Why Morgan Tsvangirai must retire from politics

Morgan Tsvangirai is a courageous man with a historic achievement to his credit. Despite being assaulted, locked up, threatened and endlessly vilified, he did more than anyone else to dismantle Zimbabwe’s one-party state and force Robert Mugabe to contend with serious opposition.

By David Blair  August 6th, 2013

When Tsvangirai founded the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) 14 years ago, Zanu-PF held all but three parliamentary seats. Mugabe had swept 93 per cent of the vote in the presidential election of 1996. However disappointing the MDC’s performance in this latest contest, the era when Mugabe reigned supreme and unchallenged is over forever – and that is largely because of Tsvangirai.

It’s all too easy to criticise from the safety of London. But Tsvangirai must now do the decent thing: he must resign his leadership of the MDC and retire from politics. The case for his dignified departure is twofold.

First of all, Tsvangirai has lost three presidential elections in a row. True, each of those struggles was shamelessly manipulated and – even according to the official figures – he won the first round of the last poll in 2008. But life is not fair. In the normal run of politics, a three-time loser would stand down. That is particularly true if, like Tsvangirai, the politician in question has led his party for 14 years. Mugabe, power-hungry and self-obsessed, wants to be an eternal president; Tsvangirai can show grace and wisdom by demonstrating that he has no wish to be an eternal opposition leader.

This leads us to the second reason why he must go. I will be blunt: Tsvangirai has shown time and again that he lacks the qualities of leadership. Anyone bidding to remove a politician as ruthless and determined as Mugabe must be an exceptional figure. In particular, his words must carry weight. Friend and foe alike must take him seriously. Put simply, he must mean what he says. Does Tsvangirai fit this mould, or has he always been a man of empty words? Sadly, the latter is true.

I could quote the many occasions, stretching right back to 2000, when he has promised to lead “mass action” or “resistance” or a “winter of discontent” – and then done nothing at all. I could recall the time in 2006 when Tsvangirai shamelessly urged Zimbabweans to “come out in your millions” to protest against Mugabe – and then failed to come out himself. I stand to be corrected, but I don’t believe that Tsvangirai has led a single street demonstration against Mugabe since the foundation of the MDC (he has addressed some illegal rallies, notably in 2008 when he was horribly beaten, but that is something different).

And, most tellingly of all, I must cite the dismal ritual whereby Tsvangirai threatens to boycott every election – and then (almost) always contests anyway. As a consequence, Tsvangirai has torn his personal credibility to shreds. Everyone knows there is rarely a link between what he says and what he does.

Before this election, after all, Mugabe had agreed a series of reforms. In particular, he had signed up to the creation of a truly independent Electoral Commission. Suppose Tsvangirai had said to Jacob Zuma and the other African leaders ‘if Mugabe breaks his word and fails to carry out these changes, I will boycott the poll and urge my supporters not to vote’. Suppose his interlocutors had actually believed him. Then the pressure would have been on Mugabe to deliver the reforms. Instead, a wearily familiar sequence played out: Mugabe broke the deal, Tsvangirai threatened a boycott, no one believed him – and he duly contested the election anyway.

When not making empty threats, Tsvangirai can say things that are plain foolish. I could cite the occasion in 2000 when he talked of toppling Mugabe “violently”, thereby handing the regime an opportunity to charge him with treason. I could recall the time in 2002 when he fell for an obvious ruse and was filmed discussing Mugabe’s “elimination” with a shady “political consultant”, who turned out to be in Zanu-PF’s pay.

In the end, leaders must take decisions, stick to them – and rally their colleagues behind them. For all his personal warmth, Tsvangirai just cannot do this.

Most seriously of all, it was on Tsvangirai’s watch that the MDC split in two. Think of the consequences of that divorce. First of all, there was the sordid violence that accompanied the schism, with Tsvangirai’s supporters assaulting his rivals.

Then there was the fact that the anti-Mugabe vote has been split at every subsequent election. If Tsvangirai had been the only opposition candidate in the 2008 election, the fabled tidal wave of support, big enough to overwhelm any system of rigging, might actually have swept him to victory in the first round. But the presence of a third contender, Simba Makoni, who was endorsed by the rival wing of the MDC, stopped that from happening.

