Makoni should seize moment

HARARE - I have said in the past that Morgan Tsvangirai has done more for this country than we credit him for.

I stand by that; he is the only political leader who has managed to withstand our brutal dictatorship for a long time.

I have also said he should take full blame for his indecorous shenanigans with women. I stick to that too.

For a man aspiring for leadership of the country, he has rather disturbing fallibilities when it comes to women.

The events of the past two weeks culminating in the revocation of his marriage licence have been embarrassing.
Tsvangirai is no Denzel Washington. The women falling over each other may be attracted by his personality but it is most plausible they may have been lured by his status.

Since his wife died, Tsvangirai’s desires for women have known no bounds — well, borders too —  if you consider the latest claims by a South African woman.

In a space of three years, Tsvangirai has been associated with no less than five women, one of them a 21-year-old who ended up with a child.

In the pubs, Tsvangirai may be valorised as a stallion. But in hair salons and boutiques, women may be taking a different view of the man who wants to lead us.

Tsvangirai may be alienating himself from this critical voting mass ahead of a crucial election.

Jacob Zuma may also be randy but he almost always marries his women.

The two women who have approached the courts against Tsvangirai allege promises of marriage, sexual liaisons and deception — conduct likely to sicken the generality of our decent womenfolk if true.

Ours is a nation desperate for a new beginning after years of tyrannical rule. But we must also not lose sight of what change we yearn for.

It is, therefore, incumbent upon us in the media especially, to subject Tsvangirai to a rigorous moral test, lest we are led by a deviant who may use his status in other despicable ways.

We must, of course, continue to criticise the injustices visited upon him, his party and supporters.

However, it would be remiss on our part to turn a blind eye to Tsvangirai’s personal inadequacies for the sake of change.

To blame actions that Tsvangirai took himself on external agents like the CIO is stretching victimology — which has served the MDC well — rather too far.

Neither should we rush to pull the “privacy cloak” to cover him. Through his indiscretions, Tsvangirai threw himself into the open court of public opinion. It is, after all, very much in the public interest to know the type of person who wants to lead them.

If there was ever a ripe moment for Simba Makoni to capitalise politically, it is now. His rivals’ stock has been plummeting.

Zanu PF is evidently worn out, corrupt, violent and has wrecked the economy.

The MDC has also been mired in scandal, some of its officials proving synonymous with Zanu PF, consequently detaching the party from the grassroots while it has been bereft of any abiding policies.
Makoni’s media strategists should be getting down to some serious work.

At times like these, astute media plotters would be discreetly projecting Makoni as the ultimate family man.

In the US, Obama has huge appeal as a family man.

Unlike his rivals, Makoni seems untouched by marital scandals.

He has a lot else on his side too. He is educated, well-spoken, and is a former finance minister and head of Southern African Development Coordination Conference.

His politics has not bad either, judging from his recent interviews. He has been articulating quite appealing propositions.

It seems his major blemish is his previous association with Zanu PF. But he seems to be proposing ideas that contradict those of his former party.

However, Makoni is hardly in the limelight.

It is either he has been snubbed by all sections of the media or his media team has been sleeping on the job.

Politics is about seizing the moment too, even if you may have good policies in place.

Media schemers in the West are adept at this. Makoni should capitalise on his discredited rivals. - Conrad Nyamutata

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