via Leadership Renewal in Opposition Politics, the MDC-T March 14, 2014 by Valentine Kamusasa
Since the advent of Opposition Politics in Zimbabwe, there’s no doubt that Morgan Tsvangirai has been the greatest threat to President Mugabe’s stay in Power.
The Near Miss for Zanu-pf in 2008 is testimony to that. For that reason, I personally pay tribute to the immense contribution that the Opposition has made in Zimbabwe with Mr Morgan Tsvangirayi at the Helm. For his remarkable bravery, resilience and refusal to be broken, there is no doubt that the immense contribution of Morgan Tsvangirai will be deeply etched in our history. It is unfair to blame Tsvangirai alone for failure to win the elections, in actual fact the disastrous performance of his party in the last elections. Indeed there were problems with the 31 July elections.
A number of those problems were highlighted in the final SADC observer mission report which did not hide its concerns in the manner in which the elections were conducted. However there were a number of things the opposition could have done better in their stay in the unity government and they have themselves to blame with little excuse, that is a fact. Having said that, with more than a full decade at the helm, in fact fifteen years now, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai should step aside with his head high knowing that his contribution as a democrat far outweighs his faults. Leaders who have spent a day longer than due in Office have lived to regret it and have further botched their Legacies. Mr Morgan should display the very same character of democracy that he preaches and now focus on his Legacy. The Office of Founding President proposed by the party for him is one thing that he should embrace. With that in hand Morgan will continue to be involved in Opposition Politics including addressing fellow party supporters from time to time. Additionally Mr Morgan Tsvangirai will have a seat on the National Executive in his party and will always be a Face of his Party’s Cause. At this Juncture Mr Tsvangirayi should be engaged in activities and actions that unite and strengthen his party before he leaves as that will be one of the greats of his Legacy.
Of-course leadership renewal is not about Tsvangirai alone but the bucks start with him. The Actions of Mr Tsvangirai today at this juncture will inadvertently influence the next person who takes over from him. He has great responsibility on his shoulders than he knows as Founding President and whatever actions he takes now can advance or impede the culture of democracy for Generations to come.
President Nelson Mandela could have so easily gone for a second term in office if he wanted to but his decision to step aside voluntarily is one reason he is a rarity amongst African leaders. Today it is one of the reasons President Mandela’s legacy is celebrated not just in South Africa but the World over.