via Tsvangirai, Biti: Spot the difference – The Zimbabwean 3 June 2015
In April 2014, former MDC-T secretary general, Tendai Biti left Harvest House, followed by co-rebels Elton Mangoma, Sekai Holland, Simon Sipepa Nkomo, Solomon Madzore, Gorden Moyo and others who all demanded the resignation of Morgan Tsvangirai.
The MDC Renewal Team criticised Tsvangirai’s leadership and complained of violence in the former trade unionist’s camp. They also cited Tsvangirai’s scandalous personal life as a factor in the party’s election defeat of 2013. Biti conveniently had a Molotov cocktail explode against his perimeter wall to prove the violent nature of his former colleagues. Earlier, Biti’s ally, Mangoma had also had his 15 minutes of fame, parading himself before the media in a torn and bloodied shirt, after suspected Tsvangirai supporters had pummelled him.
There is a proverb in Shona which goes ‘seka urema wafa.’ The English translation is ‘never laugh at another person’s shortcoming, as long as you’re alive.’
Fast forward to 2015 and the same Renewals who were anti-violence have themselves now resorted to fisticuffs. It seems that Tsvangirai is not the only MDC member who cannot keep his trousers zipped. Mangoma, one of the commentators on Tsvangirai’s colourful personal life, is reportedly carrying on with the wife of a party member.
To prove his innocence, Mangoma, with head bandaged after being attacked by Renewal supporters, dragged his poor Missus to a press conference where he issued his denial. Methinks thou doth protest too much. The only thing Mangoma has proved is that he always manages to get thumped in whatever faction he joins. So if the Renewals had succeeded in overthrowing Tsvangirai, the MDC-T faction would have been right back where it started; with violent lecherous leaders.
Two weeks ago, Tendai Biti gave an interview in which he admitted that the opposition parties had let down the electorate. Biti’s speech came on the back of his travels to America – no doubt to canvass for financial support.
Full marks for the faction leader’s admission, but he might now find himself drafting another public apology. Unfortunately, apologies are only effective the first time round. As the saying goes, ‘fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.’
This is all very funny but when the laughter dies down, the question on everyone’s lips is: What hope do ordinary Zimbabweans have? The ruling party is no different from an organised crime family and a cursory glance at the opposition camp does not put anyone’s mind at ease.
The saying rings true; ‘hupenyu hwefodya, kumberi irikutsva, kumashure irikurumwa.’ Ours is the life of a cigarette, which burns at one end and is bitten at the other.