Why Tsvangirai has survived

HARARE - MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has yet again staved off another attempt at deposing him, with everything for and about it replete with similarities to the foiled attempt of 2005.

Very consistent features and similarities from both episodes provide for quite intriguing and fascinating analysis, the same as they are illustrative.

In both instances, the MDC’s secretary-general spearheaded the plot and formed a strong alliance with the treasurer’s office.

Welshman Ncube pulled the trigger in 2005 and his successor as the party’s chief administrator, Tendai Biti has, in this episode, played hide and seek until eventually clawing out of his hole of confusion to stage a farce of a coup attempt.

In both instances, the coup plotters had meticulously and clandestinely abused the control of the party’s secretariat and, more importantly, finances, to create the platform for their plan to topple Tsvangirai.

That leverage in both cases gave the Ncube and Biti camps a lot of capacity and momentum during the long periods of scheming and plotting behind a veneer of ostensible order and sanity in the party.

In a more pronounced and deeper way for the Biti plot, there was scheming and plotting over long periods and through a cocktail of strategies towards the crunch time.

Quite interesting to analyse, investigate and reflect how the plotters effectively took hold of, and manipulated the key areas of administration and finance with unbridled room to further their clandestine missions.

Questions beckon, on how in both instances, Tsvangirai would allow such catastrophic and warped set-ups to prevail and continue all the way.

But, as shall emerge later, he probably knows where his strength lies and that he would stultify and counter the effects. It subsequently becomes a wonder or even mystery, how Tsvangirai could survive such powerful plots. I shall reveal how and why he did later on.

Before I do that, it is pertinent to articulate the real effects of the plotters’ control of the key arms and clandestine scheming.

First, by controlling finances, Tsvangirai’s rivals always enjoyed the bonus of manipulating the handling and management of same to ensure they furthered their interests and plans. In both episodes, stories would emerge of how funds had been used to buy over the backing of structures and members by the rebels.

The same stranglehold on the purse would enable the plotters to deliberately play the politics of starving or even sabotaging Tsvangirai and those known or suspected to be loyal to him. Effectively, that would help the rebels gain advantages over the silent wrestling for power.

Also, the plotters would take the adminstration and secretariat structures into their pockets and, essentially do what they want about processes and programmes.

Obviously, that would present another firm platform to further the schemes towards toppling Tsvangirai.

This provides a very good case study on the subject of two centres of power, for that is what the MDC system amounts to — further accounting for the consistent trend of one side plotting to topple the other in pretty similar ways. The other centre of power is, of course, built around the clout or brand of Tsvangirai both as an individual and party leader.

It is that brand and personified centre of power that has seen, from Zanu PF and all the way to the MDC rebels, complicated, deeply entrenched missions failing to destroy. I observe a lot of attempts to deny the fact that it is all about Morgan Tsvangirai, but which are just dishonest acts of posturing and denialism.

I have no doubt, from Robert Mugabe, to Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti, they know what they have been sweating to try and destroy — the Tsvangirai brand. Then, against all the odds and faced with the schemes of the rebels in the MDC, Tsvangirai has survived on both occasions on the strength of one huge advantage, in fact, two.

The first and most fundamental is that the Tsvangirai brand or clout is rooted in massive and popular grassroots support. The MDC leader has maintained his command of huge grassroots support that, I have no doubt, he beats any challenge by a wide margin, including Mugabe in a fair contest.

That stronghold has remained Tsvangirai’s foundation such that when his rivals would do everything else through control of funds and administration structures, that bedrock for the MDC leader remained intact.

To that end, the major undoing for both Ncube and Biti, as well as forces behind them, has been failure to create and offer a tangible alternative or challenge to Tsvangirai’s stronghold.

Resultantly, the plotters would trick and dribble in the boardrooms, rock in the media and even entertain their audiences, but then find themselves without legs and steam to go and rock at the grassroots.

Tsvangirai, as a trademark, would, upon realising danger, take the road, to “the people” and, the rebels’ world start crumbling because, at the end, that is where the real game is played.

A very fatal weakness of both the Ncube and camps Biti has remained the fixation with their clandestine boardroom and elitist schemes, leaving Tsvangirai’s base unchallenged.

One recalls the pathetic numbers at meetings of Biti’s camp among the grassroots recently, which must have dissuaded them from persisting with their charade and probably even attempting to move out to officially form their own party.

They are caught up in a dicey web of confusion and dithering about what exactly to do, move out to form another party or what else.

Their posturing about still being in and claiming to have taken over is an act of self deception, which is already making them foolish before the people and shall haunt them all the way.