And what about Tsvangirai’s performance as prime minister from 2009 onwards? Sadly, his period in office – if not in power – showed up all his shortcomings. A few MDC ministers made an impact, but Tsvangirai personally made almost none. Despite having a majority in parliament (if the two MDCs could have worked together) and a majority of ministers in the cabinet, he failed to use these levers of power. Mugabe outmanoeuvred or ignored him time and again.

Tsvangirai is a man of many qualities, but he has failed as a politician. He should have the wisdom to admit as much – and to leave the scene with honour.

via http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/davidblair/100229932/zimbabwe-elections-why-the-courageous-morgan-tsvangirai-must-now-retire-from-politics/

David Blair became Chief Foreign Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph in November 2011. He previously worked for the paper as Diplomatic Editor, Africa Correspondent and Middle East Correspondent.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 39
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    George Sebedebe 7 years ago

    Mr Blair, you are concentrating on the wrong subject in your analysis. There never was Tsvangirai in the Zimbabwean political arena, only his face was used by Britain and its sidekick, the United States of America. By founding and funding the MDC with Tsvangirai as the face of the party, Britain and the United States became adversaries of President Mugabe in the Zimbabwean political game, which facts lay bare, that the two countries were not just out foxed, out manouvered and out witted by President Mugabe, but were defeated and dismally failed in their vein attempt to effect a regime change in Zimbabwe, Britain and its sidekick, the United States of America were beaten by President Mugabe in a boxing match in which President Mugabe had one hand tied behind his back by the illegal sanctions. What is more amazing is the fact that Britain and its sidekick, the US had to fight one man, President Mugabe, as an evil gang made up of the two countries and the whole of Europe and that convict outpost, Australia. In the history of mankind, never have so many ever ganged up against one person and lost. The second world war was a sunday picknick as compared to the war unleashed on President Mugabe. Whereas the so called allied triumped against Hitler, the same grouping failled dismally in its war against President Mugabe. A stark warning!!!!! If Europe and Britain and its sidekick the US fail to remove sanctions simply because their surrogate and puppet failled to dislodge President Mugabe, then they have to deal with massive land reform and indiginisation and nationalisation in the whole of Africa on a large scale. All Mugabe needs do is to export or Zimbabweanise the politics of Africa and Europe and the US will fall from a tree like a ripen fruit, with China ready to pick it up,

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      Tsvangirai,dont listen to this Bair and Sebedebe does not know Zim politics,the suffering of Zimbos.they dnt care so we zimbos give u the mandate to fight for us despite ignorant people.so far u are our hope vs thieves and murderers.u love and u love people and u are brave.i make mistakes,u make mistakes,mugabe makes mistakes,sebedebe and blair make mistakes too,everyone.fight on tsvangirai,we will keep voting fo u even if they continue rigging

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        Diego Zhaba 7 years ago

        I follow with interest the call for Tsvangirai to resign from politics. It’s a misplaced call for this man who has fought tirelessly for real democratic change in Zimbabwe despite the impediments and pitfalls that he has encountered.

        His courage to stand against and denounce a repressive and murderous regime, calls for man with guts and real political muscle.And here is the man who has driven the hope and aspirations for change. It’s therefore premature to call for him to resign as the revoultion is on-going. The democratic revolution is a process as change was never achieved overnight. The question is “How long did it take the blacks to dislodge white colonial rule?” Many! And its a mere 12-14 year journey that Tsvangirai has been fighting for positive change for the people of Zimbabwe.

        Instead, continue to lobby and call for the oldest President in the continent to pass on the button instead. Did Mandela have to resign from politics because he was in prison for a worthy cause? The fight to remove apartheid got even intesified and so in the same vein it’s time for team Tsvangirai to regroup, introspectively weigh what went wrong and re-strategise till the struggle for democracy reign.

        It is through all those pitfalls in a democratic revolution that Tsvangirai is much more stronger, more resilient and more politically strategic. Unfortunately we also have people who think Zimbabbwe should be ruled by Mugabe till “madhongi amera nyanga – donkey grow horns”.

