Time to go AGO

ago_mutambaraZimbabwean politics will not be the same without the spicy and witty flavour of good old Arthur Mutambara pictured, (aka Ago). The man burst onto the political platform from nowhere to the almost top spot in the countrys governance hierarchy. He, of all people, should have known that somewhere there is a catch.

With all the learning and other experiences that he had amassed over the years and across the globe, he should have known that the day of reckoning would come. That is generally the nature of politics in this country. When you reap where you have not sown, eventually some smart Alec will come along and push you over like a heap of trash. When this is done by the very people who implored you to give up on technology and professionalism, it becomes unbearably painful and embarrassing. Well, that day has finally come for Ago and there is no way of escaping the consequences.

Developments within the SADC and among the three political parties to the GPA and GNU clearly indicate that Mutambara has, in the next few days or weeks, to make the honourable decision to step down from the position of Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) in the inclusive government. He cannot continue to hide under the flea-infested wings of an ailing President Mugabe, for that is a sure recipe for political suicide.

There is no disputing the fact that his party, the MDC-N, gave him a raw deal at their last congress. Democracy has its nasty aspects too, especially when you are at the receiving end of the peoples choice. Ago had several options that he could have followed when the push came to the shove. He could have given up the DPM post in deference to the newly-elected president of his party. This would have brought him considerable honour and respect among Zimbabweans of all political persuasions.

A second option could have been to cross the floor and join the original leader of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, albeit as an ordinary card-holding member of that party. If he had done that, he possibly could have been rewarded with a position in that partys hierarchy at its April congress. This would have thrown the Ncube formation of the MDC into total disarray.

As matters turned out, some of his followers ended up joining the decadent Zanu-PF, where they do not have even a ghost of a political future. Who wants to marry a corpse? The third option still exists – and that is for Ago to team up with the marginal Simba Makoni of the MKD. Like Mutambara, the MKD has no idea what political space it occupies in this country. Perhaps Ago could have boosted that partys morale in one way or another. There would have been little else to gain apart from that.

It is now rather embarrassing to see Mutambara soldiering on alone as DPM of no political party in this country, yet masquerading as a principal. Why does he not realize that both Mugabe and Tsvangirai are struggling to off-load him in a humane way? The man is well educated and should read between the lines and the words, and voluntarily step down from the position of DPM with whatever scraps of decency he still commands.

There are no permanent friends or enemies in politics, only permanent interests. To voluntarily step down today is to openly say I live to fight another day. But to continue in that august office without the backing of a credible political party is to lock himself between a rock and a hard place.

Post published in: Opinions

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