By Sibanengi Dube
Zimbabweans are not concerned with what MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai does in his bedroom and in my opinion recent revelations of his exaggerated bed-hopping antics were a bit below the belt, if you may pardon the pun. What do I mean by that?
Media outlets only entertained people with juicy and gossipy disclosures but did not add any value to the consumers of information. I wonder if people would make use of such revelations of Tsvangirai’s personal life.
Two women attempted to stop Tsvangirai’s marriage, so what? Even if 10 had made such claims, would that justify shifting the nation’s attention from real issues of bread and butter plus good governance?
If Tsvangirai could continue to seek the return of democratic sanity to Zimbabwe, people won’t give a hoot about what he pre-occupies himself with during his leisure time.
What attracts the masses of Zimbabwe to Tsvangirai is the political capital which he invested in redeeming Zimbabweans from Zanu PF and not the movement of his zip.
Tsvangirai’s love life might have been presented as ‘messy’ in the media but that does not transcend into loss of support. His ego might have been provisionally scratched but to suggest that his political career is now shattered is taking the issue too far.
The fact that there are secret forces at play lays bare the inadequacy of all the criticisms of poor judgements levelled against him. Media comments, side-bars and columns are currently buzzing with opinion pieces penned by venerated journalists painting Tsvangirai as a bed-hopping character.
Direct media attacks disguised as public advice to the Prime Minister were also spewed by heavy-weight media personnel. Others with easy access to the Prime Minister who should have given him advice in privacy elected to ride on the crest of the ‘playboy’ wave in order to take pot-shots at the man of the moment.
Some even went to the extent of suggesting medical assistance to curb the Prime Minister’s imaginary ravenous sexual appetite. What load of rubbish is this? This is clear nonsense of the first grade.
Others declared doom on his election bid next year, to contest against Robert Mugabe who he easily trounced in the previous elections. Political vultures within MDC are already vomiting demands of leadership change.
Some even came up with catchy phrases to ridicule his personality and the offices which he occupies in both government and MDC. “Open zip and shut mind policy” phrase came to life, courtesy of Jona’s creative mind to twaddle his nemesis. Will this resuscitate Zanu PF’s dwindling political enterprise?
The honest answer is no.
What these prophets of doom are failing to realise is that voters do not have the luxury of morality contests. Who is morally up to date anyway? Robert Mugabe? Simon Khaya Moyo? Maybe Emmerson Mnangangwa, if not John Nkomo? Or no, I mean Zanu PF’s Ignatius Chombo.
Look, voters are not excited by imaginative minds and tricks whose naked sole objective is to rubbish their point-man. Tsvangirai’s brand is incapable of being damaged by anything that has any semblance or link to Jonathan Moyo, Zanu PF, The Herald, CIO, ZRP or Robert Mugabe.
Any reputation damaging stance that Tsvangirai takes or adopts will always be viewed as Zanu PF attempts to tarnish him. Voters will always say vatanga vanhu veZanu kurwisa Tsvangirai nekuti ma-elections ava pedo.
The biggest protector of Tsvangirai’s reputation is Zanu PF. The more they try to harass him, the more they get exposed and in the process even if his own personal weaknesses get concealed.
It’s now Politics Made Easy for him. Zanu PF’s clear obsession with Tsvangirai will produce reverse results. This will serve to consolidate his sympathy from everyone and as a confirmation that Mugabe is scared of him.
Anyone writing Tsvangirai off because of recent juicy revelations is day dreaming. One doesn’t need a PHD in political science to see this. The Zimbabwe electorate will prefer Tsvangirai ahead of Mugabe even if ZBC splashes his video footages hopping from one brothel to another.
There is no debate about that. It is easier to point a finger at Tsvangirai but very few bachelors like him (until recently) have less than two girl-friends. How many married men, including Priests, Pastors and Presidents are involved in extra-marital affairs?
This is not to justify whatever he is alleged to have done, but let’s face it: come on, he is just a man like us. The only difference is that he is more politically appealing than most of us which elevates him to a higher status, but is still a mere mortal human being.
Of course women run after him because he is attractive, both financially and politically. This is not to condone whatever he is accused of. As a public figure Tsvangirai must be careful, but let the holier than thou be the first to cast a stone at Tsvangirai. How many women tried to stop his marriage? Only two.
A-ah! This is not outside the ordinary.
After-all women rarely bring down a good politician. Even a rape charge will not daunt Tsvangirai from ascending the throne because his intimacy with the electorate is far much stronger than the impact of these honey-trap trials.
SA President Jacob Zuma had a rape charge around his neck, but managed to walk into Pretoria’s Mahlahlandela building the year that followed. Corruption charges were thrown at him left, right and centre but that never withstood the people’s determination to anoint him their president.
Nelson Mandela was condemned to life imprisonment and went down for 27 years as a terrorist but bounced back to lead his people into democracy in the 1990s. Mandela’s love life was never in order either.
He has many children from more than three different women, but South Africans still chose him to be their leader. This western style morality contest of leaders is just a misnomer.
It failed to remove Bill Clinton from the White House after the Monica Lewinsky scandal surfaced. So all this nonsense of Locardia Karimatsenga and Nosipho Regina Shilubane will amount to zilch as the man of the people maintains his march to State House.
Zvose zviri kuitirwa mhiririzhonga hazvina basa zvose izvo.
Sibanengi Dube is a former Information and Publicity Secretary for the MDC-T in South Africa.