        The Armed Struggle that brought Zimbabwe’s independence was not fought in a vacuum. The Zimbabwean people paid dearly and fought in their small way in supporting the process, in supporting those fighting in the war front. No single person should therefore have any monopoly to justify their selfishness to ruin the country at the expense of the people who supported the process. He has overstayed in power, and has econmically ruined the country in numerous ways.

        It’s just a small clique of the ruling elite that are benefiting from the abundant resources the country has. In all fairness the national cake is for us all. And Mugabe talks of Zimbabwe not becoming a colony again, yet the country’s resources are being plundered by Chinese and others under the pretext of the Indeginisation Policy – What a shame Zimbabwe.

        Tsvangirai and all those fighting for real democratic change, we still need you to drive the process.Aluta continua team Morgan. We are behind you till to the end.

        It’s only the brain washed people who have convergent mindset that make them believe Zimbabwe was under illegal sunctions. We want a leadership that is anwerserable, accountable and that is transperant. Why would Mugabe talk of building schools, clinics and construction of roads now? For the past three decades what has he been doing? Building his empire abroad in Asia? And his cronieslooting the resources! It is out of such that revolutions were started. It’s a question of time.He is out of touch with reality.

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      Rudadiso 7 years ago

      Ah,George Sebedebe, there were never illegal sanctions. They were put in place by sovereign countries after enactment of the necessary laws though their parliaments. Why are we so kin on the west when we have our look east policy?

      Rhodesia, Iraq and Burmer endured real sanctions enforced by many countries after votes at the UN but those countries never experienced the levels of decline witnessed in Zim. You need to get used to the fact that Mugabe’s record over the past 33 years has shown he has absolutely no clue on how to manage a modern economy, period.

      While African bodies such as SADC and AU have no qualms endorsing elections which fail to meet the very standards they set for themselves, no African country has followed Mugabe’s ruinous policies. The geriatric is not even ashamed to import maize grown by the very white farmers expelled from Zim who are now happily feeding us from the very neighbouring countries who cheer Mugabe on as he destroys Zimbabwe.

      Obasanjo endorsed Mugabe but guess what, he gave land to the the very white farmers expelled from here. So, you can dream on brother but the sad truth is that people are quite happy to cheer a village idiot but will not follow his example. They are way to smart.

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    TSANGIRAI MUST FIGHT ON HE WAS BRAVE ENOUGH TO FACE EVIL MUGABE WHO WOULD HAVE DONE THAT LOOK AT TEKERE HE WAS FAKE OPOSITION .MDC IS THE FIRST STRONG OPOSITION TO FACE EVIL SATANIST ROBERT MUGABE .WE SALUTE YOU MDC .THING WILL CHANGE WITH GODS GRACE ,HAPANA CHISINGAPERI CHINOBHURURUKA CHINOMHARA CHETE MARK MY WORDS.GO TO COURT WE WANT TO SEE THIS IDIOTS REACTION

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      Naison Nyereyegona 7 years ago

      You are mistaken, just as the whole white world is mistaken in the belief that when President Mugabe goes, so will his legacy, policies and influence. What these bafoons, yourself included, fail to realise is that in Zimbabwe, Mugabe has created 5 million Mugabes as follows:- 2 million beneficiaries of the Indiginization – Community Share schemes throughout the country, 2 million resettled farmers and their families who benefited from the land reform programme, 1 million former students who are now in kep positions in Commerce and Industry, thanks to Mugabe’s free education for all policies of the 1980s. Further more, in South Africa, the fire is already burning with people calling for a “Mugabe – style President” Ask George Bush junior who visited South Africa, only to be greeted by angry protesters with barners proclaiming Mugabe as their President and other plackards urging Bush to go back home. South Africans are demanding land reform-Mugabe style there, including mine and Industry seiZures – Zimbabwe style. The same feelings are burning in the hearts of many Africans in Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda and everywhere else in Africa. It is therefore stupidity of the highest order to think that once Mugabe goes, so will his legacy. Unlike Mandela that the West treats as a saint for not disturbing their looting of South Africa’s wealth, President Mugabe’s place in African history will remain high for posterity. There is only one way for Africa to go for its survival – The Mugabe way !!!!

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    Hango Yapalala 7 years ago

    I CONCUR!

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    Tawanda 7 years ago

    ok who will or should replace him. We have heard for years the failings and weaknesses of Tsvangirai. Who is the alternate leader the people would rally around.

