Saturday, March 09, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) Tsvangirai under fire for 'main actor' comment

Tsvangirai under fire for 'main actor' comment
Main actor ... Morgan Tsvangirai and his late wife Susan, who died tragically in a car crash
08/03/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

MORGAN Tsvangirai faced a backlash on Friday, a day after appearing to suggest it was better his wife died in a car accident in 2009 and he survived – because he is the “main actor”.

The Prime Minister spoke at a memorial service for his late wife, Susan, at which he said he had “recovered from the shock” of the March 6, 2009, car accident which killed the mother of six of his children.

The MDC-T leader – famous for putting his foot in it at formal events when breaking from the prepared script – then said something which has shocked even his supporters.

“Ask yourself, had it been me who died and she had survived, what would have happened?,” Tsvangirai was quoted as saying by the NewsDay.
“One of the fundamental things is that the main actor doesn’t die if the film is still on.”

Veteran journalist and feminist Grace Mutandwa, reacting on Facebook, said: “After reading that, I just thought WOW! Is he suggesting that Susan was a ‘bit’ actress so it was okay because the main actor was still there, the show would go on?

“He really needs real advisers not just hangers-on who tell him what he wants to hear. Currying favour got us to where we are now – stuck in IMPUNITY SQUARE.”

Media commentator Innocent Chofamba Sithole said: “What a thing to say! Even if you translate it to Shona, it still remains a clumsy and troubling statement.

“Why couldn't he say, simply, that he's humbled by the fact that he survived the accident, which left him in a fit state to continue the struggle that he began with his late wife at his side; that he knows she would have wanted nothing more than for him to carry on serving the people and providing hope to them? Isn't that a more humane and sensible thing to say?”

Commenting on Facebook, Herbert Chikosi said: “If he was my father I was going disown him. The speech or joke was off the rail and very insensitive towards his wife and kids. The way I miss my mum, hearing such...!”

Zanu PF supporter and academic George Shire also weighed in, describing Tsvangirai’s comments as “in bad taste, disrespectful and unkind to all who knew her”.

He added: “In the first edition of the film “Mr & Mrs Tswangirai”, Morgan tells us he was the lead character. So much for what was meant to be a partnership of equals! Maybe it gives us a hint of what he thinks about women.”

Precious Shumba, spokesman for the Harare Residents Association, quipped: "So the PM thinks it was better that his wife died because she was not the main actor. He has moved on I guess. My mother died when I was five, and I can't imagine hearing my father saying this before family and friends. It was highly insensitive of him... maybe he is under immense pressure to be humorous."

There were pockets of support for Tsvangirai, who married Elizabeth Macheka in September last year.

Cardwell Nyaungwa, writing on Facebook, said: “This is a warrior statement and one not for the sissies. It’s truth. Mai Tsvangirai could not stand [Robert] Mugabe as is happening [with Tsvangirai], she was a great pillar of support to the man of the hour!”

Clemence Manyukwe, the political editor of the weekly Financial Gazette said Tsvangirai presented a nightmare for his handlers by not paying much attention to what he says.

And Manyukwe says it’s unlikely to be the last time.

“He is an open zip and shut mind main actor. Talk about putting one’s foot in one’s mouth. The man is legendary,” he said.


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