The soon-to-be New Leader Of The MDC-T, Tendai Biti, signs his appointment papers for the Finance Ministry post in front of Mugabe during the swearing-in ceremony on 13 February 2009
Impeccable sources within Prime Minister Tsvangirai's close circle say the MDC leader has already made it known that he will only see out what he is calling his "interim term" before retiring from active politics.
Tsvangirai made the decision earlier this year during horse-trading talks within the MDC on whether they should join government or not.
Tsvangirai, whose maximum two terms of office at the helm of the MDC expired in February this year, gave that committment in order to get Tendai Biti and his group to buy into the idea of forming a Coalition government with Mugabe.
Tendai Biti was never earmarked for Home Affairs as we were led to believe by ZANU PF propaganda. His was the Finance Minister portfolio. The plan is that Biti will preside over an improvement in the economy and standards of living for Zimbabweans, then he will be able to campaign on a record when he takes over the leadership of the MDC for the next elections.
A "Personal Adviser" to Morgan Tsvangirai, and current Deputy Minister of Media, Information and Publicity, Jamieson Timba, is said to have been pivotal in pitching the argument to Biti and throughout the subsequent negotiations.
Morgan Tsvangirai will campaign for his party, is the understanding (he's still a drawcard for the MDC, after all, their biggest asset with the masses), but only as a former president of the movement.
This is also the reason why the MDC Congress to elect a new leader, which was due to be held in February, has been postponed indefinitely. Tsvangirai and Biti want first to prove themselves in government. Biti, especially, intends to use the Ministry of Finance position to strengthen his chances at the elections for a new leader, because he is not without rivals. The plan is to then stand before the delegates as a succesful Finance Minister who has breathed life into the Zimbabwean economy, asking now to be given the leadership and deliver even more of that success and prosperity.
So for now, the MDC itself is in a parking bay, waiting for Tsvangirai and Biti, for a time when they feel ready.
All this also explains why Tsvangirai and Biti now say they will not pull out of this government, no matter what.They have their eye on the the ultimate prize.
What I think? It would be a brilliant move if Tsvangirai carried through with this promise.
It would give him moral authority not seen since Nelson Mandela. As a man who for fought for democracy, if he gave up active politics and goes into retirement, he would have a strong moral position from which to help keep the democratic project in Zimbabwe honest.
He would help shape the sort of future Zimbabwe must have, without having to fear any polls and ratings. At such times and under those circumstances, an individual tends to rise above his own time and age.
It remains to be seen. Some say Tsvangirai loves power too much and it is unlikely that the promise made to Biti will be honoured. In which case I can assure you the whole thing will come crumbling down.
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