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    Ginga 7 years ago

    Tsvangirai forever.Elections were heavily rigged.March 2008 we won but someone refused to give up power and
    you now want Morgan to accept rigged elections.WHY?I have not heard any comments from Welshmen or Dabengwa.Do they accept these results?At least Makoni has said NO.

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      Diego Zhaba 7 years ago

      Dabengwa and Welshman are ZANU projects. They were intentionally proped to split votes and the damage was not that much. I was surprised to see a huge turnout for Welshman in Chikomba when he lauched his Manifesto but was suprised by the votes he got. I want to believe these were ZANU supporters who deliberately and were told to attend the rally to create an impression.

      That’s ZANU tactics for sure.

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    The article is very interesting as it raises some valid points. However i largely disagree with the point that Tsvangirayi must resign. It is hardly conceivable that anyone has the traits and confidence of the people to topple Mugabe as he has. Time and again he has been cheated by Mugabe and indeed politics aint a fair game but to say he is losing traction would be a betrayal of popular logic.
    What has been happening in Zimbabwean politics has been the increase in clandestine cheating by the ruling elite to a point it is now plainly stupid. How can Mugabe claim a landslide when virtually no one in the country is celebrating victory and all these allegations are circling the media.
    Also there is still time for him to rule given that his political career is still backed by millions of Zimbabweans even according to the latest poll. Such information should give you confidence and reassure you that the battle is not over at least not yet.

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    Please David Blair, African politics is so muddy and full of mediocres and is so different from the first world. One octagenarian in America was asked before the last American election whom she would vote for and she said Obama is the better devil. The only threat to Mugabe’s riggings, rapes, all sorts of chicanaries that he fought racism and he should rule till dearth while the economy takes massive knocks is just bizzare. Morgan can help dethrone this evil maniac and post that a normal and modern society might image that respect everybody, black, white religious or none and including non sexual discrimination for the good of all. Without balance of payments supports and cheap loans from the west we remain doomed. All African leaders are jokes, see now how we all flood the UK as the best place to seek asylum plus taking a knock on the UK social, medical welfare system causing the rise of UKIP. We remain doomed without British blood in Zimbabwe and thus Morgan is the only hope of removing this despot, farms were taken but the brains to produce quality scientific food and goods on the table and world markets were NOT after all we are now a global village and the foreign companies currently in Zimbabwe are 100% western.

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    Chiza 7 years ago

    People that are praising Bob ,do you live in the real world ,look around you our city/country is broken people are worse off then they where in 1980,we are being treated worse by one off our our
    people (Mugabe),he has shown us and the rest off the world that we don’t matter to him,i for one am praying the god takes him and sends him to hell with his generals in toe.

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      Langabi Shakespear Ngomane 7 years ago

      Zanu PF is a very strong party. You can pray all you like for the president to die but MDC will never win a fight against a strong party like Zanu PF. You can’t beat them, join them.

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    Johno 7 years ago

    I am an MDC supporter but to be honest Tsvangirayi does not have the intellect to become Pres. It would take a long story to list all instances where he showed serious shortcomings. Above all his greatest shortcoming is that Tsvangirayi DOES LISTEN TO ADVICE!!!!!!!

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      Diego Zhaba 7 years ago

      I’m also a supporter but disaggree with u on the intellect issue? Perhaps i’m not getting you well, if you could elaborate. If I got you right then I bound to differ. Countries are never rulled by the highly educated alone who have a massive record of academic excellency, they are ruled by the knowledgeable, the mass movers, the orators, those who inspire and those who can articulate issues and appeal to the needs of the people, those who have the charisma.

      What has Mugabe done to the country with his many degrees? Even a layman could have done better. Some of the things just need common sense but its not so common as it has even evaded the likes of the most learned leader like Mugabe. And if you were to choose who in the meantime would take his position.

      And true you can find a leader who has both intellect and all. This is why in any soccer team or any other sporting team you have assistant coaches, and the rest. It’s meant to complement our shortcomimgs as we can not manage all by ourselves. We all have strengths and weaknesses and thus we need to surround him with those that can complement him well.