In sharp contrast, Tsvangirai, just at the slightest effort, rocks venues with huge crowds as if ahead of a major election. That is the platform for the final battle and, once again, the Biti camp has already been trounced.

Granted, just like Ncube’s case, the Biti camp shall, with the collaboration and manipulation of Zanu PF, buy more time by dragging the technical fights through legal and publicity dramas, but, unavoidably, the political war, in its essence, is already decidedly won by Tsvangirai.

The Biti camp, certainly, can’t really move away from the air conditioned buildings and hotel rooms to meaningfully go to “the people” yet that is Tsvangirai’s daily bread.

I have said before, that the more the coup plotters just exist in largely contrived and manipulated media reports, the more they get trounced in the public arena.

Like Ncube, the Biti camp shall certainly reap thorns when the time to go to the people comes. They will find Tsvangirai’s shadow eclipsing them and relegating them to a paper tiger.

Lastly, Tsvangirai seems to have mastered the art of a witty fox, which remains calm and waits for the rival to rant and rave, huff and puff into exhaustion, before grabbing the right opportunity to strike and destroy, decidedly.

That way, the Biti camp has been left to jump and dance, shout and cry, all the way to throwing a powerless punch. Then, Tsvangirai rises from his deceiving slumber to finish them off, and, in the arena of “the people”.

To compound matters for them, the Biti camp have been exposing themselves for a bandwagon of deception, posturing and even self delusion they are — what with their naked farce of Saturday’s meeting made up of imposters and blatant deception.

The same applies to the gradual coming out of worms to cloud their mission, such as tacit approval and support by Mugabe and Zanu PF.

Time shall come, if not now, later on, when these factors and dynamics return to haunt the Biti camp where the real game of politics matters, within “the people”.

And, these realities have simply helped Tsvangirai survive yet again, because, as Biti may be preparing to go with the money and other assets, his name and mission are strange things to “the people” where the face of the struggle remains Tsvangirai.

*Dzamara is Editor-In-Chief of Trinity Media (Pvt) LTD , (Publishers of The News Leader and The News Leader on Sunday)

Comments (15)

well said

edward kunde - 4 May 2014

Tell them Dzamara! Biti & Co. need to know that Tsvangirai is MDC and MDC is Tsvangirai. Period! The earlier they realise this hard-to-take truth the better.

Maff - 4 May 2014

This clearly shows that the MDC is just like ZANU. The man should not make the party and these traits of clinging on to power will be more pronounced the second this man is voted into power. A new party please. MDC and Tsvangirai have failed. Vese naana Biti. Zimbawe's turnaround lies elsewhere

Fortue - 4 May 2014

IT IS ADVISABLE TO MEANING ANALYSISTS LIKE ITAI MADZARA THAT SINCE THE LEADERSHIP BATTLE IN THE MDC-T MAY BE DECIDED BY PARLIAMENT IT IS BETTER TO WAIT FOR THE CONCLUSION. FOR MOST LEVELLED AND UNBIASED OBSERVERS IT IS CLEAR THAT AT THE END OF THIS TRAGICOMEDY THE HUMPTY DUMPTY FORMER PRIME MINISTER TSVANGIRAI WILL EMERGE WEAK. WORSE FOR THE ONCE-UPON-TIME PRIME MINISTER, HIS WESTERN FINANCIAL BACKERS HAVE WITHDRAWN THEIR SUPPORT CITING TSVANGIRAI'S UNDEMOCRATIC AND VIOLENCE TOWARDS HIS POLITICAL OPPONENTS IN HIS OWN PARTY. AS FOR BITI AND HIS CRONIES, THEY HAVE TO WAIT THE DECISION OF THE PARLIAMENT OF PARLIAMENT.

Rabison Nyundo(THE HAMMER) - 4 May 2014

CORRECTION ON IN MY LAST SUBMISSION THE LAST SENTENCE SHOULD END "... THEY SHOULD AWAIT THE DECISION OF THE SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT"

Rabison Nyundo ( THE HAMMER) - 4 May 2014

IT IS ADVISABLE TO MEANING ANALYSISTS LIKE ITAI MADZARA THAT SINCE THE LEADERSHIP BATTLE IN THE MDC-T MAY BE DECIDED BY PARLIAMENT IT IS BETTER TO WAIT FOR THE CONCLUSION. FOR MOST LEVELLED AND UNBIASED OBSERVERS IT IS CLEAR THAT AT THE END OF THIS TRAGICOMEDY THE HUMPTY DUMPTY FORMER PRIME MINISTER TSVANGIRAI WILL EMERGE WEAK. WORSE FOR THE ONCE-UPON-TIME PRIME MINISTER, HIS WESTERN FINANCIAL BACKERS HAVE WITHDRAWN THEIR SUPPORT CITING TSVANGIRAI'S UNDEMOCRATIC AND VIOLENCE TOWARDS HIS POLITICAL OPPONENTS IN HIS OWN PARTY. AS FOR BITI AND HIS CRONIES, THEY HAVE TO WAIT THE DECISION OF THE SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT.

