Maybe we could start by observing that opposition leader Morgan Richard Tsvangirai has a short memory – which we expect. He is a man of double standards. Again, we expect that of him.
Let me belabour this latter point.
On April 23, one daily newspaper ran with the headline, “It’s you, Tsvangirai tells Mugabe”.
It was a report based on an address by Tsvangirai to mourners at the funeral of a Mbare-based MDC activist, John Dungwa, also known as Mudhara Mutambu.
Tsvangirai took the opportunity to react to what President Mugabe had said on Independence Day, where he decried violence in politics, including in the MDC-T of Morgan Tsvangirai where one Elton Mangoma had been assaulted at the party’s headquarters, Harvest House, presumably as a result of factional fighting in the party.
An otherwise innocuous call by the President was latched onto by Tsvangirai who declared thus: “I heard my colleague (President Mugabe) saying rebels in the MDC should be left to express their opinion. Wazobuda pachenaka kuti ndiwe waivatuma. Mwoyochena wei mombe kuyamwisa mhuru isiri yayo?”
In other words, Tsvangirai accused President Mugabe of sponsoring factionalism in MDC-T.
He invoked the wisdom that questions why a cow would find it prudent to feed another’s calf.
His contestation was that outsiders should keep their hands off MDC-T’s (many) issues.
Fair and fine.
Now, fast forward to this past weekend and you find Tsvangirai committing the very same sin that he accused President Mugabe of transgressing.
We are told that during a rally in Chitungwiza Tsvangirai said: “It is better (to have Vice President Mujuru or Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa for President) because he (President Mugabe) is stuck in the State House and doesn’t know what is happening.”
The same pliant newspaper carried the story pleading, “Mugabe, give others a chance”.
Now, apart from these demonstrable double standards as we see Tsvangirai poking his African nose into another party’s affairs, he inaertently shows his other side: he has low expectations, which is rather bad for those of us who had thought he aimed higher.
One would have thought that instead of trying to plead for the causes of Mujuru and Mnangagwa, he would be making good his claim to national leadership.
Not our Tsvangirai!
He reminds one of that not-so-smart guy during those days of kuforera basa who was asked to pick 10 people to start work and the fellow picked exactly 10 people excluding himself!
The foreman looked bemused. He told the fellow there were no more vacancies.
Such people usually become the butt of every joke for their legendary dimwittedness.
It is to be wondered how Tsvangirai’s long suffering supporters felt when he told them the next President of the Republic of Zimbabwe should be either Joice Mujuru or Emmerson Mnangagwa, not their own man!
It is little wonder then that Tsvangirai has been harping on about talks to bring about another inclusive Government.
His largely ceremonial role as Prime Minister was his piece de resistance or magnum opus!
It should be conceded that supporting Tsvangirai is such an overbearing exercise.
Little wonder then that his support is growing thinner by the day.
People tire, naturally.
Then there is something particularly rich that Tsvangirai said over the same weekend that he told us that everyone else but him could lead this country.
Tsvangirai urged youths to rise against the Government to demand jobs.
He accused youths of this country of being cowards.
“The problem in Zimbabwe hu- mbwende (cowardice). Fear will not get us anywhere it will not solve our problems,” he was quoted as saying.
Adding: “Sometimes I wish I was still young.”
Now, this is very rich coming from Tsvangirai who for all that is known was a monumental coward when he was young.
Growing up in the heady days of the liberation struggle, Tsvangirai cowed from joining other young men and women of his age who took up arms to fight the settler regime of Ian Smith.
In fact, a story is told of how Tsvangirai, having crossed into Mozambique for training, actually deserted camp when he realised that the struggle was not going to be a stroll in the park.
Avoiding the deep end, Tsvangirai chose to work in the factories of Mutare and later make tea for white miners in Bindura.
His misnamed book, “At The Deep End”, corroborates this account.
Tsvangirai, therefore, cannot speak about bravery when he was young.
When he was young, for all we know, he was not so brave as he pontificates.
One could also bet that he was not even as hot blooded as he has lately become where women are concerned as, even in his book, he shows us to be a tame rural boy of few aentures.
There is no bravery there, unless one conjures up the picture of that delusional old man that has dreams of suckling his mother’s breast.
But then, one could point at his oft-touted “bravery” in “standing up to Mugabe”.
The Americans and other Westerners often extol that “bravery”, albeit regretting that it has not been complemented by effective leadership.
Actually they point out that with a leader of Tsvangirai’s bravery and plus key attributes that he is not endowed with, they would have achieved their stated goal of regime change in Zimbabwe.
But let us interrogate this “bravery”.
Those who have followed Zimbabwe’s politics since the turn of the century will not begrudge the fact that humble Tsvangirai rose in the late 1990s to become a powerful figure for his work in the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, which he led.
Let us give the devil his dues.
He rallied workers across the country for boycotts and demos in the years 1997-98.
He became a figure to reckon with.
The next logical step for him was politics, and he threw his hat in the ring.
He got into the arena with all his combativeness and the opposition in Zimbabwe became formidable, something that had not been witnessed in post-independent Zimbabwe.
However, he drank a poisoned chalice.
His energies, long directed towards worker struggles, were channelled towards the political cause of Westerners.
Tsvangirai became the great hope for those who wanted to reverse the gains of the liberation struggle.
They fed, clothed and pampered him.
He became their own.
Some less charitable called him a puppet.
He was, largely, and his “bravado” earned him a lot of discomfort and brushes with the law.
Meanwhile, the workers’ party was gone and whatever is left of it today does not sound like anything that 1999 promised.
Tsvangirai, after misdirecting himself to become a Western project, wasted his years.
If he entertains any wish to be younger, he should wish he did things differently with the original workers’ party.
Source : The Herald