Redefining leadership

HARARE - In a mere three days, Morgan Tsvangirai communicated with Africa as a statesman but ended up two days later at a village in Domboshawa to commiserate with a bereaved family in an ordinary village under a tree.

In between, he had spoken on the national crisis to ordinary Zimbabweans in the dormitory town of Norton.

That has been the hallmark of Morgan Tsvangirai and his leadership style.

He can easily change in one instance from the revered international statesman he is to become an ordinary Zimbabwean interacting with ordinary people in very ordinary circumstances as he did in only three days over the weekend.

Many have asked what makes Mogan Tsvangirai tick and so revered by ordinary Zimbabweans in all spheres.

It is simply that uncanny ability to outflank his political opponents with unparalleled dexterity, at the same time exhibiting his natural leadership by being adept at fitting in every circumstance.

On Friday, he wrote to President Zuma congratulating him and the ANC for winning the election and running a largely-credible election.

An hour later, he wrote to the government of Nigeria, telling them that the MDC and the party’s entire leadership stood by the people of Nigeria in this dark hour of the abduction of over 200 innocent school girls.

Two days later on Sunday, he was in Norton, speaking to ordinary Zimbabweans of a possible implosion if the national crisis was not dealt with as a matter of urgency.

On Monday, he was in Domboshawa, joining me and my family at the burial of my late grandmother, Mbuya Martha Tamborenyoka Gombera, a 93-year-old woman who was close to my heart and who died in my house on Saturday, May 11, 2014 in Chitungwiza.

Addressing mourners at her  funeral in Domboshawa, president Tsvangirai spoke about the importance of  the aged in our communities, adding that what was more important was the legacy our old people live behind when they die; the memories they create and leave behind when they meet their destiny.

That is the hallmark of his leadership style, a leader who can find it easy to join his underling to mourn a relative  and spend a day  commiserating with ordinary Zimbabweans in a village.

Morgan Tsvangirai has always been a man of the people, away from the big ornate billiard tables associated with elitist conspirators plotting a hostile take-over, and away from a clueless Zanu PF government that has dismally failed to rig the economy.

It is Tsvangirai’s uncanny ability to be adept to every situation that has defined him and that has enabled him to outflank his political rivals.

His rivals have never had  that important political trait of having the dual competence of the boardroom and standing before a simple village audience in Muzarabani.

Morgan Tsvangirai has managed to redefine the meaning of leadership in Zimbabwean politics; from the fiery trade unionist who could shut down the country’s industry for a grave national concern to the ordinary Zimbabwean who beat Mugabe hands down in election in 2008.

He can morph from an international statesman who almost won the Nobel Peace Prize to the simple man in mourning with ordinary villagers at Tamborenyoka village in Domboshawa.

People want to see in leadership an ordinary person like them who understands what they go through every day.

He has been an ordinary mine worker at Trojan Mine in Bindura and therefore understands the rigours of honest, hard work.

He has experienced police brutality like other Zimbabweans, including being battered in a police cell and even spending time at a maximum security prison at one point on trumped up charges.

He is, and has been an opposition leader, within the constricted confines of a daring dictatorship that has never comprehended multi-party democracy.

He has been Prime Minister of the land and knows only too well the contours of government and how to use the arena of government authority to unleash positive change in the lives of the people.

He has seen it all and can still fit with ease and competence in all the arenas that fate always creates for him.

He has redefined leadership with his uncanny ability to exude his ordinary nature, even to the usual to the mammoth admiring and supportive crowds that always follow him; crowds which his opponents will never have the capacity to gather, even in a dozen lifetimes.

He has redefined leadership to mean honesty and humility, to mean having the same experience that ordinary people grapple with every day and even spending the day with ordinary villages anywhere anytime.

*Tamborinyoka is the spokesperson to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai. He doubles up as the party’s acting director of Information and Publicity and writes here in his personal capacity.

    Comments (17)

    Thatis what all Zimbabweans do everyday. nothing special about Tsvangirai, He should get a day job and not look at MDC as a career. Leaders come and go. Get a grip and realise we need more dynamic and educated leaders to meet 21st century challenges. Zvepasi pemuti hazviunze mabasa.

    Tapiwa - 16 May 2014

    He is our leader, we shall stand for him all the time, he is loved by the poor, the peasants,the struggling workers the unemployed, and students. Let the elite have their own party followed by their elitists supporters. May God the Almighty bless his leadership, multiply his followers and supporters. Thank you Tamborinyoka for a revealing analysis ,keep it up . The bitis shall say what they want, but ignore them ..

    pagomo - 16 May 2014

    Tsvangirai is a doomed, malfunctioning human specie drugged by the hyperphilia to formulate the Members Dead Caskets in the darkest Zimbabwe.

