Friday, April 23, 2010
Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010 5:00 am
HAVE you ever wondered how difficult it is to be Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, the prime minister of Zimbabwe?
I feel sorry for him! The pressure he receives from influential elements in the MDC-T party and western funders, over issues like his public criticism of gays, among other issues, have served to literally and figuratively knock the wind from his political sails.
The true Morgan Tsvangirai who rode that "freedom bus" at election time seems to have lost his mojo.
He has become the face of resistance to anything that is proposed by a government that he leads. It must be a really difficult position to be in -- power without power.
Were this two years ago, he would have been running around acting statesmanlike, in opposition though, calling press conferences and promising the world to the Zimbabwean people.
Chickens have now come home to roost.
Leading a group of ministers who have been led by a charismatic and intelligent man like President Mugabe is no walk in the park. Leading alongside President Mugabe is not easy either. He is a "hard act to run with", or to follow.
One only need to check the records of Zimbabwean politics and see how Mr Tsvangirai and Mr Tendai Biti were once two peas in a pod -- a duo that seemed untouchable and full of zest. Their juices have now been sucked dry. Ironically, President Mugabe seems to have that spring in his walk, that bounce. This is politics. You snooze, you lose.
Check and discover what Mr Tsvangirai said back then. He promised the world.
Prime minister Tsvangirai has now been forced to swallow his pride, discard his fundamental beliefs and permit himself to be seen as towing the line and being a team player. He knows he will never get the last laugh. President Mugabe will.
Keen students of politics would know that that the boycott of President Ahmadinejad's visit had more to do with the reluctance of having a face-off with a revolutionary leader of Mr Ahmadinejad's stature, than it did with the image he wants to present to the West.
The West has already abandoned Mr Tsvangirai. Word is that the MDC-T is broke. You can sense that easily. They are all quiet, except when they fight amongst each other. No more international jetting. They can't even afford to fly to see their friend Raila Odinga in Kenya.
Mr Tsvangirai and President Ahmadinejad would not even spent a minute in the same room. Never mind the interpreter. It's about the ideas.
The reality is that Mr Tsvangirai has a difficult task ahead of him. I think in a sense, he feels like he betrayed his core constituency and his funders by going into the inclusive Government. Then he feels like he betrayed the white farmers by going into government and not getting the farms back. He also betrayed the civic movement that had banked on him, as well as the various so-called independent media organisations.
Many media practitioners who are living in poverty in South Africa, Britain, Australia, etc were hoping that an MDC-T victory would give them jobs and help them get back into real journalism, not the "popcorn journalism" ( to borrow Julius Malema's words) we see on the internet.
If prime minister Tsvangirai had met Mr Ahmadinejad he would have been duty bound to express solidarity between the two countries. This is the challenge that he had, but all because he is not his own man. He has no conviction, just guts. Thus the strategy to boycott meeting Mr Ahmadinejad was hatched to avoid the embarassment that would have ensued.
I now appeal to Mr Tsvangirai and his MDC-T colleagues to cease the child-like stunts and get on with the job of helping to rebuild a country they helped destroy.