It’s just the way the cookie crumbles


FOR more than 14 years Morgan Tsvangirai was the darling of the West, who sponsored and pampered him as their right man to effect regime change in Zimbabwe.
The beating of Elton Mangoma and Tendai Biti and the violence rocking the MDC-T party could not have come at a worse time for the European Union (EU) as it happened a few days before the bloc met to review their sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Innocent Zimbabweans suffered as a result of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe for alleged human rights abuses, including violence.
For 14 years, Tsvangirai was portrayed in the Western media as a peaceful man, and twice they nominated him for the once prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 and 2010.
Others likened him to Mandela.
While Tsvangirai campaigned for sanctions because he wanted leadership change in Zimbabwe, he cannot fathom leadership change in his own party and reacts for any calls to step aside with violence.
He had the guts to say his party is democratic after watching his supporters beat up Mangoma.
He said, “This party is a democratic party, but let me tell those who are losing focus of the struggle … don’t take advantage of my good character to champion your agenda; thank God I have a good character, but it must not be abused…”
In Shona we would say the West, “yakapemberera n’anga neyakanobata mai uroyi!”
Most of Tsvangirai’s supporters in the UK feel jilted by a man they once religiously believed in, and now most are calling for him to resign and pass the leadership to another person.
I received calls from people who say it is time Tsvangirai quits politics because he is an oppressor and an embarrassment to democracy.
Some supporters fear further disintegration of the MDC, which seems inevitable.
They say if he refuses to go, they will support an MDC-B (Biti) or MDC Mangoma although a strong coalition of Mangoma and Biti is what they desire. One youth commented that the MDC has given birth to children and now it has grandchildren, (MDC-T, MDC-M, MDC-N, MDC-1999 and soon MDC Mangoma and MDC-B).
It is just the way the cookie crumbles.
These are some of the comments from people who contacted me.
Tino Chinyoka (Leeds): “A young MDC friend posts today that in Chitungwiza ZANU PF youths destroyed houses!
“This is so ‘wag the dog’ it is sad: The news today is about the persecution of Mangoma by a Movement for Democratic Change which is, however, slowly becoming not a movement, but a cult, not democratic, but dictatorial, and not for change, but the preservation of a status quo that has been rejected in no less than four elections.
“The news next week might be about alleged ZANU PF youths allegedly destroying houses, but nhasi, ngativhiyei yokurohwa kwaMangoma mushure mokunge Tsvangirai ati ‘Batai munhu!’.
“Kutsvaka nyaya dzimwe simply tells us that people are happy with Morgan persecuting his political opponents.”
Margaret Dongo (Zimbabwe): “I always believe that violence is not one-sided.
“It’s high time the world knows that the West’s sanctions against Zimbabwe punished the people of Zimbabwe and deprived them of their rights for a decade, which is very unfortunate.
“I believe that violence should be viewed holistically.
“The liberation war was violent, we won our independence through the barrel of the gun, so what do you expect from a nation that got its independence by means of violence?
“The West was expecting too much from Tsvangirai.
“He is not a saint.
“There are two sides to a coin.
“Let us wait and see how they (West) are going to respond to this MDC-T violence.
“Are they going to impose sanctions on him too?”
Portia M (MDC supporter, Wales): “I am very angry nekurohwa kwaMangoma.
“I think Tsvangirai knew that Mangoma was going to be beaten.
“If he was genuine, he could have stopped the violence, but no, he wanted Mangoma to be beaten for daring to challenge his leadership.
“Anoswera achiti Mugabe, Mugabe, yet he is worse than Mugabe wacho.
“The MDC constitution says the party President should serve only two terms, and our party has been there for nearly 20 years tichingova naleader one.
“This is why Welshman Ncube left the Tsvangirai-led MDC.
“Where is the democracy?
“Anongoti ndiye oga anogona kudealer naMugabe.
“We want new leadership.
“Tsvangirai is an oppressor, a dictator!”
Masimba Musodza (Writer based in Middlesbrough): “On the beating of Mangoma, Lord Soames’s words come to mind.
“You must remember this is Africa.
“This isn’t Little Puddleton-on-the-Marsh, and they behave differently here. “They think nothing of sticking poles up each other’s whatnot, and doing filthy, beastly things to each other.
“It does happen, I’m afraid.”
“Tsvangirai’s image was tarnished years ago when he showed that he did not know what to do next after losing the 2002 elections.
“Every development ever since has served to reinforce what became apparent.
“I don’t think his image with the West matters any more.
“In both the US and the UK, there are new governments, with their own areas of foreign policy interests.
“Even if he took over Zimbabwe today, I don’t think they’d be particularly interested.
“Zimbabweans overestimate the level of Western interest in our internal politics.
“Look, if it was anywhere near what we tend to think it was, why didn’t Tony Blair not send troops like they did to a militarily mighty nation like Iraq?
“We need to focus more on how we as Zimbabweans can move away from the culture of violence and leaders that do not accept when they are no longer wanted.”
Another MDC-T activist who refused to be identified said this is the end of the whole MDC as a party, whether it is MDC led by Ncube or Sikhala.
“I think there should just be another credible opposition party, not these MDCs,” he said.
“They have failed us and left us in limbo.
“We thought ZANU PF was bad, but no, I don’t believe that anymore although I would not join ZANU PF.
“If there is another political party I will join it.
“But not zvana Madhuku nanaZimbabweans United for Democracy (ZUNDE) kwete!
“They are all tainted.”


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