Tsvangirai Home and Dry


By Itai Dzamara

I am convinced that the push to oust MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has flopped, rather, has created a positive effect for him and his allies.
Tsvangirai is home and dry while at the same time the troubled Biti-Mangoma group plunges deeper into uncertainty as well as stares troubled times ahead.
Beyond the MDC, the spotlight gradually starts shifting towards the national crisis and l believe there are looming political developments linked to national politics and leadership issues.
The MDC leadership saga has rushiedly reached the climax and seen Tsvangirai easily prevail largely because of two factors.
First and crucially, the Biti-Mangoma camp devastatingly botched the plot at their huge peril. They gave victory to their rivals on a silver platter, through clumsy, overzealous and even barbaric gimmicks and antics.
I have maintained from the beginning that probably the worst and most stupid political strategy has been Elton Mangoma’s hullabaloo of writing provocative and overzealous letters for which a media and publicity blitz is mounted with reckless abandon.
Mangoma has made a fool of himself, no lesser than Tendai Biti, who is now widely being regarded as the godfather behind the farcical plot.
Biti has dramatically reduced his high rating in the public domain after finally emerging in the open to confirm being the chief clown of the circus.
I have been on the record about my admiration of Biti as a leader, which, apparently has now turned into huge disappointment. Biti has foolishly convinced many Zimbabweans that he is, as alleged in some MDC circles, hired to destroy the MDC or to unconstitutionally remove Tsvangirai on behalf of some external force(s).
Biti just needed a few weeks and a couple of strokes of madness to destroy his bright star and effectively bury his camp – just what on earth he was up to, waffling pro-Zanu PF nonsense about last year’s rigged elections, only God knows for now.
It still remains highly possible that the foolish antics of Biti and Mangoma have been caused by a massive push and pressure from some external force – which is one of the stories to be told one day.
Whatever the case, the Biti-Mangoma camp conspired to hand an easy victory to Tsvangirai.
Secondly, the victory was easy for Tsvangirai because, also crucially, he retains the key support of the grassroots and structures in the MDC. That advantage was further strengthened by the apparent and foolish inability or reluctance by the other group to make inroads into the support base.
From my assessment, the Biti-Mangoma group has very negligible support and backing within the party structures and membership. The camp’s obsession with making noise and whiping media sentiment has not helped the situation.
For that reason, l have no doubt that the little and few that will make it to the party’s congress from the Biti-Mangoma camp will be like sheep to the slaughter. Indeed, the games are on and the elimination of this group shall be unfolding gradually up to congress.
Do l hear some lamentations and pleas against that? Nonsense! That is the game of politics, and which the Biti-Mangoma camp attempted to play only to sink itself through a stupid litany of gimmicks and stunts.
Now, l am still wondering whether this is pure coincidence or it is political strategy on the part of Tsvangirai, but whatever it is, the sudden surge in the numbers of former MDC members returning to Harvest House nails the Biti-Mangoma group, the same way it sends a message about the national political dynamics.
I find some trying to trivialise the episode or aspect of returning ‘rebels’ but that is the stuff political scoops or coups are made of.
Most importantly, this aspect symbolically sends a message to Biti and company that they may as well forget about moving out of MDC to form another party. I am reliably informed that several more are on the brink of rejoining the MDC.
This effectively puts paid to any realistic chances of a real split, although it remains a possibility that the Biti-Mangoma group may eventually be forced by its handlers or external forces to stage one – inevitably which would be a farce and non-event.
All these developments, dynamics and circumstances underline the fact that the MDC, under the leadership of Tsvangirai, remains the only substantive opposition to Zanu PF’s anonymous government. That is a very critical reality, yet which thrusts the MDC and its leader right into the thick of the national crisis.
Even to the reluctant admission of the Zanu PF regime, the nation is simply hurtling from one hole to another in a deepening crisis of legitimacy, governance and lack of economic direction.
The Mugabe administration is basically off the rails and long reached the tipping point.
The regime, just like the helpless nation, is waiting and limping towards the day it fails to breathe and will be forced to cry for rescue.
I believe, unfortunately for the nation, the regime will be on the table with thd MDC again, before end of this year. That lays the emphasis on the significance of the MDC leadership battles and now obvious outcomes.
The nation is desperate for leadership and everyone is clear now that Robert Mugabe is waiting to die and close the last page of his destroyed legacy. That puts Tsvangirai and the MDC under obligation to stand up and provide an alternative.


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