Rabison Nyundo(THE HAMMER) - 4 May 2014

Point of correction the MDC-T will come out stronger than ever as these guys were causing all the confusion in the party. We the people are more determined than ever before to finish the race and reclaim our Party from the elitist groups like Mbitis. But I think more needs to be done on the role of the Secretary general to avoid further friction. Through such narrow minds The secretary allowed Zanu Pf to steal the election on a silver plater. Mr President Sir note that we are more determined than ever before to vote and win in the next election.

RAYMOND - 4 May 2014

I told him Mbiti and his crew that "Gore jena chireganyanyopenya unozotorerwa mavara nedema" but he did not listen. Me, I think Zimbabwean education is fake man. Why is it people who were educated in Zimbabwe make so much mistakes even if the person have a PhD? Now the economy is in tatters but the cabinet have 15 ministers with PhD, 29 with Masters and 100 with bachelors. So how come all these people always dig their graves by mistakes? Biti disappointed me to the core, no wonder he mess up the GNU negotiations.

Parks Papindanyoka - 5 May 2014

Just the fact that Biti is a darling with ZBC and seems to have sympathy from the people's opposition, he already has dug his own grave. Tsvangirai has been with the people right from the start and that is why the more he gets bad mouthed by Biti and ZANU , the more people will love him.

Dr Know - 5 May 2014

this is a good analysis itai, but wakazoshinga here keunda nemari yangu.

CDE CHURUCHEMINZWA - 5 May 2014

Good article Itai, I tend to like Raymond's point own opinion that the MDC will actually come out of this stronger, even stronger than the 2000 era because now we know who is for us and who is against. Those who are against have finally come out in the open and sidelined themselves. There wont be need to deal with sabotage as the saboteurs have effectively chucked themselves out. Now I want President Tsvangirai and Chamisa to vet people thoroughly before they are elected or appointed in powerful positions. To imagine that the MDC lost the 2013 elections because a small clique was busy scheming and plotting is in itself one of the reasons why Biti and Co should not be supported. However sensible their argument is. They betrayed Zimbabweans' aspirations at the altar of self-destructive personal ambitions. Zimbabweans must punish them by throwing them into the dustbins of history. I tend to agree also with Parks who questions the authenticity of the Law Faculty at UZ, why is the UZ producing daft lawyers who are not good at anything except barking and making empty noise. They are so stupid that one repeats the same mistake the other one did in the same fashion. Biti you are a disappointment especially to me. How I wanted you to take over from MT when he retires?

Tonderai Gonzo - 5 May 2014

True Itai. What people should know is that The ANC is Mandela, Cham-chama pinduzi is Mwalimu, Zanupf is Mugabe, IMPLA is Dos-Santos Nad finally MDC-T is Tsvangirai. Tingatuka hedu tigoramba but thats the honest truth. Zanu Pf will remain intact should the current leader decide to hand over power and MAC-T will also remain intact should Tsvangirai decide to hand over power. Look at ANC, Chamachama Pinduzi, Botswana. All those countries whose presidents handover power. They have never lost an election. Thank you Dzamara.

daddy - 5 May 2014

That was a superb commentry Itai. I am already regretting the reason why I allowed myself to be influenced by this Chartered Accountant friend of mine. Can you find it i your heart and forgive me like you did to our dear Job . Please Dr Tsvangirai forgive me. I will never underestimate your power again. I just falsely inflated my ego unaware that I was putting on borrowed robes. Please Dr Tsvangirai forgive me . Pass my warm regards to amaiguru Elizabeth . Your repentant SG --T Mbiti.

TENDAI MBITI - 5 May 2014

ANALYST?THATS AN ASPIRING SPOKESPERSON FOR THE DEFEATED TSVANGIRAYI MHONDORO YAKE ANOIZIVA KUTI NDIMUGABE

CHANGAMIRE DOMBO - 5 May 2014

Wena Dzamara uyahlanya sibili Ncube never tried a coup. You are lying thats why journalists end up arrested because of lying. Ulamanga sibili. Ncube never tried a coup. Tsvangirai had his Zanupf agenda of ditching out Ndebele leaders. Editor- in -Chief of lies and failing to adhere to party principles. He made a lot of ungentle men promises and killed his intelligent base can`t listen to advise and fear of educated people as his subordinates

Paul B. Manyabi - 6 May 2014

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