    Imika - 16 May 2014

    @Imika, I realise that your blood is boiling with venom and vitrol without anything to offer. A leader is person capable of commanding support and being accepted respected by a broad spectrum of people. There is no leader who is liked by everyone in this world. Even Nelson Mandela who is revered by the world was opposed by some. Such is life. At times its only attitude that makes one hate some body without and chooses to ignore the facts. Hate him or like him, Morgan has got what many of the so called professors do not have. Leadership qualities that easily make him elected. First as a workers union at Trojen Mine, Secretary General of ZCTU, the leader of the NCA and the leader of MDC and MDC T. So many professors were there when he was elected the MDC leader and they even elected him. A LEADER COMES FROM THE PEOPLE and does not come from a test tube in a laboratory. No. Can never take away someone's gift by merely exhibiting haterage or dislike. Yes its your right to dislike some body but its bad to distort clear facts because of dislike. Rembember wisdom is proved by its results and leadership is proved by having followers - across the divide and not hate politics. I sympathise with you in that for a very long time you shall live in pain because the man you hate most (Morgn tsvangirai) shall lead Zimbabawe in the not so distant future. THOSE WHO HAVE BRAINS TO DISCERN LET THEM DO SO.

    V - 16 May 2014

    People they do not know that such posts have packages when they leave office . Dr Tsvangirai left Premiership post then his package is the mansion built by GNU then people cry foul. The Dr is a statesman and any statesman deserves that . CEOs leave their posts with a package, mayors the same then you start crying foul when The Ex-Premier has his package.

    Ndizvo - 16 May 2014

    Sata was in opposition for 30 years+ . Save fambai tinemi even if they say 40years we are still behind you . They can waffle forgeting their tattered economy support jahwi kuna Save . Who does not know the truth about Zim. Forced marriages they do not last for life. Who is better mhondi neuyo anoita vana nevakadzi vakawanda. Children are a blessing before the Almighty.

    Ndozvo - 16 May 2014


    Rabison Nyundo (THE HAMMER) - 16 May 2014

    Indeed Tsvangirai is a great man. We thank the Lord for his leadership.

    Ndaneta - 16 May 2014

    Madoba ipapo Mhofu Save imhondoro and semutungamiriri wedu timomira naye kusvika maZANU magwadziwa . Tsvangison basa ndiro ratakamuka kare iroro kuti atitungamirire muhunapwa hweZANU PF so iwe unoti abve achiendepi nhaiwe benzi . PANA SAVE HATIBVI IPAPO NYANGWE ZVIGOZHE SEI . MAZANU arikupera nekufa ose neNgozi kuno Mberengwa Biggie mhondi huru yakaenda so SAVE vachotanga chete musingani muchida

    MukarangawekuMberengwa - 16 May 2014

    kwana mhani iwe ruka....chii chaita chinoshamisira?????? sorry for your loss but don't you dare tell us kutizvaakauya kurufu kwenyu zvatomupa mark of leadership..... unombogarepiko iwe kusina vanhu......what do you know about the issues people are going thru nyarara mhani kana washaya zvekutaura.......tsvangirayi haasi Zimbabwe.

    zimbo - 16 May 2014

    Tamborinyoka, never mind about educated Zimbabwean people, they study education that cannot make someone differentiate a mango from an avocado. So even if Tsvangirai do so much for them, they will never see it.

    Parks Papindanyoka - 17 May 2014

    before I looked at the bank draft which had said $4694 , I be certain that my father in law had been realey receiving money in there spare time on their apple labtop. . there dads buddy has been doing this for only ten months and resantly repaid the morgage on there condo and got a brand new Toyota . read

    Donect1950 - 17 May 2014

    Tsvangirai is way better than many people in Zanu-pf i think bobo should make him his successor

    murombo kwerekwere - 17 May 2014

    Mr Tsvangirai has made a vital & important contribution to the Zimbabwean scene but the time has come for him to step aside. Any successful organisation ensures it has a succession plan as witnessed in the ANC & other SADC countries.

    saundy - 17 May 2014

    You have the guts to show us that on top of your neck there is non-functional object,how you wish we can see tsangilayi with your two holes that stopped working many years.tsangilayi lacks mental death,lacks vision,and live by reacting to situations others has created for him.after having failed to live his own live,how will he help others.he is blind leader wishing to show us the way.a blind dictator ,a clone and shadow of Mugabe.

    Jabulani - 18 May 2014

    the best way to sing for your supper Tamborinyoka the people spoke through the ballot

    changamire dombo - 18 May 2014

    The Tsvangirayi brand is compromised no matter how hard you try to sanitise it!

    godfrey gudo - 19 May 2014

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