This deliberate and public snub of Mugabe represents a marked change from the last France-African summit in France in 2003, when Chirac controversially waived the EU travel ban to allow Mugabe to attend.
It is evident that since SA Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka met President Mugabe in February 2006 that close negotiations have been developing between ZANU / MDC about some form of transition.
Following this leaders from ZANU PF and the two MDC factions held separate talks with South African government officials in March this year . Vice President Joyce Mujuru held crisis talks over Mugabe’s leadership with her South African counterpart Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. By a strange coincidence the two Secretary Generals of the MDC factions, Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube were also in town and met the SA government. They met in the Westcliffe Hotel and Joyce stayed in Room 301 the Presidential suite.
Highly-placed sources, named but not able to be identified,have apparently told The Zimbabwean that Mbeki had already suggested the plan to the ruling party and both factions of the MDC.
Though the smaller countries have their own currencies and central banks, these are a form of national window dressing in practice, there is a common currency, the Rand. The other currencies are pegged to the rand at par, and CMA monetary policy essentially emanates from Pretoria.
Salamao's proposal,is therefore that the rand will simply replace the Zimbabwe dollar, which is now virtually worthless, with inflation running at around 5 000% and the real exchange rate to the US dollar now somewhere in the region of 250 000.
Publicly there is talk is of selling this to Mugabe and it being explicitly conditional on Mugabe accepting the sort of fundamental political reforms which are to be negotiated in the Zanu PF and MDC dialogue in Pretoria.
For Zimbabwe to join the CMA currency union it would have to bring not only financial indicators such as interest rates into line with the CMA, but also fiscal indicators such as external debts and deficits. These are the implicit constraints in national policy-making which any country accepts on entering a currency union.
Would Mugabe surrender de facto sovereignty? No.
Mbeke is maybe publicly stating that he is hoping that a delayed election (probably rigged) would soften the blow. It won't and Mbeke knows it.
On Friday, April 20, 2007 Lord Patel forecast Mbke's Anschluss, and it is evident that Vice President Joyce Mujuru (however unsavoury - and boy is she unsavoury) is the chosen leader and has been groomed for the latter day role of Seyss-Inquart .
It may be likened to Kohl offering equivalency of the Ost Mark to the D mark. It is effectively a take over, an annexation ... an Anschluss. Naturally a variety of startled voices will be heard .. a sort of muted Stresa Front, but the real politik will take over and life will go on, the Chinese will accede and the bastards like Hoogstraaten and Prince Harry's girlfriends Daddy will make out like bandits as commercial life returns and the sanctions are dropped.
Mugabe ? He will be presented with a choice, a decent retirement - perhaps in Libya - Pyongyang - Peking ? Or he will have a swift and silent illness / heart attack. Unlike Schuschnigg who survived terrible imprisonment and ended up in St Louis teaching and died in 1967. Seyss Inquart was hanged at Nuremburg.