There is something about Morgan Tsvangirai that distinguishes him from the likes of Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti. Some will say, with Peter Drucker, that “Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes” while others will say, with Martin Luther King, Jr, that “Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.”
Tsvangirai’s political record is unsurpassed. He makes great speeches and has monolithic support from ordinary Zimbabweans – unlike his challengers whose approach to political issues is esoteric and elitist in nature. He is also both famous and great because of his contribution to the struggle for a free, just and democratic Zimbabwe. From a more analytical perspective, it can be justifiably argued that Tsvangirai has become a reality which one cannot afford to ignore nor wish away.
As Zimbabweans, we decided to give Tsvangirai a mandate to be our leader upon formation of the MDC in September 1999. That mandate surely hasn’t been taken back. He remains influential and only those bent on destroying the opposition movement in Zimbabwe would behave the way Biti et al have been doing lately.
Biti and his fellow coup plotters have been treated with the contempt they deserve. They have no place in our opposition politics. Political splits in post-colonial Zimbabwe have been masterminded by men out of touch with political realities inside Zimbabwe. They lack a connection with real life and real people.
I therefore welcome the decision by the National Council to expel Biti for his uncalled for behaviour and to also recall all the MPs who have chosen to dine with the traitor.
Our criticism of Tsvangirai has been very unfair. Honestly, he can’t shoulder all the responsibility associated with our failure to unseat Zanu (PF) from power.
Zimbabwe is governed by an oligarchy. The MDC isn’t therefore an ordinary party Tsvangirai isn’t an ordinary leader that we can just think of replacing without considering the serious ramifications. His party is in parliament although not part of the government. The party has had a felt presence in parliament since 2000. We never had a political party of that nature before.
We need to be grateful. Of all those who broke away from the original formation, only Tsvangirai has remained standing and that means a lot! I do believe that Tsvangirai still has something to offer to opposition politics till we get to the Promised Land. – Mutsa Murenje, by emailPost published in: Letters to the Editor