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Father figures and lame duck leaders

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“It’s like a father, when the father is away, children always ask, ‘Where is the father,’ but father may make an assessment that it is not opportune at that particular time to do certain things,” he said.

A father’s place is at home President Tsvangirai and so is a leader’s. Morgan Tsvangirai is quoted as having said the above by a Canadian newspaper. There was a time when Nelson Mandela was in Algeria on his way to London in the early years of the struggle. He had one more trip to do to London and his colleagues and friends, worried at what would happen to him were he to return to South Africa, urged him to ask for asylum in Britain. His response was typical Mandela arguing, that a leader’s place is with his people.

President Tsvangirai, the people who worked, campaigned and risked life and limb for you to make it to State House are being hunted down and swatted like mosquitoes. Their blood is staining the walls of Great Zimbabwe. The leadership of the MDC is nowhere in sight. One of the values of a social democratic society is solidarity with the poor and oppressed. This is an opportune time to demonstrate the courage that has won you much deserved respect the world over and that led the masses to vote for you. Do not let them down now when they need their leader.

The attempted analogy with the father is most unfortunate because many a father would not abandon their children to such a fate. Come home and stand with us as we continue to stand with you. As we did on March 11 and as we will continue to do . . . if you show the leadership and courage of Nelson Mandela. This is not the time to be shuttling the region, it is a time to be shutting Zimbabwe down. In fact, if you get arrested as you fear, such action will achieve larger results for you than the current shuttle diplomacy in some capital cities that are hostile to you.

2 comments to “Father figures and lame duck leaders”

  1. Comment by scotchcart:

    James I have been quite impressed by the impact Morgan Tsvangirai has had on the region. He has been everywhere. The tide of international opinion is turning. The world leaders must meet Morgan Tsvangarai as President-Elect. In that way the conversation shifts and we have a chance of getting proper transistional talks.

    I know that people outside may have more information than people inside. People inside can help by spreading positive information. Who is doing what? Where can you help each other within your means? A smile and a hug maybe all you can spare but it goes a long way.

    Keep safe my friend.

  2. Comment by Mashumba:

    This posting has reminded me of what the late Vice President, Joshua Nkomo said when he was in exile in the UK following threats from the same government. To hear what he said please access the video on the link below featuring his interview with one of the international news agencies.

    It is important for President Tsvangirai to be in Zimbabwe and to be part of the suffering being experienced by many ordinary Zimbabweans. However, sometimes as the late Dr Nkomo noted, it’s not a choice when your life seems to be under threat. Images from last year when Tsvangirai and most of the key staff within the MDC were bashed by the security forces which claim to protect law and order, are still vivid in my mind. The authoritarian regime is using both the ideological and coercive state machinery to maintain its dying grip on power.

    We all want to be at home and contribute to the democratic making process whether as “a leader or as a citizen.”