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    Johno 7 years ago

    I am an MDC supporter but to be honest Tsvangirayi does not have the intellect to become Pres. It would take a long story to list all instances where he showed serious shortcomings. Above all his greatest shortcoming is that Tsvangirayi DOES NOT LISTEN TO ADVICE!!!!!!!

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    nesbert majon 7 years ago

    I think Mr George u ar a zanu pf through and through. The British and Americans might have been sympathising with Tsvangirai but they never asked him to form MDC. MDC was formed after Mugabe started to run the country like his own house. Its the pple of Zim who urged Tsvangirayi to form an opposition party to challenge Mugabe not the British or Americans. There is nothing bad abt this regime change because thats how democracy works. Its Mugabe who is a problem in Zimbabwe not British, Americans or MDC. There wont be any individual at present who can make a big following like Tsvangirai if ever he is out of the political picture. Tsvangirai is the man of the moment and we Zimbabweans we still want him because even Zanu pf is not comfortable with him and we need him to continue to fight them . Tsvangirai ndizvo

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      Diego Zhaba 7 years ago

      You are right,George is brain washed. He must be a Boarder Gezi product. Woodwinked. Educate him guys. Vasingazivi, Ngavadzidziswe as we used to say tichiri maZANU. No more now.

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    majoni 7 years ago

    Tsvangirai is still the best for now. We do not have any one with charisma. We have people who are good at analysing other people but if they are called to go through a tough road will quickly run to persue their private life. I am not say some one should not be critised but we must be fair. Right from the days of the Liberation Mugabe was ruthless even to his close associates. So Tsvangirai is the first person to show that we are able to change Government. The olds were stuck against Tsvangirai from the start. We should remember that even the Arab spring was not started by leaders but ordinary people took to the streets , leaders just came to organise later. So if those who are analysing the issues from the comfort of their hotels are serious can you be brave enough to stage an uprising , then we will join you.Mugabe has always been ruthless from the days of the Liberation even to his close associates, even family members, see how Tongogara died and others arrested. Lets face it Zimbabweans are so cowed that isntead of facing up to challenge we run to other countries for safety and pleasure. Its not about Tsvangirai but what you and me can do. Tsvangirai has done very well in the difficult circumstances, he is the best right now. We must however not lose hope, some say he did not participate in that and that, but you remember he was beaten several times and an accident make up that cost the wife, was it in his house at a public gathering. Some of you who are now writing were either in your Hotels drinking tea or at the border running away. Most of the people who are now saying this and that if Tsvangirai were to call a demonstration you will not find you. Lets be fair, what would he have done to stop the rigging which is clear. The problem we do not want to face reality but to blame others. RISE UP GUYS

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    jv chin 7 years ago

    I think Mugabe have got very good ideas/policies but putting theory into practicals is the problem as it is always the case with most politions.When he tries to implimant his land policy corruption came in the way.most politions ended up with more than one farm.this shall be case with endiginization one influential polition will end up with 5 companies…Where shall we burry and forget about this animal called corruption????????????????????????.

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    Mashinga 7 years ago

    When people say elections were rigged it makes me angry. We are the winning voters (2.1million) Where are Morgan’s voters – in the Diaspora. Yu dont vote by comments on news you come physically to vote. All you guys posting comments for Morgan did you vote. We voted for Mugabe!!!

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      Langabi Shakespear Ngomane 7 years ago

      I agree with you Mashinga. Posting comments is not voting. Next time Diasporians go home and vote!!

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    Armchair 7 years ago

    Blair my friend Africa is not Europe where politics is for humans. In zim politics is for animals hence very few takers. From that perspective Tsvangirai is an enigma for zim politics. Further north ask A Wade or near home Sata. In summary, if conditions set by zanu in zim were the same as set up by smith even Mugabe would have ruled this country, I rest my case

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    fortune 7 years ago

    i agree with you mr Blair;the problem in zim that while we pursue this regime change,there is an element of tribalism,all these breaksaway are caused by tribalism.To be honest MORGAN is tribalist himself.Morgan is scared that should there be a civil war in zim then people of matabeleleland will use the opportunity advance their long waited independence.He is aware of the grand plan and was part of its formation.i suspect him still being paid in zanu. For him to win all 12 seats in byo i smell a rat.Morgan must be properly investigated the truth will prevail.I feel pit for the western countries who have been in support of him not seeing there are dealing with a zanu argent.I do not hate the man but……

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      Chamunorwa 7 years ago

      Well, we’ll Zimbabweans, whether you like it or not, the truth will out. Defending the truth is easy but the opposite makes one angry. That is what the world is like. Just read from those who tell lies, they write attacks and defence instead of the truth and reality ZPF IS ONE OF THEM.

