I’ve more or less stopped paying attention to political news from Zimbabwe. As an increasing number of “talks” seem to end in reaffirmation of still President Mugabe’s Reign of Terror, the foregone promise of power-sharing just gets depressing. I’m similarly reluctant to put too much weight in the latest headline from the BBC announcing a successful “unity bill.”
The story announces that parliament has unanimously approved a constitutional amendment allowing opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to become prime minister—essentially creating a share of power between his party, the Movement for Democratic Change, and Mugabe’s ZANU-PF. But while the bill passed with “jubilation and stomping” by MP’s from both parties in the lower house, it has yet to be signed by Mugabe himself.
According to the BBC, “Mugabe is expected to sign the amendment on Friday,” but here’s the rub: sure, Zimbabwe has a corrupt power structure, and Mugabe’s got plenty of muscle on his side, but his own ambition and senility seem to be at the root of the problem. If he’s been unreasonable enough in the past to let inflation skyrocket and deny thousands of deaths by cholera, on what basis can we expect that he will sign a power-sharing agreement?