What do YOU think? Giving people back their voice

We asked readers what they thought about the emergence of Arthur Mutambara as a rival for the presidency of the MDC. This is what you said:


We don’t want jambanja

Being a president does not need an intellectual, but the sticking point is people are saying Arthur is a person who was renowned for jambanja. We do not need that because Mugabe during the liberation struggle used jambanja and up until today he can use it among his people. I prefer Morgan because he does not advocate for violence and has a connection with poor people. – Godfrey Magwindi

Elevated to messianic pedestal

If Mutambara tries to promote the agenda, the intransigence and stubbornness of the pro-Senate lobby he should not be surprised to see himself falling by the wayside. The breakaway faction led by the pro-senate group is, to all intents and purposes, seen as a tribal formation even though it has now elected a leader from outside Matabeleland. The pro-senate group of Welshman Ncube, Paul Themba Nyathi, Gibson Sibanda, Fletcher Dulini, Gift Chimanikire and co. has, by shopping outside for a leader, proved what has always been said about them, namely, they have no capacity for leadership.

One wonders why they were in a leadership position in the MDC in the first place. Much has been said about the new leader, Arthur Mutambara. Some websites like newzimbabwe.com are virtually salivating and have elevated Mutambara to a messianic position. Little do they know that, for many of his qualifications, there are scores of other Zimbabweans who have achieved equivalent, if not greater, skills. The pro-senate group are over-emphasising Mutambara’s active politics 15 years ago at the University of Zimbabwe.

In describing Mutambara in superlatives in terms of dignity, respect and leadership prowess there is an obvious contradiction of logic. How can such a statesman-like figure, if he indeed is, join a splinter group of opportunists that have no mass support, no vision and no agenda for the liberation of Zimbabwe?

Unless Mutambara can prove otherwise, the media hype may well be a misplaced dream. If, on the other hand, he can articulate and implement a policy of unification of the MDC that is not based on some meaningless agreements among leaders, but is legitimated by the masses through a referendum at an extraordinary congress of the people, he will have lived up to the hype about him.

But if Mutambara tries to promote the agenda, the intransigence and stubbornness of the pro-Senate lobby he should not be surprised to see himself falling by the wayside, as did the likes of Simba Makoni and Jonathan Moyo.

As things stand today, Mutambara may well be advised to keep his job in South Africa. It will serve as a convenient getaway car for him when things get really hot in the rat hole of the pro-Senate group that he thrust himself head-first into. – Stanford Mukasa

Why has he been hiding?

Mutambara is a novice in the struggle for a democratic Zimbabwe. If he is as revolutionary as some would have us believe, why then has been hiding for so long at the height of the struggle?

Where was he when some cadres were being detained, tortured and harassed? Is this the stuff heroes are made of? NO! The Ncube party is just desperate for a leader with the aura that matches that of Tsvangirai.

Foolishly they believe Mutambara has what it takes simply because he once led a vibrant UZ SRC. Give me a break! Wasn’t Munyaradzi Gwisai part of this leadership? Where is now? The common people don’t care a cent about someone’s degrees especially after experiencing the brutal leadership of the learned Mugabe. Therefore, trying to sell Mutamabara by his impressive CV is infantile.

The most popular politician in the world is Mandela and he is not so because of his education. He is simply a man of the people, due to his bravery, consistency and simplicity. So is Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe. Let’s face it, Tsvangirai is the most popular politician in our country.

He further endeared himself to the masses when he firmly stood against Zanu (PF)’s senate project. I am sorry there is no space for another opposition leader in the country at the moment. This is why Tsvangirai is set to retain his presidency come the real MDC congress in March. And this is why, under his leadership, MDC is poised to retain the Budiriro constituency in the coming by-election. – Max Pasvanhi

People have short memories

The introduction of Arthur Mutambara is a welcome event in the sense that
he is an addition to the people who are already fighting for democracy in Zimbabwe.
A strong and viable alternative to mainstream MDC is welcome, because it forces the MDC to work harder and in the process it is the people of Zimbabwe who will reap benefits.
However, the amount of hype that some media outlets have tried to generate over
the arrival of Arthur Mutambara has been embarrassingly over the top. I could not
help but laugh at times. Perhaps the people who are losing control over the arrival
of Arthur Mutambara feel that his academic genius will automatically translate into
political genius.

