MDC-Tsvangirai MPs have now collected RBZ cars, some of which were loaned to ZANU PF during the June 2008 Presidential run-of election and used to murder MDC-T activists
MDC-T MPs have humiliated Morgan Tsvangirai by going ahead and accepting the cars that were offered to them by Gideon Gono, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, defying the Prime Minister's express wishes (and orders).
Some of the vehicles that are now being driven by these MDC-T MPs are the very same vehicles in which MDC-T activists were murdered. If the MPs look carefully, they may actually be able to see faint bloodstains in the load bays of their newly-acquired Nissan Navaras (pictured above), Rhino CAMS and BT-50s.
A Navara loaned to ZANU PF by the RBZ, for instance, was seen on Nyaguwe Bridge in the Chikwaka Communal Areas where blood was being washed off its loadbay. A day later, the body of Beta Chokururuma was discovered under the same bridge.
Prime Minister Tsvangirai had ordered his MPs not to accept the cars.
You will read the Herald story in full when the Herald updates its website, from which most online "Zimbabwe Newspapers" normally plagiarise articles to publish as their own.
The MPs from MDC-T have now started openly criticising their leader, the Prime Minister, with some of those who took the cars saying Tsvangirai himself had accepted government cars. This, they felt, was "hypocrisy" on Tsvangirai's part, especially since he now expected them to refuse the cars from Gono.
The Prime Minister has not publicly reacted to the acceptance of the Gono cars by his MPs yet, although the most principled MDC-T leadership member, Tendai Biti, is said to be "distraught".
He had threatened to remove the whip from MDC-T MPs who accepted the cars, but the sheer number of those who have accepted would mean that he would have to fire practically ALL of the MDC-T MPs if he were to follow through on his threat.
This rebellion by the MDC-T MPs is certainly an embarrassment for the PM.
However, it would be a mistake to see this as a challenge to Tsvangirai's hold over the party. He still remains the undisputed leader, his position akin to Mugabe's in ZANU PF. In other words, the MDC-T (the T in the party's name stands for Tsvangirai, showing you just how utterly owned by its leader that party is) would, like the proverbial rats in the Pied Piper story, follow Tsvangirai over the edge if he were to lead them there.
The significance of the story lies only in highlighting the greed that drives this government. That greed now bestrides the political divide, existing in both MDCs and in the utterly corrupt and discredited ruling ZANU PF.
Only a few days ago, on 8 April, Deputy Prime Minister (MDC-T) Thokozani Khupe, was booed by the MDC-T MPs when she addressed them urging them to refuse to take the cars. It was after that incident that Tsvangirai issued the order for the MPs not to accept the vehicles, which he said was a bribe and would compromise parliament's supervisory role towards the RBZ.
Does this then mean that, knowing this, the MPs have decided that it is OK to be bribed simply because the Prime Minister accepted government cars and government escort vehicles?
It would appear so.
What then are the implications?
First, the MPs, especially those from the MDC-T, have now forfeited any moral high ground they might have had over Gono had they maintained a principled stand of not accepting those cars.
Second, this also means that they will certainly not be "grilling" Gono as MDC-T supporters had all along led us to believe. He will never have to answer for his financing of the brutal Presidential run-off in which MDC-T supporters were murdered and horrifically assaulted all over Zimbabwe.
Third, it shows that the MDC-T parliamentary caucus is not motivated by any ideals of democracy and accountability. They pay lip service only to these ideals and would abandon them in an instant for the sake of self-aggrandisement.
Fourth and most importantly, it emboldens ZANU PF, which now believes that the MDC-T is no better than they are and can be bought for the right price.
This, as I said, is by no means a significant challenge to Tsvangirai's leadership. It is, however, a very noteworthy challenge to his moral authority.
Greed and self-interest have triumphed and the MDC-T has compromised itself, prostituting itself to the ZANU PF patronage system.
As Mugabe told that visiting Norwegian Minister a couple of weeks back, "We don't have an opposition in this country anymore."
The dictator is being proved correct.