans. He says Western countries must not delude themselves into thinking that they are dealing with a different creature or that it is in the interests of ordinary Zimbabweans (see: http://alexmagaisa.com/chinamasa-came-london/).
Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who was also at the conference, accused Chinamasa of lying and said Zimbabwe needed a national transitional authority to stabilise the situation and arrange new elections.
The MDC T has called on the Southern African Development Community to intervene as it did after the violent 2008 elections. This echoes the call by the Vigil,which last month delivered a petition to Botswana, the current Chair of SADC.