Will Tsvangirai prevail?

via Will Tsvangirai prevail? | The Zimbabwean 1 October 2014 by Vince Musewe

Simply because Tsvangirai has failed in the past does not make him an undesirable choice for the millions of Zimbabweans out there who want to see the back of Mugabe.

Of course we have academics world-wide who have written Tsvangirai off, but we must always remember that these are theoretical or academic analysts and most have not done any practical research on the ground to measure the extent of Tsvangirai’s support or lack of it. So we should not hurry to conclude that these analyses are correct, it would be dangerous for us to do so.

No credible opposition has emerged to occupy the vacuum left by the disappointment of millions in the last elections and by Tsvangirai’s uninspiring behaviour on issues of accountability and fidelity. Questions on his “suitability” still remain, but the masses hardly use the same criteria as we do when it comes to electing their leaders.

Zanu (PF) continues to lose credibility every day as they blunder through and continue to be represented by a 90-year-old whose days are clearly numbered. The more the party digs in, the more blunders they seem to make – especially when it comes to Mugabe’s failure to decisively deal with corruption and the economic hardships that all are experiencing. The increasing taxes and the continued opaqueness and in the deals that Zanu (PF) is entering into, particularly with the Chinese, are inadvertently increasing the likelihood that they will be dismissed from government if we hold free and fair elections, there is no question about that.

These blunders will continue to strengthen Tsvangirai as the only viable alternative or political brand out there that can truly challenge Zanu (PF)’s monopoly. There also seems to be the tendency among our opposition parties to avoid risk and seek a comfortable removal of Zanu (PF) without acrimony. This is a delusion which shows they have not learnt from the past. A good example is the recent condemnation by all and sundry of Tsvangirai’s desire to confront Mugabe through mass action. This reflects a lack of political maturity within opposition political parties and within the infamous Pentecostal churches. Zanu (PF) will never play by the rules – history and experience tell us so.

Given therefore that no strong credible opposition force has yet emerged and that if any does, it is highly unlikely that it can, within the next four years, eclipse the grass roots support that Tsvangirai has unless something drastic happens , Tsvangirai could be the only hope we have for removing Mugabe.

If we add to this the lack of resources for new political formations and the lack of unity among them, I think it is dangerous to write Tsvangirai off at this stage. It is also highly likely that after the MDC-T October congress, we may see a stronger and more decisive and confident Morgan emerging.

In my opinion, the real and only alternative to Tsvangirai could be the Renewal Team but their cause has not been happily accepted by the masses at this stage who feel, rightly or wrongly, that they deceived Tsvangirai and were complicit in creating his failures.

The masses have their own mind and it seldom make their leadership choices as a result of logical analysis. It is mostly driven by emotion and the lack of a new Mugabe challenger, nothing else. Positive emotion and hope are still attached to the MDC-T brand and no matter how we may not like it; that is the reality on the ground.

It may therefore be to our advantage to forgive Tsvangirai and acknowledge that millions of Zimbabweans still think he deserves another chance. Who are we to deny him that? After all political power is about numbers and not theory. – Vince Musewe is an economist and author based in Harare. You can contact him at vtmusewe@gmail.com

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COMMENTS

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    chiremba wemberengwa 6 years ago

    This is refreshing, considering that Vince at some stage had serious misgivings about the Tsvangirai brand. But the hallmark of a great mind is the ability to accept reality, especially the numbers reality which Vince is obviously slowly coming to terms with. Indeed the choice of Zimbabweans is based on who has any chance of beating Mugabe in an election and they do not forget that Tsvangirai did that at some stage (2008) although he could not lend the state power, thanks to the Junta!!!

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    Tsuro 6 years ago

    I am not an MDC member but I think Vince you are now talking. In MT I see a rhino/bulldozer, the quality that we need to fight the stubborn RG.

    How many parties have fallen by wayside after being infiltrated and decimated by Zanu….ZUD,ZUM, FORUM,ZAPU, UANC, Mawere Party, Gwisai Socialist Party etc. We cannot afford to continue reinventing ourselves to fight our oppressor. He has the stay power after we had written him off post 2002 election.