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      Diego Zhaba 7 years ago

      @Fortune – Zimbabwe remains one, whether we have Shona or Ndebele leader. What independence comes to one part of the country? The failure of Mugabe doesn’t mean to say Matebeleland is not part of Zimbabwe.Your statements sound tribalistic. I don’t buy this idea at all and i don’t mind whether a leader is Kalanga, Tonga or what. All I want is good governance where all people of whatever race, colour or creed enjoy the economic benefits of the country and have freedom of association and speech.We need to go beyond tribalism to be a better country and a country that embraces love and tolerance for those differences that make us unique. We cannot all be Shona or Ndebele, and so no tribe has any monopoly to rule and so I urge you to see yourself as a Zimbabwean rather than norrow your political perspective on tribal politics. Have a global view of the country politics.

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    it pains most especially to Tsvangiri, his dismal loss in this election resemble total rejection by the Zimbabwean people. Well this is not a surprise as we all note, soon after attaining mere positions in government Tsvangirai and his counterparts got reluxed, enjoying goverment funds and benefits in the Zimbabwean metropolitan rejecting the rural populace that voted them thus loosing the rural vote where the majority of zimbabweans are. the corrupt local authories dominated by the mdcs was a contribution also. Tsvangirai himself is not that a critic and usually got out of moral context whenever he made a free public speach..ie threating war veterans, chiefs, village heads and the security sector..made people think he will cause chaos if he assummed power. And knowing the nature of Zimbabwean that they are a peaciful people though contributed by level of literacy spearheaded by Mugabe..love scandals denigrated the moral content of Tsvangirai, and failure to strongly reject homosexuality when he was asked on a foreign show..all these Zanu used them at maximum to dicredit him.
    Surely his image is tanished he has no relevance anymore..to hang his boots is the best so far and allow others to take the button. Tsvangirai failed us ..he plainly called for sanction and his leutenants were there witnessing the passing of suppressing bills against the people, Mugabe felt the little. A friend in need is a friend indeed..when we were bussed towards the runoff Tsvangirai was away fleeing the togetherness in suffering in other coutries, we suffering the pursuit of hot iron alone , though the West regard him the champion of democracy to us he is an opportunist who exhausted the resources of the West in quest to enrich himself. God had punished him, a man doomed for failure.
    In future if the West needs regime change they are compelled to better use the educated, Zimbabweans buy an idea not being people affliated.
    So Tsvangirai is buried and can never be resurected, Zanu pf is bussy addressing its wound and will come as a formidable African beast which many countries will imitate. Thus i bid the west to come and grab the opportunity in Zimbabwe because we have little faith in the Chineese. Come and invest lets do busines alone we now know your nature and culture we will be alert incase you may repeat the harm.

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      Diego Zhaba 7 years ago

      We good at blaming from a distant isn’t.? We good at barking at players in the field on how they should have played the ball, we are not good at standing up to give our advice. It’s not like politicians are hard hearted that they dont take heed of what we write. They do to a large extent. If you were genuinue you could have done that too – ADVISE. It’s now the blame game. He did his best under the circumstances but I agree with you to say they could have done much better in the 4 yrs and the build up to these elections. I also feel there is not much
      ‘INTELLIGENCE’ as compared to ZANU, and the intelligence I’m refering to is on information sourcing, strategising, reading and counter your competitor’ strategies, diggining into what prevails in their instititions to help you know what they are up to. Definitely that has been missing. But the hypothetical question is what would it be like if Tsvangirai had won?????

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      Diego Zhaba 7 years ago

      @ Jefi – Please don’t refer to God to advance your personal opinion. This is misplaced. Musatambe nezita redenga like that.

