The Importance of Being Morgan Tsvangirai
Showing strain: The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai at a press conference with the EU leadership in Brussels earlier today, June 18 2009
The MDC-T and its cohorts must make up their minds fast.
This thing of "fighting from within" simply will not work, has never worked and has no hope of working. I said as much in January when I asked what the Prime Minister would be "struggling" against when he himself is in charge of policy formulation and implementation.
If the MDC-T has decided to appease Mugabe, they should go all the way and stop wasting the people's time with this Hoky-Poky dance they are engaged in.
Morgan Tsvangirai, his party and his supporters are all agreed now that Mugabe is The Solution to Zimbabwe's problems.
They keep telling us as much every time they open their mouths.
Mugabe hears this. He believes it.
It tells him the MDC-T recognises that he is the glue that is holding Zimbabwe together. That is exactly what the Prime Minister and his supporters say.
So now, they do not believe that he should go. (Now!). Continuing to fight after such a blatant capitulation is both pointless and vexatious to the people of this country.
What is the point in making threats and issuing deadlines and writing letters to partisan SADC Lordships and Kingdoms if at the end of it all, you still insist that you are not leaving government, the process is irreversible. No matter what. "Hell, no we won't go," you say.
But there are real issues of substance to be engaged here.
Poverty, disease, a free falling economy....the list is endless.
These must be addressed ahead of concerns about which party gets the most Mercedes Benzes that come with Governorships and Ambassadorial posts.
Yes, we know that these things can not be addressed without funds, but you knew that when you decided to sleep with the devil. You said you "budgeted" for it.
What the MDC-T by going into government, knowing they will be resisted and still insisting they will never leave is like a hunter telling his family to cook sadza before he has even embarked on his expedition.
So, get a move on and start making plans for reviving Zimbabwe using whatever resources we have now. Surely, you "budgeted" for this as well, knowing as you did that Mugabe was not going to just roll over and play dead.
Government could be cut, for instance, expenditure halved. That will free up half a billion dollars immediately which could go to stimulating recovery.
This just but one example.
But this can happen only if there is a will. Right now there isn't.
Refusing to leave government, resting on their laurels and staring at Mugabe over the smouldering ashes of the victims of cholera, disease, abuse and criminal neglect, the MDC-T are doing a disservice to the people who put hope in them.
We know how far Mugabe is willing to go. He will, as Heidi Holland put it, let this country go up in smoke just so he can prove to the British and the Americans that they have no power over him.
The MDC clearly says they have no power over him also. Which is why they have abandoned all talk and thought of his departure. Which is why the PM says The Solution in "not going anywhere until we achieve positive results"
So, achieve them and let us be done with this albatross.
The Importance of being Morgan Tsvangirai lies in the fact that, as unquestioned leader of MDC-T, if he decides, as he has, to capitulate to Mugabe, he need not go half-measures about it. Plunge in.
Every single MDC-T supporter will support your utter surrender, because you are Morgan Tsvangirai.
Then we can start focusing on the economy that is killing people instead of futile power games with a muscular madman.
It is dishonest for MDC-T to continue to want to spoil for a fight, when they have already admitted defeat. There is no silver bullet they hold with regards to Mugabe. The previous weapon was the economy, but now they are at the forefront of reversing this.
What other leverage to they have over Mugabe now that they abandoned the squeeze on the economy?
And, if the destruction of the economy did not soften this dictator's heart, what, pray tell, is the new weapon the MDC-T and Tsvangirai plan to wield against Mugabe?
Boycotting government, the only plausible alternative, they have already discounted. "Irreversible!," they chant.
Yes, but just because you are not in reverse gear does not mean you are moving forward.