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Morgan’s poor choices

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Whoever advises Morgan Tsvangirai must be an academic stuck on definitions and not a strategist grounded in reality. I have consistently argued that Morgan should have contested the run off election. By giving in to his national executive council or advisers and pulling out of the election, he displayed a lack of resolve and leadership and worsened Zimbabwe’s crisis. By his own admission, he wanted to participate but chose consensus over common sense. Even Nelson Mandela, a man renowned for consensus decision making had to enforce his leadership position and negotiate with the apartheid regime on his own during the Pollsmoor years, despite the suspicion and resistance of his long time comrades.

Whether they like it or not, the MDC T’s pulling out of the run off elections, gave Mugabe a legal argument to carry on and be declared victor. The MDC T forgot that they had accepted the results of the parliamentary election which immediately pointed to a government of national unity to more correctly reflect the much touted will of the people. In a hurry to get in to power and bruised from the experience of the court battles from the previous elections, the MDC T enthusiastically endorsed a flawed parliamentary outcome in anticipation of a landslide in the Presidential election. But then, “a week is a long time in politics.” It is my contention that if Morgan had participated in the election, the SADC observers, and the rest of the world would have declared the resultant Mugabe victory null and void because of the conditions on the ground before, during and after the elections. Morgan would have had a stronger hand to negotiate from with the added moral high ground. Morgan did not save any lives by pulling out. He complicated matters for all concerned.

Badly advised both by his colleagues and light weight regional powers, he has put himself between the proverbial rock and a hard place. To compound matters, this hard place has an even harder mediator who is clearly opting for power sharing – something the MDC T agreed to without much strategic thought. Moral high grounds do not win wars as Sadaam Hussein will telegraph you from the grave. The moral battle has long been lost and the people who lost their lives for an outright victory have been betrayed by this weak kneed approach to the rough and tumble of African politics.

The new moral imperative is forget the power plays, sort out the economy and lets get on with our lives. Welshman Ncube’s interview with Basildon Peta is instructive in basic politics and I hope that Morgan, for the sake of the country, realises that it is time to live and sup with the devil because that is practicable. The African people, including us coloureds (God’s forgotten people), will have once more been betrayed by practical issues and lady justice will have no choice but to douse her flame. Is this the nature and pace of societal development? Perhaps, but then that is another topic.

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