By Anna Chibamu
FOUR years after the death of democracy icon Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition is falling short of his fighting spirit and wantonly tarnishing his legacy, political analysts have said.
Tsvangirai succumbed to colon cancer on February 14 in 2018.
His three deputies have since split, with each one of them leading their own faction of the party he led.
All of them claim to be champions of his legacy and claim their parties stand for his beliefs.
Southern African Political Economy Series Trust (SAPES) founder and political scientist Ibbo Mandaza said: “Tsvangirai led the first formidable opposition against the ruling party in the formation of the MDC party in 1999, he equipped himself as a very brave patriot against the odds especially from 2000 onwards when the Zimbabwean state relied more and more on the military establishment to this day.”
“Tsvangirai stood his ground and has to be remembered for that and what he has left behind. Regrettably, he left a very unsettled succession situation with three vice presidents, a feature which has embroiled the MDC into what we have seen over the last three to four years. Tsvangirai left behind a legacy which is similar to that of most fallen political parties including the Zanu PF party; the failure to manage succession issues that led to a coup in November 2017 and the power squabbles currently going on in the ruling party.”
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) president Nelson Chamisa, MDC Alliance leader Douglas Mwonzora and MDC-T’s Thokozani Khupe have been at each other’s throats since Tsvangirai’s death on February 14, 2018.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiCZ) chairman and former Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) president Peter Mutasa said Tsvangirai was a visionary leader who fought a brutal regime but unfortunately, left a legacy that has not been taken seriously.
“For me Tsvangirai was a man of huge character who left behind a formidable legacy which sadly, is no longer being pursued,” said Mutasa.
“Currently if you talk to workers and even trade unions they talk about being apolitical and indifferent to politics, they have lost that analytical eye and analytical mind that Morgan and his team had and this is what I give him thumbs up for. He and his team could read the signs, could read the time and politics even though they were not as educated as we are today. Most trade unionists have degrees and PhDs but Tsvangirai and his crew had social education and understood things that we could not understand, so we are very happy about his legacy. We are unfortunately falling short in terms of his fighting spirit, his courage and his leadership acumen,” Mutasa said.
For him, Tsvangirai was bigger than the MDC and he remained the cornerstone of the party until his death.
“In my view, Tsvangirai remained our inspiration, we were always arrested by the regime, brutalized, but that courage has not died, motivating young trade unionists. A lot of activists are proteges of Morgan Tsvangirai. We are all inspired by him.”
Tsvangirai’s death went as far as dividing his family.
His widow Elizabeth Macheka and last born Richard have openly declared their support for Chamisa and his new CCC outfit while Vincent is a member of the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T.