Opportunities for greatness come only once. Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai missed his opportunity in 2008 when he won the elections but ran away to Botswana, United States-based Zimbabwean political commentator Ken Mufuka says.
In his Letter from America published by NewZimbabwe.Com, Mufuka says it is now the end of the road for Tsvangirai. His former Secretary General Tendai Biti “may tarry for a while, but he too has come to the end of his road”.
Last week, the media published results of a survey conducted by the Mass Public Opinion Institute which showed that President Robert Mugabe’s popularity had surged.
The MDC-T has disputed the poll and insists it is still the most popular party in the country but some of its supporters are saying that the party must take note of the survey’s results.
The party, which won one more seat in the 2008 parliamentary elections than ZANU-PF, lost more than half of the seats in the 2013 elections but has attributed its loss to rigging.
While accepting that ZANU-PF might have cheated, Mufuka says: “The first rule of politics is that there are no rules. Cheating is permissible to the extent that the cheater must not be reckless as to endanger the prize, which is power. For this reason, all politicians employ surrogates, who cheat for them.
“President Ronald Reagan employed William Casey who carried a bag full of money and smoothed Reagan’s way with cash as they went along. Casey was appointed director of the Central Intelligence Agency in 1982, thus scaring all those who wanted to see him in a jailhouse.
“The presidential election of 2001 went to George Bush as a result of cheating in Florida. His brother Jebb was governor. Sixty thousand black votes unfavourable to Bush were deemed unreadable. The Supreme Court, largely appointed by Bush’s father, however, allowed 500 favourable votes in his favour. That action alone changed the history of the United States…….
“The point I am making here is that we know that ZANU-PF was liable to cheat, and we can document that. But it is still the responsibility of the opposition to win the election, and to make sure that cheating is nipped in the bud. In the case of the MDC-T, the opposition was caught napping, a situation which was exacerbated by the gullibility of the leadership in the MDC-T.”
Mufuka says during the inclusive government which Mugabe was forced to enter into with the opposition in 2009, the ZANU-PF leader won the affection of Tsvangirai and Biti who showered praise on him forgetting that while President Mugabe may appear sincere and affectionate in his dealings with opposition parties, his only aim is their total destruction.
“The MDC-T and Brother Tsvangirai gave it all they could. There is a law of nature that says opportunities for greatness come only once. He missed his opportunity in 2008 when ZANU- PF clearly lost the election and he ran away to Botswana. In the meantime, ZANU-PF learned its lesson and took all measures necessary, by any means necessary to win the election. The fact that there is subdued silence is immaterial. But as Bush intimated to his adversaries, a win is a win, by whatever means. For Tsvangirai it is the end of the road. Biti may tarry for a while, but he too has come to the end of his road.
“The support which the MDC-T received from the imperialist powers has also come to an end. I wrote to my friends in the MDC-T before the election that the US and the European Union (EU) are ready to make peace with President Mugabe. For the West, this too is the end of their love for the MDC-T. The fatal error does not belong to Tsvangirai alone. We all trusted that outsiders, the US, the EU and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa would fight our battles.”