People have short memories. They have forgotten that the legendary professor Jonathan Moyo arrived into the Zimbabwe political landscape with a bang.
Robert Mugabe is one of the most educated national leaders in Africa, although
ofcourse he presides over the worst performing economy in the world and leads
the most polarised and divided country on the continent today.
Education is a powerful tool in politics, but it is by no means a panacea. People
should be judged on the basis of what they have done and not on the basis
of educational achievements. This is why there are honorary degrees. They are
given to people who may not have excelled academically. Education is not an end. It is a means to an end.
As far as the majority of Zimbabweans are concerned Tsvangirai is fighting the enemy and not pacifying the enemy. So why should they suddenly abandon him. It is very embarrassing for anyone to suggest that Arthur Mutambira has arrived
in order to deal with Tsvangirai. Mugabe is the enemy and not Tsvangirai.
Mutambara is a distinguished academic who is also a talented bussinessman.
Ppeople like Mutambara and Masiiwa should use their talents to spearhead economic development in Zimbabwe just like Bill Gates, Einstein and Ford have done for their country.

For Mutambara to accept an invitation to lead a political party whose ideology he does not necessarily share smacks of political opportunism. He was recently quoted as opposing participation in the senate. He is talking of unity when he has joined a group of people who decided to sidestep congress and rebel against a party president who was elected by congress. I do not think he meets the criteria. I stand corrected. History will be the final arbiter. – Jonathan Chawora

Mutambara a better choice

I think Mutambara is a better choice than Tsvangirai. He has vision and is brave enough to challenge the foundations of Zanu (PF). his education will make him a better person to match Mugabe intellectually. Tsvangirai never impressed me. – Mkhumbuzi Mabodoko

He could be a Churchill

I equate him to Churchill during the 2nd world war. Then Churchill was useful but after the war he was voted out of power. That is to say Mutambara is ideal to come now just as Tsvangirai was six years ago. He brought political awareness to Zimbabwe and introduced vigorous opposition but is now irrelevant.

Mutambara will shake Zanu (PF) as well as the opposition. Two good things will emerge: Zanu will bring in good leadership to fight him and the opposition will transform into a serious party.

But for him as president, I am not comfortable for the following reasons: Very intelligent African leaders have a tendency of not listening to the people (e.g. Mugabe and Mbeki). Leaders who get called to lead the people have a tendency of abusing people in the name of consolidating power (e.g.Kamuzu Banda). – A. Pswarayi

Give him a try

All current Presidents were only tested once on the throne.No one had an experience of leading a nation before,only then after voting them into power we realised the good and the bad in their leadership so why can`t we put him to test?

Anyone can lead and govern a country. – Innocent Chamisa

Lack of judgment

I am surprised at the contrast between all Mutambara’s educational accolades being displayed on the web and his lack of judgment of the situation back home. If it is true that he worked with Prof Jonathan Moyo to form UPM, one would wonder why he abandoned it to join the pro-senate faction.

It is a sign that he does not know what is going on in Zimbabwe. If he thinks mobilising students is the same as mobilising the Zimbabwe masses, he has to rethink his program. People in Zimbabwe find it very difficult to trust leaders. It is strange that Mutambara would join those leaders who are despised by the people of Zimbabwe and expect to win the hearts of the opposition. Mutambara will only relive Jonathan’s life, only that he will not be in parliament. – George

Isolated for too long

Why has Mutambara changed employment so many times in a short space of time?. No organisation, especially in UK and America will want to lose a good leader (worker) so easily, they will pay you what you want if they consider you to be an asset.

Mutambara has been isolated from real politics for too long and his academic education in science has no relevance to Zimbabwean politics. The man is too young and inexperienced to lead Zimbabwe even if he is elected as president on the basis of his academic prowess. Zimbabweans should use the right criteria to choose their next president. – King Collis, UK

Let’s be united

I think Arthur Mutambara is an excellent candidate. May peace prevail in Zimbabwe and may the UN be allowed into the country to feed the masses of starving stranded people left homeless from the township demolitions. Let’s give Arthur Mutambara all the encouragement and support he needs. Let’s be united. – M Curtis, Sydney

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