Those who passed through a psychology class are aware that there are four temperaments: the choleric, the melancholic, the sanguine and the phlegmatic. The sanguine temperament is marked by quick but shallow, superficial excitability; the choleric by quick but strong and lasting; the melancholic temperament by slow but deep; the phlegmatic by slow but shallow excitability. The first two are called extroverts, outgoing; the last two are introverts or reserved. I belong to the latter group (melancholic). For one to understand where they rightly belong they should however be able to decipher and fathom what temperament is.
For the purposes of this monograph, temperament is a fundamental disposition of the soul, which manifests itself whenever an impression is made upon the mind, be that impression caused by thinking about something or by representation through the imagination – or by external stimuli. I have engaged in a process of cogitation and rumination to come up with this write-up talking about what I consider to be Biti’s sordid motive in relation to our struggle for a free, just and democratic Zimbabwe but particularly in the context of the Movement for Democratic Change’s power struggles or for want of a familiar phrase ‘struggles-within-the-struggle’ (Professor Masipula Sithole).
I have consistently assumed the posture of an expert while also able to express ignorance when appropriate. I have been an external observer on the strange goings-on in the MDC. Mine therefore is a systematic effort to inaugurate changes in thought, behaviour, and social relationships. Consequently, be aware, dear reader, that like Daniel Webster, I have also felt that “Necessity compels me to speak true rather than pleasing things … I should indeed like to please you; but I prefer to save you, whatever be your attitude toward me.”
My understanding of democracy (which we seem to be fighting for as Zimbabweans) is such that it is hollow without direct participation at the grassroots level. Anybody willing to be a leader is expected to market his/her services to the electorate/membership for leadership without followership is equally dead. Citizen participation is no doubt a means to perfect the democratic process. Of worth to note also is the fact that, in a democracy, people submit to certain rules. Competing for power is a given in social and political organisation but it is important that this be done within the confines of the law which governs party and/or national constitutions.Advertisement
Democracy is, after all, not only the search for elite consensus but also the mobilization of interest groups, each striving to pursue its own aims in the context of a pluralistic society. For instance, it is through democracy that we will be able to provide disadvantaged groups with more powerful instruments for articulating their demands and preferences. The questions that beg our answers now are: Is Tendai Biti really a democrat? He has called his former leader Morgan Tsvangirai all sorts of names – most of them derogatory.
Is Tsvangirai really Gumbura (a convicted rapist)? Is it really true that Tsvangirai unilaterally decided that the MDC be in the inclusive government? I am not a pundit in political science for I majored not in the subject. As a social worker, I am rather renowned for having borrowed from almost every discipline one can think of. As a result, I know little about a lot of things. But, honestly, do I need a political science degree to properly and adequately understand Biti’s offensive behaviour? Definitely not! Given the foregoing, I would like to state categorically and without apology that the drama by the Biti group smacks of a hidden and sordid motive. It is a motive that is not informed by outward concern for the suffering and oppressed people of Zimbabwe.
Like I have indicated in the recent past and in almost every article, there remains a great need to revitalize our drive towards others and to also convert self-seeking into social contribution. The rationale behind this is that Zimbabwe is on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho (remember the Parable of the Good Samaritan?). She has fallen among thieves (Robert Mugabe et al): two men (Welshman Ncube and Biti) came by and they just kept going and then came another man (Tsvangirai), a member of another race, he stopped and helped the country in need. Tsvangirai is a great man, a good man because – he is concerned about more than himself. His success in politics should therefore be understood in this context.
Biti et al purport to be a renewal team. Dear readers, reformers can only claim legitimacy if their programmes are endorsed, supported, and created by the recipients of the service. Such an approach has the advantage of avoiding the arrogant assumption that the technical expert or the elitist best knows the needs of the poor and oppressed. Recipients of the service are politically articulate consumers. We are citizens rather than clients in need of therapy and care. We can read between the lines and can always tell if deception is involved in one’s actions and activities.
I have taken the full responsibility to educate Biti and his colleagues that “And a man has not begun to live until he can rise above the narrow confines of his own individual concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr). Perchance the time has come and now is that “He who is greatest among you shall be your servant.” It is indeed a truism that there is nothing greater than doing something for others. Zimbabwe needs today men and women who are concerned about more than themselves.
Biti et al have clearly fallen short of this characterization. They have failed the litmus test and nothing today, tomorrow and forever more will help their ill-fated cause. They have not convinced great Zimbabweans that Tsvangirai has failed the struggle. If anything it is they who have failed. We still wonder what their real agenda is. It is definitely not to liberate our country but to allow them the conveniences and comforts they got used to during the duration of the inclusive government. For, if really they were opposed to it, they wouldn’t have joined it in the first place. Registering their displeasure would have put them on the good side of Zimbabwean history.
Biti is a political recreant and is relying on calumny to discredit the person of Tsvangirai. However, I have a little message for him: Biti has become ever since his rebellion, “a being, so brilliant yet so corrupt, which, like a rotten mackerel by moonlight, shines and stinks” (John Randolph). Biti is no doubt a fallen star! Lucifer descending from Heaven! His sentiments aren’t our sentiments and will not survive the test of time. Tempers have mounted, plots unfolded, disunity is abroad in the party and this is all because of Biti who has shown to be a bad man, an impostor, and no doubt a creator of wicked schemes. The good news is Biti’s attempt to disrupt the party and discredit it will be systematically defeated. Failure isn’t and won’t be an option. Victory is certain! Aluta continua! The struggle continues unabated!