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Tsvangirai not at centre of national crisis: Luke Tamborinyoka

By Luke Tamborinyoka

It bordered on both the hilarious and the tragic to have an intellectual like one, Takura Zhangazha, condemning Morgan Tsvangirai and his whole generation for the problems bedevilling the country. (Tsvangirai’s Generation has Failed Us (Nothing Personal)

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’ spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka (right)
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’ spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka (right)

Zhangazha’s article titled Tsvangirai’s generation has failed us, starts with a wrong diagnosis of the wrong problem which ultimately leads to a wrong prescription. Zhangazha posits that Tsvangirai and his generation are neo-liberals given to mimicry.

He said Tsvangirai sought global and international recognition and that he has never sought anything national beyond a personality-based campaign about Robert Mugabe and his age.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Tsvangirai and the MDC have given the people of this country hope and their delivery is there for all to see.

That Zimbabweans experienced respite in the five years of the MDC’s participation in government and that after July 31, we are almost back to the crisis of 2008 showed the practical difference in people’s lives that the MDC-T leader and his team made to the people of this country.

Even though Mugabe’s age is an election issue, the MDC had a comprehensive policy programme as encapsulated in the Agenda for Real Transformation (ART).

Tsvangirai showed in the last election that he had a programme, he had policies and he knew what needed to be done to turn around the economy of this country.

Zhangazha implies that Tsvangirai has refused to pass on the baton. The platform for Tsvangirai to do so is called a congress in which anyone is free to throw in their name in the hat. The former trade unionist has made it clear that he will not die in office.

He has not gagged anyone in his party who has felt that that they are interested in his position.

He has publicly said that ambition is not criminal in the MDC.

He has shown that his is a different generation that does things differently from those who make it criminal for anyone to aspire to hold high office.

In fact, the people have shown an inclination of wanting to die in office include those in the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) who refused to hand over power and instead undemocratically transformed a civic institution into a political party in which the same characters are still leaders.

Now that is a dangerous generation  which thinks, as Zhangazha puts it, that personalities are more important than the cause.

Zhangazha refuses to put his cards in the open that he is a member of Lovemore Madhuku’s NCA, a civic movement which was railroaded into becoming a political party without consulting its founding members and institutions.

Tsvangirai, the NCA’s founding chairperson, was not even consulted when those who had stuck to its leadership for more than a decade transformed it into a political party with the same characters as its leaders.

In democracy, there is nothing wrong in criticising people, but it is wrong to be so contemptuous and vitriolic against Tsvangirai at the expense of the real authors of our national problems.

Surely, Tsvangirai is not at the core of the national crisis, but is part of the solution and not the problem.

It becomes worrying when more energy is spent on denigrating him at the expense of those who have sent this economy to its knees.
And there is nothing wrong in identifying Mugabe’s age as one of the election issues.

We all love our old relatives and our grandparents.

But surely, there is something very wrong about having a 90-year-old president in this brave 21st century of Facebook and Twitter.

Mugabe is definitely an analogue president in the digital age.

Zhangazha and the political institution to which he belongs must stop attacking others, but should instead give us their programme. They must tell us how they hope to right things in this country instead of attacking Tsvangirai as if he is the single human impediment to peace and development in Zimbabwe.

Lastly, the great lesson from Nelson Mandela, that great son of Africa we buried last year, is that tenacity pays and that naysayers should be put to shame.

By 1990, he had spent so many years in the struggle that the Zhangazhas of his time could have said his generation had failed. But in 1994,  democracy came to South Africa. It is too early to condemn anyone or any generation.

Let’s stick it out in the trenches and swear that we will fight, even with the last drop of our blood, until we achieve positive change in the country of our birth.

So Tsvangirai will not overstay his welcome, but he is still a relevant player in this struggle for real change and positive transformation in our country. He still has the fire in his belly and he currently remains our best forward as a country and as a generation.

Luke Tamborinyoka is the official spokesperson to MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai. He writes in his personal capacity.

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