Wednesday, August 04, 2010

(TALKZIMBABWE) Tsvangirai dividing the people of Matabeleland

Tsvangirai dividing the people of Matabeleland
By: Sihle Dube
Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 5:12 am

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has mastered the art of mass deception and his weapons of mass distraction have been sharpened indeed. His recent rally in Makokoba, Bulawayo was proof that the man is a master at the old political art. The choice of venue and the subject matter covered were not mere coincidences.

The naive political follower could easily be fooled. That rally was very important to his political survival such that he could not postpone it even for the death of a heroine as gagantuan as Cde Sabina Mugabe.

The MDC-T and some of the unchecked so-called media organisations had their political spin wheel in full motion questioning the Zanu-PF Politburo's unanimous decision to confer Cde Sabina Mugabe with National Heroine status "so fast" and why her bones are today interred at the national shrine, Heroes' Acre.

They argue that Cde Sabina was laid there because of her brother, President Mugabe. This is the naivety and ignoramus attitude that characterises our media and the other parties in Zimbabwe.

Cde Mugabe's career started in the late fifties. How, in the fifties, sixties and seventies, would she have known that her brother, would be prime minister and president, one day? Hers was a dedication incomparable and she deserves that status. I will not repeat her contribution here. I will only refer our ignorant colleagues in the media and the MDC-T to revisit the history books of Zimbabwe.
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Going back to the Makokoba story, the PM attacked Mr welshman Ncube over a rumour that he (Mr Ncube) wanted to become President of the other formation of the MDC led by Professor Mutambara.

Mr Tsvangirai is the only politician who can be unnerved by a rumor to a point of organising a rally in Matabeleland and dedicating a significant chunk of his time to chastising another politician, with whom he is in government.

This is the height of political immaturity. One wonders how Mr Tsvangirai would face Mr Ncube or Professor Mutambara in Cabinet, or in the Council of Ministers (which he chairs) over this rumour.

Mr Tsvangirai quipped: "He (Mr Ncube) should have declared that he had political ambitions to become president!" Why should Mr Ncube declare that? To please Mr Tsvangirai?

We all know that Mr Tsvangirai's popularity is waning in Matabeleland over his highly tribalised Cabinet appointments and party reappointments and reassignments.

He has mastered the art of deception and divide-and-rule tactics practiced by his friends in Britain.

It was embarassing to see a prime minister belittling a senior minister in his Cabinet over some media rumour. But, it was more concerning for him to try and divide the people of Matabeleland by suggesting that somehow Ms Thokozani Khupe was a better politician than Mr Ncube or the other politicians like Mrs Tenjiwe Lesabe and Dr Dumiso Dabengwa in Zapu.

He has done the same by encouraging Deputy Prime Minister Khupe to take over the women's sanitary pads project started by Tabita Khumalo; and get all the glory in the meantime. Khumalo with all her dedication to that party has been rendered ineffectual.

Mr Tsvangirai said: "We have Zapu and the other MDC. I now hear that Ncube, who was beaten by Thokozani Khupe for the MP post, now wants to be president of MDC-M."

This is a ridiculous statement and its connotations are far-reaching.

Mr Tsvangirai himself once lost his Buhera North parliamentary contest to Kenneth Vhundukai Manyonda in June 2000 and has never won any other election, except for an inconclusive one he led in 2008 ahead of President Mugabe and Dr Simba Makoni.

He, however, chickened out of the presidential election runoff, citing some violence which he later admitted (through a Memorandum of Understanding that he signed) to have been perpetrated by his own party as well.

Ironically, Mr Welshman Ncube was elected as a member of the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe for Bulawayo North East in that same 2000 election and served in the House of Assembly until 2008. He has schooled many lawyers in the country, some of whom represent him and worked hard for him to be prime minister during the inter-party negotiations. Mr Tsvangirai himself was busy globetrotting, inviting sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Politicians win and lose elections. That is what politics is all about, giving people the right to choose, serving them not deceiving them and hoodwinking them. Not thinking about them when elections are around the corner.

Trying to talk down Zapu is tantamount to suicide. Zanu and Zapu freed Zimbabwe and they are legitimate partners in Zanu PF. Both MDCs can never match these two liberation parties.

The likes of Dr Dabengwa and Mrs Lesabe and others who have decided to regroup under the banner of Zapu are freedom fighters and Mr Tsvangirai will never equate their contribution. They freed their people, not brought them sanctions. They freed their people, not lied to them that they will provide for them.

Mr Tsvangirai's rhetoric about Matabeleland devolution is hot air, signifying nothing. It is just like his meaningless rhetoric about "a party of excellence" that does nothing for the people.

His party has no solid history in Zimbabwe and, as it came with the wind, so shall it go with the wind. How does he propose to devolve power to a region without getting the fundamentals rights. Where is the financial and physical infrastructure. There is no solid business going on, nor industry, nor agriculture.

Mr Tsvangirai, before he talks of devolution, should see that Bulawayo gets some badly needed investment and he should rebuke Mr Tendai Biti, his Finance Minister, for snubbing the region in his current budge, grandstand about devolution.

He should emulate the likes of Professor Jonathan Moyo, who have done a lot for the people of Matabeleland. He did sterling work in Tsholotsho. There is a true representative of the people and that is why he was the only candidate to win as an independent.

Mr Tsvangirai always comes to Matabeleland at the time of elections. This time the people of Makokoba and the whole of Matabeleland will not be hoodwinked.

Mr Tsvangirai's Cabinet composition is testament that Ndebeles are needed in the MDC-T for window dressing. Ndebele's have token positions and perform ceremonial duties (vhara muromo chete). Mr Tsvangirai should learn a few lessons from President Mugabe about regional balance in Cabinet, not this mindless game of deception that he is playing with the people of Matabeleland.

In any case, why does Mr Tsvangirai not let us know who will run as MDC-T leader when his term expires? This is the crux of the matter, not the meaningless stories about devolution and Mr Welshman Ncube's leadership ambitions -- stories that do not change the material well-being of the people in Makokoba.

*Sihle Dube is a lawyer and banker. She writes from the United Kingdom and can be reached via sihledube ***

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