I HAVE some unflattering remarks for the hard-pressed Morgan Tsvangirai, that the luna park is over. The shoe is now in the wrong foot and the MDC-T leader should call it quits in politics.
The outgoing Prime Minister has once again been defeated by his smarter rival President Robert Mugabe. Robert Mugabe is a master strategist, shrewd tactician and a highly experienced politician who needs someone who is equal to the task. The MDC-T can do press ups, climb up trees or rooftops and shout till hell freezes about the outcome of the July 31 poll, but nothing will change. No matter how much pressure is exerted from any corner of the world, Mugabe and Zanu PF will brazen it out for the next five years. Very soon everyone will be congratulating Mugabe and Zanu PF and, life goes on.
I will unpack some of the reasons that led to the crash-landing of the MDC-T and its leader. When one becomes popular at some stage, it is no passport to take the constituents for granted.
MDC-T’s tribalistic tendencies cost their movement hugely during the last elections. MDC-T out-going Minister Sekai Holland labelled Ndebele people cattle thieves and got away with it. No whipping was done by the MDC-T to show the people that tribalism had no place in the party. I remember sometime well before the split of the then united MDC, other Ndebele leaders in the party, Welshman Ncube included, were made to swear every now and again that they were not interested in the presidency of the party.
Again Tsvangirayi, Mugabe and Mutambara elected to keep Welshman Ncube of the other MDC from the Principals Club despite the fact that Ncube had been democratically chosen at his party’s congress and was being recognised by SADC. At one of the MDC-T rallies in Bulawayo, when the people of Matabeleland presented the challenge, that they were facing in the region, Tsvangirai told the people gathered in no uncertain terms that they should not burden him with their problems, as he had more than enough of his own personal issues to sort out. Really!
THE WOMEN CONSTITUENCY
Morgan Tsvangirai’s lack of respect for women contributed immensely to the loss of the women constituency. Morgan Tsvangirai’s love for women knows no bounds. The outgoing PM took the opportunity of the death of his wife, Susan, to bang anything that wears a skirt. We reached some stage when almost everyone would be holding their breath wondering who would be the next victim of Morgan’s anaconda.Advertisement
Tsvangirai’s messy love-life pissed off many people from all walks of life, including men who recently voted to protect their wives and daughters. He broke the souls of many women within a very short space of time. The women voted negatively in solidarity with their wounded colleagues. Mind you, Zimbabwe is a Christian community, which needs leaders of high moral standing.
The MDC-T should have known better. When the movement was formed, it was formed with massive backing from the workers. When Tsvangirai got into the inclusive Government, he dumped ZCTU and the workers. Workers lost their jobs as a result of company closures. The level of formal unemployment sky-rocketed to above 90% and the MDC-T did nothing to salvage the situation.
Most of the workers who lost their jobs went into informal employment. They secured loans to kick start their projects from some banks through Zanu PF’s Ministry of Indigenisation. Obviously when elections time came, the majority of these guys knew where their bread was battered, after being left to languish in abject poverty by MDC-T.
The level of corruption displayed by MDC-T officials in the Inclusive Government left the electorate gasping for breath, interrogating themselves whether anything would be left in the country in the unlikely event that the MDC-T officials were given an opportunity to govern. The inclusive government became a goldmine for MDC-T. All of a sudden people witnessed MDC-T officials driving around posh cars and buying houses. Some Councillors were grabbing stands at the slightest of opportunity. In this regard, people were left with no option serve to conclude that the MDC-T is a rag tag political movement hell bent on replacing ZANU PF only in name when in deeds, they were even worse off.
CREATING MORE ENERMIES
During the five (5) years that MDC-T was in government, the leadership of the party created more enemies than friends. The party created many battlefronts, igniting a fire that they could not extinguish. The fire eventually consumed them on 31 July, 2013. The ZCTU, NCA, ZINASU, PTUZ all of a sudden became enemies of MDC-T.
Colleagues such as Lovemore Matombo (ZCTU), Lovemore Madhuku (NCA), Raymond Majongwe (PTUZ) and Clever Bere (ZINASU) were humiliated publicly in some instances by the MDC-T leader after he had found a new friend with whom he was by then sharing some tea and cheese cakes with every Monday morning.
Tsvangirai used to brag about his warm relationship with President Robert Mugabe and even went out of his way to chide the people of Zimbabwe that they hate each other at their own peril as he and President Mugabe had since moved on and were in good books.
During the formative stages of the inclusive government Tsvangirai even embarked on a whirlwind tour of Europe telling everybody who cared to listen that Mugabe had turned a new leaf, and after all he is human just like everyone else. And, lest we forget, Tsvangirai was pelted with everything that Diasporans could lay their hands on at Southwak Cathedral in London when he told them that they should return home since normalcy had been restored in Zimbabwe. Nobody believed him. The enlightened Diasporans read that Tsvangirai was selling them a dummy. It is now evident that Tsvangirai was saying all this because he was having it his own way. Now, what has gone wrong with your new-found ally, Tsvangirai?
The MDC-T leader’s worst enemy is his tongue. It is Morgan Morgan Tsvangirai who told the people the world over that Mugabe is a fine gentleman who is human after all. By that Tsvangirai was campaigning for his competitor. People took his advice. Sometime at Chibuku stadium in Chitungwiza, Tsvangirai also told thousands of people that Mugabe was God-given to the people of Zimbabwe. Why would people not go for someone who is God-given?
