Robert Mugabe is holding the upper hand and advantage in the negotiations as his powerful allies from South Africa and the African Union say they will not allow a coup in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe, a political strategist knew that the only way to foil the coup was to slow it down, buy time and give enough time for his powerful allies in South Africa to intervene.
The chairman of the Africa Union now says that the military should give Mugabe enough time to organize the next election which will allow for transition of power. Elections will be acceptable but not a military take-over.
Jacob Zuma of South Africa was the first to send his aides to Zimbabwe to broker the negotiations and it is obvious which side they are on. The government of South Africa has made it clear that there must be a peaceful and democratic transfer of power. A coup will not be accepted.
This explains why immediately after the power grab and after Mugabe had been placed under house arrest, the military refused to use the word “coup” even though it is what it was.
What began as a forceful show of power has now ended with the military and opposition now begging, cajoling and persuading Robert Mugabe to sign the resignation papers and stand down. Mean while, some of Mugabe’s allies are pushing for Mugabe to be given an extra one year in power so he can plan for a peaceful and democratic transfer of power.
The military is thinking about allowing Mugabe only one extra year in office as long as he can write an agreement that after he leaves office, his wife will not take over as President.
The negotiations are still going on but it is said Mugabe is holding the upper hand. The final deal could be signed Friday or Monday. For now, General Chiwenga and the military top brass will continue begging Mugabe to sign the resignation papers.