The Ousting Of Morgan Tsvangirai - We Are Almost There

Morgan Tsvangirai, seen here at the weekend in Bulawayo addressing an MDC 10th Anniversary, soon after a tense confrontation with his national executive who want the MDC to leave the Inclusive Government. Tsvangirai will have none of this. He is insisting that the majority of the people of Zimbabwe are with him on this. This is why he prevailed on his executive to "consult" the people. Tsvangirai, during this process, will be campaigning to get the MDC to stay in government.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 16 September 2009

Lack of transparency in the way Zimbabwean politics are run means that the people of Zimbabwe have no idea just what turmoil the MDC Tsvangirai is in at the moment.

The tensions boiled over at the weekend in Bulawayo, during the MDC National Executive meeting, which came out with the resolution to "consult" party followers in order to gauge if it is worth staying in the Inclusive Government.

During the meeting, Morgan Tsvangirai kept insisting that there was no alternative to the GNU, that there was no other way for the MDC to proceed.

He is of the opinion that if the party stays in government, maintaining pressure on Robert Mugabe and ZANU PF, the long-ruling party will be worn down and the MDC will eventually get what it wants.

Yes, this is about what the MDC, and specifically, what Morgan Tsvangirai wants, not what Zimbabwe wants. More of that later, though.

Tsvangirai's executive are adamant that they can not continue to smile at Mugabe and bow to him in public when he is so nakedly going after their supporters, MPs and officials, when it is clear that he has not changed one bit. The MDC executive has lost all hope that they could actually defeat Mugabe from within the corridors of power.

They want out.

Morgan Tsvangirai will have none of it.

I understand that the weight of numbers is definitely against Tsvangirai in his National Executive, hence this trick of trying to appeal over their heads to a gullible electorate and support base.

But I fear that if Tsvangirai prevails in swaying the faithful to his side, we may actually see another split in the MDC. That is how bad things have become.

We know that the Executive will not be able to out him, but they could split away from him.

They can not oust Tsvangirai because, like in the 2005 split with Welshman Ncube and others, Tsvangirai will immediately seek out unemployed youths, buy them beer and set them on his opponents.

Some will be beaten up like Trudy Stevenson was beaten up during the 2005 split.

The aim for Tsvangirai will be to retain all the assets of the party, the offices, the cars and the bank accounts, so that the break-away faction will have no resources with which to mobilise support and make their presence felt.

Like I said, it is called Fascism.

The insistence by the Prime Minister that the MDC press ahead in the face of humiliation is motivated purely by his consideration of his own future in politics. As long as he is Prime Minister, it is unlikely that the next Congress of the MDC will press home the point that he has now served his full two terms at the head of the party and must now step down.

This is so because he will still control instruments of patronage, such as the US$7 000 salaries, ministerial cars and the like. People around him, like some civil society organisations at the moment, will not want to upset him in the hope that they will get a plush job at some point.

Yet the Prime Minister failed to convince his party executive that staying in government has ant benefit for the MDC. His fellow leaders in the MDC were adamant that they have to go out.

As is characteristic of Tsvangirai, he then "threw down" a challenge: He is in touch with what the vast majority of people want. He can read the mood of the nation better than any of his fellow Executive members, he insisted.

Hence, he challenged his party to go to the people and ask them. He is certain that people will urge the MDC to stay on in power.

So, going over the heads of his National Executive team, Tsvangirai now hopes that he will use his "popularity" to sell to the people what his own fellow leaders do not want.

It is the old story: dictatorship masked as populism. There is a word for this kind of politics: Fascism - which is a personalisation of an organisation or the state, such as you had when the hugely popular Adolf Hitler established the Fuhrer State and ended up leading millions to their deaths.

Despite our education, most Zimbabweans are too lazy to think for themselves. They think that by virtue of being liked by many people, someone then becomes a saint who can do no wrong.

The MDC will go to its supporters with Tsvangirai addressing them and urging that the party be allowed to stay on in this moribund government.

It is unclear what Tsvangirai hopes t achieve by going this suicidal route. His party base will support him without questioning the wisdom of what he is urging.

Yet we now know that Mugabe will not give in on any other point, he says he has done enough.

His biggest motivation for agreeing to the Inclusive arrangement with Tsvangirai - the lifting of sanctions and access to wold capital markets, has failed to materialise. As far as he is concerned, there is nothing that he can lose now by simply abandoning all cooperation with Morgan Tsvangirai.

Which is what he is going to do.

As I told you last week, Mugabe now wants Tsvangirai to fire Tendai Biti, accusing him of usurping the authority of the cabinet.

Thus, another front in the battle has been opened.

Opened even as Mugabe now refuses to proceed with even one of the outstanding issues.

I wonder where all those MDC supporters who were for this Inclusive Government are now? I wonder where all those who claimed that Tsvangirai was now rising and had Mugabe in a corner are now.

We were accused on this blog of being negative and all the rest of it when pointed out that you do not take Mugabe's promises at face value.

Still, we had sheep who celebrated when it was announced that Tsvangirai would get governors. Where are those governors now? Where are the MDC ambassadors now?

Where, indeed, is Roy Bennett's swearing-in ceremony now?

Not one of these people will answer, they are now hiding in shame behind their computer screens.


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