THE CIVIL SERVICE
Morgan Tsvangirai, departed from his prepared speech after being sworn in as Prime Minister in February 2009, to announce that he would see to it that civil servants would be well remunerated. A few years down the line, when civil servants, through their union leaders, pursued the matter and asked for the fulfilment of the promise they got the shock of their lives. Responses came through outgoing MDC-T Finance Minister Tendai Biti. All of a sudden, the tone had changed. Biti fired a salvo, asking civil servants whether they thought he had some magical powers to extract money from stones. Civil servants are still earning little, way below the poverty datum Line (PDL), thanks to the false promises made by Morgan Tsvangirai.
Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC-T made the grave mistake of deploying all their key manpower into the unity government. I will allow you to take a look at the deployments;
Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T President) – Prime Minister
Thokozani Khupe (MDC-T Vice President) – Deputy Prime Minister
Lovemore Moyo (MDC-T Chairman) – Speaker of Parliament
Tendai Biti (MDC-T Secretary General) – Finance Minister
Tapiwa Mashakada (MDC-T Deputy Secretary General) – Minister in Government
Roy Bennet (MDC-T Treasurer General) – Deputy Minister of Agriculture
Elton Mangoma (MDC-T Deputy Treasurer General) – Minister of Energy and Power Development
Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T National Organising Secretary) – Minister of ICT
Theresa Makone (MDC-T Women’s Assembly Chairperson) – Minister of Home Affairs.
Nobody wanted to be left out of the gravy train; they all jumped in. But who remained behind to take care of affairs at Harvest House? All the above listed individuals were upstarts in government business, and most of their time was consumed trying to learn the ropes and do government business at the same time. In the process, Tsvangirai and his party neglected the electorate. A lot of effort was misdirected towards the demand for power, command and control in government.
Can you imagine that one of the areas that Zanu PF and MDC-T were quarrelling over, among other outstanding Global Political Agreement (GPA) issues is that Morgan Tsvangirai wanted to be accorded a motorcade similar to that of Robert Mugabe? My foot! MDC-T could not balance the government schedule and that of their party, if they had any. The constituents had nowhere to take their issues; they felt betrayed as a result. Tsvangirai is the author of his misfortune on this one, by virtue of being the seconding authority of the MDC-T personnel to cabinet positions.
MDC-T IN DENIAL MODE
Opinion surveys were conducted by reputable organisations such as the US-based Freedom House. All the results of surveys pointed to a Zanu PF victory. The results were published well on time. To be fore-warned is to be fore-armed. But instead of taking remedial action, what did the MDC-T do about the publication of the results? Douglas Mwonzora, with an attitude which clearly shows that he is one of those that get angry on behalf of his leader, dismissed the results as a fluke and hurled all sorts of insults at those who conducted the surveys.
The MDC-T has a serious problem in that they want to be told what they want to hear. To them, anyone who tells them the truth is either a CIO operative or a Zanu PF functionary. This attitude is inherent in MDC-T. When Zanu PF lost some ground in 2008, they did not run away from reality. What they did was to get into an Inclusive Government, regroup and work hard in preparation for the forthcoming harmonised elections.
TAKING VOTERS FOR GRANTED
What was Morgan Tsvangirai and his sidekicks Tendai Biti and Nelson Chamisa trying to do by reading a ZANU PF Manifesto in front of their supporters in Chegutu?
Tsvangirai, stretched the level of taking the electorate for granted, too far. Prior to the July 31 elections he had become so big-headed and created a Godfather of opposition politics out of himself. People like Eric Knight, Ezra Sibanda and Simba Makoni were imposed on the electorate despite massive resistance. Tsvangirai had all of a sudden become sacrosanct.
The people belong to God and not an individual. The electorate will remember that the MDC-T haunted Elias Mudzuri out of the Harare mayoral mansion claiming the party stood firmly with the down-trodden masses and that leading lavish lifestyles was a deviation from what the MDC-T stood for. But when Morgan Tsvangirai went into the inclusive government he moved into a Highlands house bought and renovated to the tune of US$3,5 million dollars. His fashion trend switched to designer suits, supported by a convoy of very expensive cars and a retinue of bodyguards in tow wherever he travelled. What rank hypocrisy? People keep track of all these issues.
POOR SERVICE DELIVERY
Urban councils, most of which were under MDC-T, witnessed poor service delivery of unimaginable proportions. Potholes were all over the place. There were massive water and energy supply interruptions. The level of incompetence by officials of the MDC-T was just out of this world. Despite the unavailability of water and energy, urbanites received highly inflated bills. How did MDC-T reconcile this scenario? Where were all these inflated bills coming from when we were spending most of our time without water and electricity? But we were always surprised to learn how MDC-T led councils would all of a sudden manage to avail water to fill in fire tenders they used to disperse vendors going about their business of selling wares to earn a living for their families.
Since constituted until now, the MDC-T component of the Inclusive Government did not do much to lure the much required vote on its side. Morgan Tsvangirai feels that he should just be in State House despite all these weaknesses. People are fed up of Tsvangirai’s tired and over-used excuse that elections have been rigged since 2002. Only recently MDC-T was talking of street protests as one of the options to pursue if its demands are not met. The call for street protests no longer carries popular appeal and the sooner Tsvangirai realises this, the better. In any case, why does Tsvangirai want the people of Zimbabwe to owe credit where it is not due? The truth is in short supply in MDC-T. Tsvangirai is now damaged political goods and he should pass on the baton and allow the party that he surnamed after himself to work towards the 2018 elections.