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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Morgan Tsvangirai, Welshman Ncube - do you guys have guts
    Rejoice Ngwenya
    June 17, 2013

    Conjecture has it that President Robert Mugabe was ‘humiliated’ by Southern Africa Development Community [SADC] leaders for unilaterally and defiantly proclaiming 31 July 2013 as Zimbabwe’s election date. Progressive democrats concur that the proclamation was in bad political taste. Mugabe treats coalition partners Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube with contempt. As far as he is concerned, Mr. Ncube and Mr. Tsvangirai are ball boys at the sidelines of a big political game. In his warped political philosophy, if all three were cattle herders, Mugabe would be reading his book under a cool shed while the two take turns to keep famished bulls from the lush maize fields.

    If all three were household furniture, Mugabe would be the 65-inch LED flat screen TV while Ncube and Tsvangirai are bathroom mats. If the three were parts of an expensive four-wheel drive, he would be the engine while the other two are mere excaliburs on either side of the truck. At the university, Mugabe would be the dean as Tsvangirai and Ncube labour in their first year. Mere political holograms. Despised like discarded hypodermic needles!

    Tsvangirai and Ncube might have ‘tag teamed’ successfully in Maputo to neutralise Mugabe’s shenanigans, but I still insist Tsvangirai is to blame, the big talker who packs a soft punch. For four years, he has connived and conspired with Mugabe to exclude Ncube from the erstwhile club of SADC approved principals. Now that Mugabe has drifted off orbit, Tsvangirai is groping in the labyrinth for quality company. Had Ncube taken his rightful place at the high table, Mugabe would have long succumbed. Some argue Ncube should have bared his political fangs more menacingly in those four years to paralyse Mugabe’s ego.

    Yet Maputo has given the two a chance to redeem themselves. Nelson Chamisa habitually brags about MDC-T being a ‘party of excellence’. You would think at the snap of a finger, one million Tsvangirayi supporters can flood Africa Unity Square to impose their political rights. Chamisa’s nauseating claim that MDC-T is the ‘biggest party in Southern Africa’ sounds hollow when Mugabe runs rings around his boss Tsvangirai. What is size without influence?

    Assuming the Constitutional Court ‘refuses’ to revoke the 31 July proclamation, Tsvangirai and Ncube ought to brew big trouble for Mugabe. But because he controls the army, police, rural chiefs, the public media and diamonds, the judiciary, registration of voters and the election commission, Mugabe might fancy his chances. An election under current conditions gives him a head start. This is why, even by conservative SADC standards; it would be a tragedy of untold proportions if the 31 July date was allowed to stand. Mugabe must never be allowed to ‘win’ any more elections, even if the election is free and fair. A Mugabe victory is a life-sapping latter day Pompeii!

    For Tsvangirai, press conferences and boarding passes count for nothing in the war against Zanu-PF Machiavellian unilateralism. Public posturing and rhetoric have no rewards. It is bodies that win electoral wars, lots of them, running battles against tear gas canisters, water cannons and rubber bullets in public squares. If indeed Tsvangirai leads ‘the biggest party in Southern Africa’, let’s see him prove to Ncube, and indeed the rest of the world that he is the Big Brother who can take the first blow. If he cannot get one million activists into Africa Unity Square to demand electoral reforms - he is more butterfly than bee.

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