Tsvangirai has a bigger fight than just Gono


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Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has told the nation that there are now only two sticking points within the global political agreement, the appointments of Gideon Gono as central bank governor and Johannes Tomana as attorney-general.

But there seems to be double talk because he told the party annual conference at the weekend that despite these problems, his party would not pull out of the inclusive government. He is already on his way to Europe and the United States to sell the inclusive government.

One political analyst said that Tsvangirai had put himself in a corner probably due to pressure from his colleagues who want to be in government but at the same time want to please their former benefactors who still insist that they are not going help the party as long as Gono and President Robert Mugabe remain in government.

This has put the party in a fix because they made Gono and Tomana’s appointments a public issue without clearly looking at whether it is practical or not to make it a do-or-die issue. They made it a fundamental issue but at the same time they are not prepared to leave the inclusive government.

“You can’t build a nation when you are permanently arming people with political arguments,” the analyst argued. “Some people seem to think that the more quarrels they pick and the more crude their language is, the more political capital they are making. It doesn’t work like that.

“People are interested in bread and butter issues. Their basic concerns are how to raise school fees for their children and how to pay water and electricity bills. That’s what people are interested in. They are not worried about who is minister of what or governor of what as long as they have food on their table.”

This might sound a shallow argument but most people, especially the youths were not interested in politics until they realised they no longer had any food or schools. That was when they woke up.

While the MDC and ZANU-PF are squabbling over Gono, with ZANU-PF and the mainline media suffering from what appears to be a “Gonomania” in which everyone, including chickens, is now behind the central bank governor, whispers say Tsvangirai might have a bigger fight in his backyard.

The party’s Bulawayo province is reported to be riddled with faction fighting. The party, helped by a submissive media that believes that the MDC can do no wrong- the very recipe that led ZANU-PF to its demise- even suspended provincial chairperson Gladys Sibanda, who is popularly known as MaMloyi.

Tsvangirai reinstated her but she is still facing strong resistance from the local leadership which seems to have the backing of Tsvangirai’s deputy Thokozani Khupe.

The rebels have no respect for the party president. Whispers say when they went to attend Susan’s funeral, they looked looted beef, mealie meal and drinks. Though some were caught, the incident was swept under the carpet.

At the weekend, a number of prostitutes are reported to have travelled to the capital masquerading as genuine conference candidates- with the help of the rebel leaders from Bulawayo province. They booked themselves into an upmarket hotel and went on sexual orgies that left Harare delegates dumbfounded.

To make matters worse they stole hotel bed sheets and towels on the way back.

These might appear petty issues but it could explode and embarrass Tsvangirai who has vowed to deal with corruption starting from within his own party ranks. Squabbles in Bulawayo destroyed ZANU-PF. If Tsvangirai does not act decisively he could lose the second city to ZAPU which was revived recently.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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