    MT never lost any free and fair election!And no one can win an election in Zimbabwe under the current set up which does not even meet SADC standard. In participating we all hoped that the overwhelming vote would outweigh the rigging as what happened against Ferdinand Marcos.

    What Zimbabwe need to realise is that ours is struggle, a long one for that matter and we do not go renewing our Mandelas, San Suu Kyi(Burma), Gandhis, Aquila in Philippines. In any case his party members have been voting for him, and the cowards like Ncube and Biti could not go to a congress and challenge him for the leadership. Okay at least a vote of no confidence.

    I admit the man has a lot of weaknesses, so are many of us except that they do not come under much scrutiny like his.

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    Angela Wigmore 6 years ago

    I wholeheartedly agree Vince. There are many supposedly intelligent people in the ‘breakaway’ groups but they are all so busy following ZPFs footsteps in their power-struggles and character assassinations that they have forgotten their united goal – TO BURY ZANUPF!! If they really care about the fate of Zimbabwe and its people, and not just themselves, they should be mature enough to hold hands and achieve this breakthrough first. ONLY THEN should they worry about which person most suited for which job should be afforded the privilege and responsibility of trying to turn Zimbabwe’s fortunes around.

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    Theories are theories.The masses don’t know thories and do not evn know Mugabe’s age.To them as long as Mugabe is alive, he can rule.Thanks Vince.No matter what renewal thieves bark and bark, millions are with Morgan , and you can not lash the people for that.This thing of drinking bottled water and wearing Vassusi attire at bogus human rights forums will never remove Morgan from the people’s hearts.
    Politics has an emotional attachment, hence you see the Ghandi family in India continue as the ruling elite, the Bush and the Kennedy families in USA.When Morgan called for mass actions, instead of strengthening the cause, prophets of doom start calling him all sorts of rubbish.We have seen them in London, Leeds, Birmingham callining themselves renewal team.They are aiming for political seats, and return home.
    I salute the fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters who weathered Mugabe’s madness two decade.Your sacrifice is not in vain

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    Malema 6 years ago

    A fair analysis.

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    Vince I think you should do more than give these thought provoking assessments. I must say my opinion of Tsvangirayi was degraded after this last election. But I still believe that if there is a man who can take us out of the current rotteness and take us into a more open society its Morgan. If ge died today millions will hail him as a man who helped precipitate the demise of Zanu PF.

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    I have always maintained that personally if an election happened right now I would choose the best option. In all political scenarios you will always have staunch supporters. They will be that way because in most cases they will just like the party’s policies. You will also get those that will change if the particular party seems to be going astray. I on the other hand believe that the best available option is the way to go. Even if you don’t agree with some of the policies you just have to vote so as to try and avoid the worst possible option getting or staying in power. In other words I might almost be referred to as a swing voter.Defining me as a person who lacks willingness to commit to a particular party. At the moment I would definitely vote the way Vince says because I still don’t see a better option. Morgan is not perfect. But then who is? All I want to see at this very moment is the back of Mugabe and Zanu pf.

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    You know Doc in other democracies voters sit down and try to analyse the policies being proffered by the contending parties and then try to match these wirth what they view as their own priorities. If the policies being offered by a particular party do not feature in my first four priorities then that party does not get my vote.
    if that were to be the case in Zim (and to some extent it has been- 2008) Zanu would not stand a chance brcause their first four priorities are Survival of the party, Survival of the party, ditto, ditto. This is the President will say I cannot go now because the party will crumble- not the ECONOMY.

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      Guess what MC you are a swing voter.So are the millions that deserted Zanu. Zanu has a problem that they have lied for 34 years so it would be foolish to swing in that direction. We have to encourage our people to swing positively. What I am saying is that other players need to keep Morgan honest. That is the mistake we made with Mugabe.
      Let these children in Hong Kong China inspire us. SEE BELOW.
      Thousands have joined pro-democracy protests which have spread in Hong Kong on China’s 65th National Day.Former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten told the BBC there should be “a new period of genuine consultation” over democratic reform.

