Zimbabwe’s New Transition Now David Moore New prime ministers headed by Morgan Tsvangirai were signed in Feb 4. Two days later a mixed cabinet was inducted – nearly five hours after scheduled. The delay? ZANU-PF wanted more ministers than allocated, so South African president and SADC chair Kaglema Montlanthe and Thabo Mbeki, SADC‟s man on Zimbabwe, allowed them a couple of more ministers of state from what the Zimbabwe Independent has called “a small forest of dead wood”. Deputy Agriculture Minister designate Roy Bennett was arrested and charged with treason whilst reports reached Johannesburg that Zimbabwean soldiers were crossing the border at Musina chasing „dissidents‟. The South African negotiators of their vision of a „Government of National Unity‟ gloat at vindication of an „African solution‟ while their supposed antagonists in the „west‟ say they‟ll wait and see before turning on the taps of aid. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has promised the civil service US$100 by the end of the month, and keeps pushing for the ever-ebbing abductees‟ release. Finance Minister Tendai Biti faces Reserve Bank Chair and economy-buster Gideon Gono; Deputy Minister of Defense Tichaona Mudzingwa tackles a phalanx of generals, headed by Gukurahundi expert and presidential aspirant Emmerson Mnangangwa as Defence Minister, that still refuses to salute anyone but their „liberation leaders‟ – and together they must find a way to pay their restive soldiers resorting to diamond-war to pay their way. In short a deal that at first seemed equally balanced between good and bad news will have to make progress fast. Even if one believes Robert Mugabe signed away part of ZANU-PF‟s monopoly on its fast diminishing political power and free-falling economy in good faith, his minions‟ scramble to remain in the loop will take many, many casualties – including their own party, if its 1970s history is anything to go by. The MDC(s) will have to learn to govern very, very quickly, whilst in the den with the lions who can teach them nothing but how to misgovern in their own, coercion-armoured interests. If the politicians newly in power cannot get the sewers working, the schools teaching, the food feeding and the currencies paying in a matter of weeks, the question will not be those in Amendment 19 – getting a new constitution, consulting civil-society in councils on security and the economy, making the Council of Ministers work – but exiting without losing legitimacy. And South Africa, into whose hands it would seem Zimbabwe‟s sovereignty has slipped to the extent that it must mediate cabinet appointments had better take a strong stance on allowing the re-birth of the freedoms for which so many Zimbabweans have laid down their lives. Otherwise, its quite imperial interventions will be seen as not one iota better than its colonial predecessors.