Published On: Wed, Nov 23rd, 2016

Tsvangirai not learning from past blunders

Simon Munyoro

HARARE- Movement of Democratic Change leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s pursuit for leveling the political field which has seen him softening towards Zanu-PF and its proxies as indicated a traceable trend of betrayal by the same politicians who have shared the bed with Zanu-PF and such a background testifies that he is not learning from past mistakes.

History has it that in 2008, the MDC-T made headlines after backing Jonathan Moyo when the party did not field a candidate in Tsholotsho.

The seat went unchallenged under the banner of a united front.

MDC took up such an option after recognizing the need to forge alliances with smaller parties and independent candidates to fight (President Robert) Mugabe’s government.

Unfortunately, Moyo left Tsvangirai and the MDC-T with an egg on the face after he was reappointed Information Minister in 2013 after being readmitted by Zanu-PF and this dealt the opposition another blow.

 The MDC leader also made history between 2008 and 2009 when he entered into talks with ZANU-PF and agreed to enter into a Government of National Unity (GNU) with President Robert Mugabe despite having won elections.

The level of compromise he exhibited astounded many Zimbabweans and the civic society expressed disappointment over the “marriage”.

The GNU move also contradicted calls made by the party’s own critical advisers from the labour fraternity who pleaded with him not to forge ahead with the coalition. The labour movement’s arm, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions had proposed the establishment of the transitional authority in preparation of free and fair elections. Nevertheless, the MDC-T proceeded in unity with Mugabe.

Throughout the tenure of the GNU, most agreed principles in the Global Political Agreement were not implemented. Despite this, the opposition leader compromised again in 2013 and agreed to go for elections in which he was severely defeated by President Mugabe.   

The party was dealt a heavy blow which left it bruised and on the fringes of collapse as party insiders said that Tsvangirai should step down.

The election loss was followed by a major split which saw the MDC’s heavy weights, Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma parting ways with Tsvangirai.

Recently, the newly elected Norton Independent Member of Parliament, Temba Mliswa had no kind words for Tsvangirai and the MDC-T outfit after the latter snubbed a star rally held in Norton over the weekend.

  Despite Tsvangirai having sent the message that he had to undergo chemotherapy after being informed by his doctors on the last minute, Mliswa did not have kind words for the opposition leader and decided to call for a press conference to undress the opposition outfit.

Surprisingly, the Norton independent legislator did not take into cognizance the fact that Tsvangirai had stood by him in times of dire need when his own political party had ditched him on allegations of aligning to the Mujuru faction.  

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Having been quizzed by one journalist on whether he was joining forces with Kasukuwere whom he once described as a typical gay gangster, Mliswa said he was comfortable working with anyone adding that it is impossible to function politically without Zanu-PF traits.

“I work with anyone regardless of their sexuality and I don’t mind as long as it is not affecting me. We have to admit that it is happening even when I attended my daughter’s graduation in Durban she introduced me to her friend who is homosexual  and I accept it.I can’t waste time meeting  shadow ministers from opposition parties because they are not in charge for now, we have to be progressive”, he said.

The development which many political analysts have speculated that it signals Mliswa’s climb-down after riding on Tsvangirai is not of the regrettable products of compromise.  

Contacted for comment to shed more light in the wake of the developments, Morgan Tsvangirai spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said that the issue in context was a party case and had to be addressed to the MDC party’s spokesperson.

The Spokesperson, Obert Gutu said he was tightly scheduled and could only respond to the questions sent to him later.

Assessing the situation, Legal Expert and Political Commentator, Passmore Nyakureba said that the MDC-T was not being used as a stepping stone but said that theirs was an unfortunate tale emanating from the failure to learn from past mistakes.

“Opposition members are willing partners in the alliances with quasi Zanu-PF forces. This unfortunate relationship and inability to learn from past mistakes casts a shadow of doubt on the quality of leadership in the MC-T.

“They continue to be gullible despite the past lessons and this sets the nation to question the acumen of the leadership in the party,” he said.  

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