Walking out of the GNU? Dream on.
The MDC-T coffers are are fast running dry.
Their donors, who kept the party going through huge injections of money (US$10 million in the first six months of 2008 alone) have all fled. Their reluctance to fund the opposition coincided with the party's decision to go into an unholy marriage with Mugabe in the Coalition government.
In a moment of pique and frustration, the Prime Minister, speaking to some of his staff, including a young man who acts as the political strategist in his office, blurted out yesterday after the cabinet meeting that "this is not worth it."
Tsvangirai's frustration has to do with Mugabe's continued open contempt for him, even as the Prime Minister is told by the dictator that he has to respect him (which the Prime Minister has duly done, referring to the dictator as "Father", even in their private one-on-one Monday meetings, correcting journalists at press conferences when they do not use the Presidential title in referring to Mugabe etc).
But it is also driven by the increasing complaints from Harvest House where, because donors have fled, the party coffers are running dry, staff are being paid paltry wages (unlike the heydays of opposition when the party was so awash with money that it staff were buying houses in low-density areas as the economy melted).
The outburst by Tsvangirai has been latched onto by Nelson Chamisa, the MDC-T spokesman whose own ministry has been gutted like a dead fish by Mugabe. Chamisa then rashly made it known that his party was "mulling pulling out of the GNU."
Nothing of the sort if being contemplated by Tsvangirai, Biti or any of the senior members of the MDC-T who are now enjoying a very good life indeed.
The MDC-T, and Nelson Chamisa, especially, have still not learnt anything. But this is not their fault. They know they can abuse the emotions and hopes of their hardline supporters (who are not the majority) and get away with it.
This rash leak by Chamisa is simply sending up the hopes of MDC-T supporters who are now up the creek without a paddle, frustrated and bewildered by their leader's mellowing and open support for the dictator Mugabe.
They all know that there is no strategy for getting around ZANU PF in government. They all know that, within the corridors of Munhumutapa Building, the presidential and Prime Ministerial office complex, the MDC-T is simply walking around twiddling its thumbs, whistling to itself while watching ZANU PF exercise the power and authority that it undoubtedly and demonstrably retains.
There will be no pull out.
The supporters who are cheering the announcement by the loose canon known as Nelson Chamisa will be sitting in a puddle very soon when Tsvangirai makes it clear that he is staying put.
As he said barely two weeks ago at the party's 10th Anniversary rally in Chinhoyi, "there is no going back" on the unity government with Mugabe.
It is true that Tendai Biti was told by the British foreign Secretary and the American State Department during his recent trips to the two countries that they will not be supporting the MDC-PF government.
And it is true that Biti has communicated this to Tsvangirai.
But it is also equally true that Tsvangirai believes that he stands to gain more by staying in than by pulling out. Go figure.
Four senior MDC-T people confirmed this to me this morning. So, as things stand right now, the cruel upping of hope for the bedraggled and wide-eyed MDC-T hardline supporters will be dashed before the week is out.
But Tsvangirai knows his die-hard supporters very well and does not fear that they will lose hope in him even as he abuses like this. Like abused wives, they will stick with him and his party, hoping against hope.
Bottom line: The MDC-T is not going anywhere. This coalition with Mugabe will continue. There is a new constitution to put together, there are Mercedes Benzes to be ridden, perks to be enjoyed, school fees to be paid for MDC-T ministers' children, free accommodation to be provided, free fuel at taxpayer's expense, free food and clothing allowances.........
All this is ensuring that the MDC-T stays put, because back at their party HQ, the coffers are so dry that, if they pulled out now, they will not be able to be kept in the style to which they have become accustomed.
In other words, the opposition party is well and truly SCREWED.