Home » Governance » Morgan Tsvangirai – Healer, Heal Thyself!

Were it not for a few discomfiting and ironic details, one would have found it quite easy to applaud opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s temperate article that appeared on a CNN blog on June 10.

The article titled, “Where Zimbabwe goes from here” apparently urges the international community not to “lo(se) hope in Zimbabwe’s ability to change after another far from perfect election”.

Tsvangirai calls for investments in the “ripe ” sectors of the economy like mineral procurement, agribusiness and telecommunications .

He counsels the international community rise above “charitable donations or the stick of sanctions” but “encourage our partners overseas to work with us during this sensitive period of rehabilitation … ”

He seeks help to “reopen our markets for global trade.”

This is all very commendable coming from the oft-excitable and intemperate Tsvangirai.

Yet the kudos end there.

First, it is rather ironic that Tsvangirai finds himself talking about “where Zimbabwe goes” when, in fact, the world, especially his western backers would have wanted to know where the opposition that he leads is headed to.

There is turmoil in the MDC camp right now Tsvangirai faces possible ouster from the party he formed.

Tsvangirai’s minions, like his spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, and party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora may choose to dismiss the moves by the Biti camp a protracted war of attrition may yet begin, starting in the legal field.

It will be interesting to see how that pans out and the unfortunate thing is that Tsvangirai is no Jesus character who can command the winds and waters of any storm.

The second curious thing concerns Tsvangirai’s choice of opening his piece.

He begins by saying “Zimbabweans were sincere in congratulating Nigeria in becoming Africa’s leading economy earlier this year… we also looked at Nigeria’s achievements and wondered how we, too, might be able to achieve such heights.”

One cannot be so sure whether Zimbabweans were so united in these congratulations. Honestly, the dubious ascendancy of Nigeria as Africa’s leading economy made fleeting headlines in the country’s newspapers.

But that is beside the point.

Even if we grant that an introduction to any writing is tricky business – we see many a less talented writer agonising over the opening lines – the choice of Nigeria as an entry point is a particularly unfortunate one.

With its Boko Haram, religious extremism and war over resources that are being siphoned by western corporates, Nigeria hardly holds as a good example.

No one in Zimbabwe, and probably the rest of Africa, really talks about Nigeria as a role model.

In our case, South Africa, which is a member of the BRICS, holds a better buddy worth emulating and it conducted its elections recently and one could credibly hold it both as an economic – if capitalistic – and electoral democracy.

The third point to discuss in Tsvangirai’s piece relates to the time warp that the former trade unionist finds himself caught in.

In purporting to pronounce “Where Zimbabwe goes from here”, Tsvangirai says “(t)he answer can be found in the progress that the country has made, progress that might surprise the casual observer”.

That is, according to him, when he was still in the inclusive Government!

Many observers will cringe at this very suggestion, not only because of its cynicism but its betrayal of the vacuity of the opposition.

As an opposition leader, why did Tsvangirai not use this opportunity to tell his interlocutors his own alternative vision and plan for Zimbabwe?

Perhaps about JUICE?

Tsvangirai decides to dwell on the past which, by the way, is not very glorious for all the modest change that the inclusive Government brought.

It is well known that, even the introduction of the US dollar that Tsvangirai customarily brags about, was not even his party’s initiative but Zanu-PF’s.

See, even in his revisionism, Tsvangirai cannot lay legitimate claim on anything substantial.

A related point.

Can it not be seriously suggested, that as has been observed and declared by none other than Tsvangirai himself, that all he is thinking now is getting back to another inclusive Government?

Being hard up as he increasingly is, that is not a bad proposition at all.

One columnist, Nicole Hondo, recently came up with a clever rebuttal of Nelson Chamisa in an opinion story that he had written to mark Africa Day.

The stratagem involved turning Chamisa’s perceived wisdom on its head to show how the same values and virtues he exhorted in African leaders could ill fit the MDC of Nelson Chamisa and Morgan Tsvangirai.

So when Tsvangirai says, “the kind of accountable and modern corporate governance that the country needs… will mean the country’s politicians abandoning the mudslinging and infighting that has blighted politics here”, one could easily be forgiven for shouting something to the effect of a healer healing himself.

The mudsling and infighting and “petty politics” within the MDC is well documented and recent episodes conform to a culture of the blighted brand called MDC.

The aforementioned charges against Tsvangirai talk about his unaccountability in relation to party monies, which he most probably spent on women of all shades and colour.

It reflects badly when such a leader purports to claim to know where a country goes when he is already a veritable albatross to his own party.

That is the sixth point.

The seventh comes as a poser as to whether indeed Mr Tsvangirai has come around his discomfort around the word “sanctions”.

If he has – and he recognizes it as a “stick” – why does he not unequivocally denounce the same rather than pussy footing around this grave issue?

It is to be conceded, as Tsvangirai points out, that if Zimbabwe wants to achieve sustainable development, this country’s politicians will need to look beyond the petty politics that have continued to hinder this country.

Zimbabwe does not need an ill-fitting example like Nigeria, it only begins with actors like Tsvangirai himself.

Source : The Herald