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    Tatenda Tatenda 7 years ago

    In my opinion, the problem we have in Zimbabwe is that the ‘almighty’ Mugabe has become too powerful for anyone around the globe. SADC, AU and all other individual African leaders wouldn’t dare challenge this all powerful man.

    Although they know that he is and has not been legitimately ruling Zimbabwe, they wouldn’t dare stand in the way of this marauding elephant.

    Right now, the people were shocked to realise that the results have gone his way again when they least expected.

    The voters’ roll has been manipulated to ensure that a minimum number of voters actually vote within MDC T held constituencies. Imagine people who have been voting since 1980 at the same polling station are told that they can only vote 600 km away. But who transferred them from that constituency to the one 600 km away? That is the incorigibility of the ‘almighty’, his ability to plan well ahead of time.

    So who is going to stop him? Tsvangirayi has indeed been the most serious significant challenger who even came to a point of winning a credible election against the ‘almighty’. But check what happened to him and his late wife. Don’t you dare!

    Where is Chindori Chininga? Solomon Mujuru? Where are they? It is because they dared challenge the ‘a…..TY’.

    I salute the bravery of Tsvangirayi. Retiring should not be an option for him now. FIGHT ON.

    Of course he has his own weaknesses YES but who else now does have the guts? One major one is allowing to be outmanouvered by the same old tricks. Why did he allow Bob to be the only one privy to the voters’ roll? Why did you accept to go to the election just hours after being allowed access to this most important document?

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      Diego Zhaba 7 years ago

      I agree with you. Thanks for a balanced analysis of issues. You have weighed all options.

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    Mutinyavanhu 7 years ago

    As a fellow Zimbabwean i am saddened that we seem to be going backwards. I am at pains to think what brilliant new idea ZPF will come up with after 33 years that will lead Zim to prosperity. Don’t get me wrong, I am objective about this. Where ZPF has delivered I acknowledge e.g on education. As a Zimbabwean, I support land redistribution but I do not support chaotic land grabbing. Even the idea behind indegenisation is a noble idea but I worry about how this will be implemented. I think time has come for politicians to reach across the table and work together for the people of Zimbabwe. One party will not resolve the ills bedevilling our country. My view.

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    Linton Kwesi 7 years ago

    Thanks for this sober analysis Mr Blair and I agree with you on most points raised. To those who thnk Tsvangirai shud contest for a fourth-in-a-row loss against Mugabe, it is because you are so safely ensconed in the diaspora and because yu read too much concocted news by papaers such as that faded rag, trading as Daily News. I am a founding member of the MDC-T and I remain one even after defeat. But I do not believe that refusing to make an honest assessment of our conduct, consistency and eventual public perception will make us rise from the gutter we have fallen into. Morgan is no Saint, he is full of flaws and some so amazing as his three week marriage to a Zanu PF woman whom he dumped and replaced with yet another Zanu PF pigeon. Inside as a party we have many outstanding issues, rigging of primary elections, imposition of candidates, the removal of original cadres and their replacement with new civil society people, some of whom were singing for Zanu PF when we started the struggle. Our President is a genius when making contracdictory statements to the media but beneath all that veneer of sophistication lies a real tea boy who has no clue of what is needed to beat Mugabe, I wud do better with Biti as leader, he has the brains, the acumen and consistency, not Morgan who seized the opportuniy of being premier to establish a clan of concubines within and beyond the country’s borders. Sorry for being so blunt but we are all here and i am saying, like Mr Blair, that Tsvangirai should swallow his pride and bow out of politics because he has failed dismally and will continue to do so!!

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      Langabi Shakespear Ngomane 7 years ago

      Change of leaders is the way to go. Twangirai has gone past his use by date.

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    juggle 7 years ago

    Tsvangirai should retire from politics and start farming. Things have fallen apart. These elections were fairest. Even your MDC-T agents accepted defeat. Pass on the button to another person. If you fail to do so we will prove that all Zimbabwean politicians don’t want to leave posts. Don’t claim ownership of MDC,,from today onwards the party brand should shed off “T” because you are irrelevant to people. Sorry former Prime Minister- Let those who won in their constituents represent us in an effective and efficient way.

