Why can’t Tsvangirai take a bed rest?


I have been wondering what it must have been like living in Cuba under Fidel Castro? Forty-nine years under one leader! Was the life in Cuba centred around Castro like life in Zimbabwe is centred around Robert Mugabe who is still some 15 years short of reaching Castro’s record?

Mugabe cannot get ill, even at 90. Now Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai cannot get ill either. He is fit and fine, we are told, when he has personally said on his facebook page that he is ill.

Tsvangirai is dying, one headline said. Even if you hate the person, is this ethically right? Another report ventured that he had a terminal illness. Surely, could this be justified by missing just two rallies, a week apart? God he is 62. Can’t he take a bed rest in peace!

This would be the logical thing to say, but Tsvangirai, has once again made a big blunder. And I blame it all on him. It has been said time and time again that Tsvangirai is bad at choosing people that surround him.

I totally agree this time. Why did Nelson Chamisa schedule a rally when he knew that Tsvangirai was not well? I blame him as the organising secretary. I will not apportion Luke Tamborinyoka the same blameworthiness but he too is to blame.

I can only think of two reasons. One was that they hoped that the police would ban the rally, so Tsvangirai would not need to show up. That nearly happened but the police changed their mind. Maybe, they had intelligence that Tsvangirai was not well and took advantage to expose this.

The other reason is that the two young men wanted to embarrass Tsvangirai by showing his supporters that come October, don’t vote for Tsvangirai to remain party president. He is sick and won’t last until 2018?

Why else did they allow the rally to go ahead? They could have used the initial refusal by the police to cancel it. Surely, the doctor did not tell Tsvangirai that he was not fit to address a rally on Sunday morning or afternoon!

We can only speculate because the whole issue does not make sense. However, it demonstrates how much we have made Mugabe and Tsvangirai, the Big Men in Zimbabwean politics. ZANU-PF, so we are often told, cannot do without Mugabe. There will be chaos if the old man dies before anointing a successor. No one is asking who anointed Mugabe to become leader if leaders have to anoint their successors.

The MDC is dead without Tsvangirai. He must remain at the helm of the party even if he does something unconstitutional. He should not step down because he has the following.

What a load of crap. Is Zimbabwe or ZANU-PF going to die when Mugabe goes? What gives people that impression when some have even written that Zimbabwe is on auto-pilot? Has it ever dawned to the people that Mugabe hardly spends a full month in the country. Who runs the country while he is away? Why can’t that person run the country when he goes?

People do not want to answer these simple questions. The sad thing though is that, we are spending too much time worrying about personalities- about politics which does not bring food to the table, unless you are paid for it- instead of concentrating on bread and butter issues. How we can get our country going?

It’s the people that matter not the leaders? We can turn our economy around. Let us not make our leaders think they are indispensable. They will think they are. Just look at Italy. It has had 64 governments led by 27 people in the past 68 years. But it remains one of the leading countries in Europe.


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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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