There is no choice for the actual winner of the elections, MDC, than to keep negotiating with Mugabe. The alternative is the collapse of the state and civil war.
This is the sobering message The Zimbabwe Institute's Isaac Maposa conveyed at a meeting in press centre Nieuwspoort in The Hague December 2, 2008
Isaac Maposa, director of the Zimbabwe Institute, presented the last state of affairs on the humanitarian and political sitiation in his country. Mr. Maposa is advisor in the negotiation process and shared his ideas on the role of SADC countries, the African Union and other international actors, such as the EU and the US, in ameliorating the situation in Zimbabwe.
Maposa, who has advised former South African president Mbeki, main negotiator on behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and MDC leader Tsvangirai, still believes that through dialogue a solution will be found. Yet he expresses his grave concerns about the current situation in Zimbabwe, seeing the country crumbling down on different levels.
Tsvangirai and Mugabe have to follow up on the agreement to form a government he says. Otherwise, the state of Zimbabwe will fall apart. As the civilians of Zimbabwe can not count on military intervention from African countries, the United States or Europe, and Mugabe’s ZANU PF is in control of all arms, police and army, there is no choice but to stay at the negotiation table.
According to Mr Maposa, Mr Mbeki and SADC could have done much more to pressure Mugabe's ZANU part to relent power. Also, the European Union and the United States could have urged the SADC nations and the African Union to take a much stronger stand rather than simply watch as an African state falls apart.
Also speaking at the meeting in The Hague, Obed Bapela, speaker of the South African Parliament and Chairman of the Committee of International Affairs, shared Mr Maposa’s concerns while stressing that almost all issues had been settled. Sharing the post of Minister of Home Affairs, which oversees the police force, appears to be the only obstacle. A suggestion by SADC to rotate this post was recently rejected by the MDC, which believes that it would grant Mugabe too much control over the security forces. Mr Mugabe has already claimed the Ministry of Defence for his party, effective controlling the army.
Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe is deteriorating. Four to five million people are in need of food aid. There is no clean water. Cholera has erupted. It’s the worst cholera epidemic since 1923, and has so far infected 15.000 people. Latest numbers say that 800 people already died of the disease. Yet hospitals have no supplies - sick people are having to bring their own medicine.