      Lord Patten said dialogue “must replace tear gas and pepper spray” and that the current situation represented “a breach of what the Chinese government have promised Hong Kong”.

      “They said these matters were within the autonomy of the Hong Kong government and they are now reneging on that.”

      Family atmosphere
      Protesters have gathered at the main protest sites in the Central business district, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok.

      A fourth protest site has also spread to Canton Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, a major shopping district several roads south of Mong Kok.

      The protesters want China to withdraw plans to vet candidates for the next Hong Kong leadership election in 2017.

      Hong Kong leader CY Leung was heckled as he addressed a flag-raising ceremony, where he urged them to back electoral reforms set out by Beijing.

      A student protest leader has said they will occupy government buildings if Mr Leung does not resign by Thursday.

      Lester Shum, of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, told reporters there was “no room for dialogue” with Hong Kong’s chief executive after he ordered police to fire tear gas at demonstrators at the weekend.

      Mr Shum said student leaders would welcome an opportunity to speak with a Chinese central government official, but not with Mr Leung.

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    revenger avenger 6 years ago

    Mr musewe stop trying to impress with long winded self important academic theorizing. If you crave a PhD young boy just beg Mugabe. You are naive gullible enough. Wake up to reality and smell the coffee. Pamberi mob justice. Viva street barricades. Pasi academic weak grandstanding. Pasi academic armchair posturing

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    rural boy 6 years ago

    we fought the liberation war with the objective of removing the white minority government with little or no regard to who we would put in their stead. 34 years down the line we’re still paying the price. Zimbabwe let us learn to see further than our noses and make decisions that have long term benefit for us as a nation.

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    I agree. this is a very fair comment by Vince and one that ALL Zimbabweans should take cognisance of. All opposition parties should rally together behind MT despite the differences. All would have a vital role to play. This should be for the good of an entire nation. it Is time to put self and selfish ambitions aside. After the common problem is dealt with and we have had our first free and fair elections all parties will have the opportunity to campaign peacefully for the next one. We should give MT the opportunity to do a Mandela on us. A five year term. He has after all been robbed of at least two elections. We call on ALL opposition parties to show maturity in this whole thing. Please! None can go it alone!!!!

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    killian gumbo 6 years ago

    u re wrigt vince after all every one makes mistakes who will come and deliever us from this ninogorian black leader w

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    well said Vince. Mr Tsvangirai is the man.
    Even my kids knows that there is President Morgan

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    Ndlovu Kayisa 6 years ago

    unfortunately this is the reality. the masses still believe in MT

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    BaMatipa 6 years ago

    I agree with your analysis sir. Tsvangirai has been the greatest opposition leader Zim has ever had. He is the one powerful force that has caused countless headaches on Mugabe. His collosal status in Zim politics is greatly owed to his sponsors who funded and gave him world platforms that he gladly capitalised on. The other smaller opposition parties were less resourced and this puts Morgan the man in his right perspective. Lest we forget, Morgan is a creature of foreign creation to solve domestic problems. The people did not care who backed him as long as the funds were coming in to remove Mugabe. It was good while the money was still coming in. Once the purse strings were fastened, the Mdc house is burning, just like is happening in Zanu. Having said this, i also note that you have reduced Morgan’s problem to the removal of Mugabe a 90 year old from power. What if he dies without relignuishing power? The problem of Mdc must be the system called Zanu not Mugabe. The reason why Morgan has lost elections previously is because of the Zanu systems with tentancles in government and society that reach every area of Zim. The problem is the system, period and not these hallucinations about Mugabe’s age. Even if hypothetically Chinoz where to become the president in the event of Mugabe’s death Morgan will still be soundly beaten because of the Zanu system.

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    I think that Morgan is a brave man but not a national leader.

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      Owen a national leader is a person that loves the masses, not one that controls the masses because he is educated.

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    sillywho? 6 years ago

    Mr MT had several years as an insider in the government. What did he do? He was charmed by the elegance and gravitas of the old man who gave him a small taste of the fruits of corruption and malfeasance; and he loved it too much. He was charmed, fooled and seduced (and probably infected) by the old man repeatedly. If there IS someone, it is not him.