It’s Time Tsvangirai Chooses His Battles

By Nkosana Dlamini

Harare, January 16, 2014 – Since the tragic death of his first wife Susan in 2009, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s love life has been a messy involvement with this and that woman.

Granted the former premier was a widower who was still searching for a wife, hopefully one who could match the moral virtues of his late wife – according to my little knowledge of Susan – my take is that Tsvangirai has scored lowly on that front.

A cursory glance over his alleged half dozen women on the public domain so far, one struggles to pick a single virtuous one to suggest the former premier has indeed been looking for potential wife material.

Judging by the zeal with which they have sought to cling on to him for no better reason other than that they were enduring failed marriage promises by Tsvangirai, it is easy to conclude these are a bunch of fortune and attention seekers out to maximise on his political profile, corresponding liquidity and his evident greed for softer flesh.

Since staking a claim to the country’s presidency some 14 years ago, Tsvangirai has been the target of criticism, some unfair, for failing to dislodge President Robert Mugabe.

The story of a political leader who has failed to maximise on a groundswell of local and international support would not be told fully without Tsvangirai’s name.

Tsvangirai and his backers would argue to the grave that their leader could only do so much, short of an outright armed combat with an incumbent whose highly intricate dictatorship curls into all crucial state institutions.

Indeed they could have had a case here until their leader got muddled up in a sticky love saga.

The MDC-T leader has not helped matters through the clumsy way with which he has tried to wriggle out of his love troubles. A case in point is when he parted with a handsome $200 000 plus to fend off a jilted lover, Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo.

It is easy to sit back and believe these could be a group of disgruntled women out to seek attention by riding on his political profile.

But the task of trying to detach Tsvangirai’s decision making strength on the political and love fronts has been easy.

The former trade unionist has been a bundle of nerves. His evident weaknesses in trying to pacify these women outweigh the belief that he has played victim to a dictator.

His clumsy response, coupled with a poor information management system on his love affairs could be evidence of his overall weak self.

A smart leader knows his political opponents would try to exploit his moral weaknesses to inflict a dent on his political ambitions. Suffice it to say Tsvangirai has been one willing participant to his own downfall.

It is sad that a man who has painstakingly built a name straddling his trade union and political works can allow such legacy, however small, to go to squander over a bunch of splendour addicts.

For Christ’s sake, what will it take for Tsvangirai to finally realize he carries the hopes of millions of Zimbabwean women who have invested their trust in him and the political enterprise he leads – the MDC-T.

How he can sacrifice their aspirations for a group of glory seekers is the greatest tragedy of all time.

These are old women with their own history of heartbreaks and in him, they find a scapegoat they can gladly fleece, financially or otherwise.

Granted they are justified in claiming bad treatment by the MDC-T leader, Tsvangirai would still be caught offside by practising his democracy in the abstract.

Using one’s political influence to take advantage of women smacks of hypocrisy of the highest order.

Despite statements to the contrary, Zimbabwe’s political crisis remains alive. And a quick glance around, it is easy to suggest Tsvangirai remains the best foot forward for many.

For that, he would best be advised to carefully choose the battles he should be fighting.

His worth is best right in the cutting edges of Zimbabwe’s drawn-out battle for democracy than in the courts and the media defending his moral failures.

 

How a leader with lofty presidential ambitions can find himself muddled up in love wars not so different from those of young loafers squabbling over paternity with girlfriends is as tragic as it is ridiculous.