Mugabe, Tsvangirai fed up with their own government
by Tanonoka Joseph Whande
We in Zimbabwe are almost illegitimate now; both our leaders do not want to rule us. Both do not want the government they formed together about three years ago.
I am not surprised though that both President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are fed up with the unity government.
It was never a unity government; it never united anyone. It was only an interlude to buy time for the antagonists who wanted more space and time to entrench themselves.
Since its controversial formation, both men have taken turns of threatening to quit the unity government.
They both spent a lot of time bickering, accusing and counter accusing each other.
During Workers’ Day celebrations, Tsvangirai said that he is fed up with the unity government, conceding it has failed and should be collapsed.
I am appalled that it has taken Tsvangirai so long to realise the sad reality.
Since the formation of this government, Tsvangirai never had power or authority and functions only within a sphere allowed him by ZANU-PF.
“Mugabe told me that this inclusive government is not working. He is no longer interested in it,” said Tsvangirai. “I am also not interested in it.”
Aaah! Now I understand; Mugabe had to say it first so Tsvangirai can repeat it.
My Prime Minister reminds me of an old His Master’s Voice gramophone we used to have. Its logo had a little dog sitting in front of the gramophone speaker with its head tilted to the side as it painfully tried to discern whether or not the voice coming out of the strange box was indeed his master’s.
In one of many utterances over the same subject, Tsvangirai, in May 2010, expressed amazement at Mugabe’s behaviour.
“Being in government with a partner who does not respect the very agreement which they signed up to as a basis for that partnership is a challenge, to put it mildly,” he said then, adding that the political relationship was “a painful experience but a strategic necessity that will enable us to reach our destination albeit uncomfortably”.
Well, they failed to reach any destinations, years after subjecting the nation to counterproductive squabbling.
I have always said that Tsvangirai and his MDC have patience to spare, patience that borders on cowardice.
Like every Zimbabwean, I was once overwhelmed by an over abundance of optimism and expectation. I was a hopeful man. Not anymore.
“We have a unique coalition of opposing ideologies and this has resulted in this government dismally failing in its major responsibilities of creating jobs,” said Tsvangirai last week.
I mean, did he not know this all along? Just when did he find out? Most importantly, when are they going to act on it?
There is now talk of elections and the MDC is now trying to distance itself from the honey pot they have been ravaging all these years.
There are still many unfulfilled issues that this unity government should have implemented but Mugabe simply refused to budge. They have been negotiating since the 14th of May 2007 and the MDC is only now getting fed up.
How untrue can this be? We were had; the MDC is playing with people. And these are the people Botswana President Ian Khama stuck his neck out for?
But the point is that Tsvangirai and his MDC have always been aware of the fact that Mugabe was never going to shift. It appears as if all the MDC wanted was to get as close to the honey pot as possible; close to the corridors of power.
Now the MDC has seen a record number of its officials and MPs getting implicated in shady and corrupt shenanigans, once a preserve of ZANU-PF.
“The big problem that we have is that while we are busy trying to create jobs, we have some people who think that let us share that small cake,” said Tsvangirai. “We believe in policies that enable us to enlarge the cake and then share it with many people.”
The MDC has been sitting at the high table for years, eating and drinking without any care about the issues that brought them votes.
But now because elections are looming, they talk about sharing with us; they want to enlarge the cake so that all of us may have a piece.
Talk is cheap!
They are taking us for morons, just like ZANU-PF has been doing for decades.
Having been denied power, with their officials and supporters continuing to be arrested willy-nilly, and with hardly any part of the GPA being respected, the MDC is once again submitting itself as a willing tool of Mugabe and ZANU-PF.
They can’t stand up to Mugabe at all.
What really is the MDC’s position about the now suspiciously produced draft constitution? Apart from populist talk and press releases, what is the MDC doing about it?
“My point is that only a legitimate government born out of a free and fair election can address the concerns of the workers and the millions of unemployed Zimbabweans looking for a visionary leadership that will steer this country forward,” he said.
I do not know about the visionary leadership part but a new constitution is not only required but must be respected before such elections are held.
People no longer have the kind of dangerous patience that the MDC and South African President Jacob Zuma continue to espouse.
Now that they have come to their senses and realised what we have been telling them all along, the MDC has to plan carefully and not rush into elections as a solution because elections without all things in place will yield the same stalemate as we have now.
We do not want another unity government and we certainly do not want the MDC to, again, go for ten years without realising they are on the wrong road.
They messed up things and are now mired in poisonous mud. They will not find solutions within this fiasco of a fake unity government or sham elections.
The MDC must be aware that elections in Africa, once held, those with power will rule, whether or not the elections have been deemed free and fair.
So the MDC better not fall into that trap.
It might also help the MDC if they go back to the people for advice which they should not only seek but take seriously.
The people have shown enough patience even as they watched their fellow citizens fall to ZANU-PF thugs.
The MDC should stop taking advantage of people and do things right for once.
Enough is enough.