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    Maricho 7 years ago

    I also think must Tsvangirai has done his part and should now retire from politics. Tsvangirai is a valiant warrior of democracy but in recent years has shown that he is tiring. Tsvangirai put the best fight any opposition leader has ever put against Mugabe, the Dictator. He did much more than the likes of Joshua Nkomo, Edgar Tekere, Justice Dumbutshena, Ndabaningi Sithole, Abel Muzorewa, James Chikerema, Jeremiah Chirau and other former opposition leaders combined. The problem in Zimbabwe is not about Tsvangirai’s or any other opposition leader’s leadership qualities but about us Zimbabweans. We are a spineless, cowardly and unwise people. Where else in the world has a 90 year old person ever won a presidential election? To Tsvangirai, I say ‘a job well done in defending democracy; take a rest and should you decide to re – enter politics only do it after Mugabe is dead; that is if you are still living by that time’. You will never win as long as Mugabe is living; ZANU (PF) will make sure of that. You won all these past elections starting with the June 2000 parliamentary elections but the ZANU (PF) machinery rigged so that you lost.

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    Kuda Chikwanda 7 years ago

    I’m shocked when you blame Mugabe for MDC’s failures.From 2000 Mdc have been running urban councils and for their poor management you turn moral tables against Mugabe.Why?Is it because you are too saint than us?When ZANU-PF wins you say it has rigged and you think we are dull to the extent that we can not notice that MDC underestimated the strengths of its weaknesses.UUum if you think so you are lost then.The 1979 Lanchaster constitution twisted our independence;no land no independence we accepted on grounds that US and Britain will provide funds for land reform and of the promised 90 million pounds only 40mn was provided.Compare the funds with those used in Kenya and you will notice Brit’s position towards the land issue.Claire’s letter to Kangai in 1997 was a mockery.Anyone rational will reply by reciprocity and in 2000 the land reform act was the best ever act.We took back our land because US and Brit failed to honour the promises you replied with sanctions thinking that we will revolt against our Mugabe.You betted on a wrong game.You think we can forget Animal Husbandry Act,Land Apportionment Act and many repressive racial acts,you think we don’t know what Botha said about we blacks.we can forget the Chimurengas for our liberation.Its better we die poor than to dine for an economy we don’t own-an.Anglo-American economy in Zimbabwe for whose benefit?Because we want to define our own destiny you sanctioned us and formed and funded MDC thinking that we are dull.Leave Mugabe and our Zimbabwe to us please.US and EU have been conned by Tsvangirai of their money and I hope you will continue fund them and they will marry more wives and build more mansions.By fundings these movements and NGOs you building castles in the air.ZANU-PF will win for another 40 years plus and if Bush and Blair dare let’s bet.

    Viva Africa Viva Zimbabwe Viva ZANU-PF.LOONG LIFE PAN-AFRICANISM

    ZIMBABWE ESTABLISHED THE ROAD AND BY 2040 AFRICA WILL HAVE ITS REAL SHARE OR WE ARE READY TO DIE FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE

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    Mckay 6 years ago

    African politics is too complicated for the Western world to understand. Whilst I agree that Tsvangirai has made crucial mistakes in his judgement, I do not think he has to resign from politics. Do we not boast about a lifetime achievement for a struggle that stood for technically 90 years? If your history is well revised, you should understand the conflict and struggle that was within the freedom fighter movements themselves: Zanu and Zapu.

    The same applies in the current situation. There is no doubt Mugabe is a hero in empowering the position of the black man in what someone called “Mugabe style.” However, when it boils down to the economy, he has been a dismal failure.

    Facts are facts and the beauty of them is that they are stubborn. Mugabe may be a hero, but he is way past his prime and has to be removed. Mr. Bush, or whatever you call yourself, you are wrong, for Tsvangirai is the only man to hold onto his position and as long as no one else has convinced Zimbabweans he or she can do better, then Tsvangirai is the man for the job. I am not surprised you did not offer any suggestion. If he himself is a power hungry leader, then time shall tell for no dictator lives forever. Even Mugabe himself shall fall and a certain generation shall know him only as a dictatorial stereotype following the steps of a certain Hitler described in a purely Western European and American perspective.

    Therefore, let Tsvangirai protest to the grave. If he actually dies fighting, then let him do so to inspire the young liberal AFRICANS of tomorrow.