A tale of two leaders, congresses

HARARE - At the MDC Congress, they gathered to elect their leaders while at the Zanu PF congress, the people’s business was simply to sing and to wait in vain for the dear leader to appoint his personal preferences into the cockpit of the party.

While elections took place at the MDC congress, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown across the political river to the extent that Mugabe lacked the guts to appoint his top lieutenants in the presidium as well as the politburo during the sitting of congress as demanded by his party’s constitution.

At the City Sports Centre, we saw real democracy in the MDC as delegates exercised their democratic right to vote while at the Zanu PF gathering, the circus reached its climax when President Robert Mugabe finally came out of the closet to attack his deputy.

Zimbabweans had never seen anything like it before; the presidency attacking itself, in the process putting George Charamba in a very invidious position of having to defend the office from itself.

The vice president was still in office, so he told us, and the president was not even considering firing her. All the accusations of corruption against Vice President Mujuru were mere politicking but there was no substance as the police had not done any investigations.

Of course, he was later to climb down from his naked pretence in his weekly column, where he accused Mujuru of corruption and other ills.

Expectedly, George thinks we have forgotten about all the plunders and sordid tales associated with the First Family and how he himself had taken money from the Psmas in murky circumstances.

In the MDC, where service and sacrifice are the signature values, the delegates gathered, largely at their personal expenses, to transact the business of the party they love so much.

Just as they did when a few individuals driven by their unbridled ambition walked away from the party 10 years ago, so too did they sell their goats and hens to showcase their unstinting commitment to the palpable change that now stares at us from the horizon.

And once again, our congress was held at the same place, the City Sports Centre because for the second time, ambition had gotten the better of some of us.

The Zanu PF and the MDC congresses are evidence of the stark contrast in circumstances and the qualitative difference between the two political formations and their leaders.

While a few individuals in the MDC, including former MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti, had walked away from the party, it was a different story for Zanu PF when they held their congress.

The vice president and nine out of 10 provincial chairpersons had been hounded out of the party by the time they held their congress.

We saw the same crowd on our television sets; the same crowd in different provinces brandishing the same placards and demonstrating against elected provincial chairpersons.

The MDC may have held their congress with a small bruise but Zanu PF was fractured, what with only two out of five members of the presidium at the high table. The rest stayed away because they feared for their safety.

And while MDC delegates punctuated their congress with genuine laughter and song, there was palpable tension among the Zanu PF delegates as most had been grudgingly accepted into the party, including the man who was supposed to be master of ceremonies, Webster Shamu.

While the highlight of the MDC 4th congress was the election of leaders, presided over by an independent body, the same congress dealt with substantive issues that included institutional reform and a review of the party’s policies.

Of importance is that the MDC delegates retained their right to elect their leaders while the Zanu PF as a damp squib where Mugabe reserved the sole right to appoint people into the presidium.

That nonsense of a leader with appointing powers had failed to see the light of day in the MDC because it was simply against our values and principles as a democratic party.

In his speech at congress, Tsvangirai spoke about the national crisis which he attributed to a crisis of legitimacy, which can only be resolved by a truly free and fair election.

Mugabe’s message at best was unadulterated drivel about juju and n’angas. He went further and confirmed he would die in office when he told delegates that those who choose to retire die earlier, implying he will stick it out until he gives the proverbial bucket a feeble kick consistent with his age.

The world was shocked to hear accusations of juju in government in this brave 21st Century, the digital age of facebook and twitter.

And talking of age, the 62-year-old Zanu PF secretary for youth, Absalom Sikhosana is of the same age as Morgan Tsvangirai.

Thank God, the MDC is not of the same warped disposition as Tsvangirai would have to run for chairperson of the MDC youth assembly if we were insane enough to consider 62-year-olds as youths.

But we are the MDC and we are qualitatively different from Zanu PF.

While Mugabe is still slugging out in the corridors of government, Zimbabweans may not know that at 90, the man is eight years older than Lydia Tsvangirai, the former prime minister’s mother who is enjoying dotage in the comfort of her rural home in Buhera.

We in the MDC are marching bravely towards a new Zimbabwe. After our successful congress, the party has been busy holding induction workshops for all the newly-elected leadership in the MDC’s 12 provinces.

Tsvangirai was one of the facilitators as the team moved around the country training provincial leaders on issues of vision, mission, strategy and the roadmap to the next election, among other issues.

This week, the MDC will hold national executive and council meetings to tie up all outstanding business of congress so that we concentrate on uniting the people after our congress, stabilising the party and positioning ourselves to win the next election.

We in the MDC are certain that there is national convergence in the country that Zanu PF has dismally failed and Zimbabweans in their diversity will have to sit down and chart the way forward.

And even Mugabe knows which party is to blame and he might well be part of our national convergence conference when we hold it.

At least he knows which party is at the centre of the national crisis.

“Pasi neZanu PF,”(Down with Zanu PF), he unwittingly blurted out at the Zanu PF congress, leaving bemused delegates stunned.

He, too, is welcome into our big tent when we hold the national convergence conference!

*Tamborinyoka doubles as the MDC’s director of information and publicity and spokesperson to party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. He writes here in his personal capacity.

Comments (13)

kkkk Luke you made my day. Mugabe surely knows which party has messed up our country. It now on record with his slogan...

Hasu - 9 December 2014

I thot Tsvangi also got powers to appont random people and to be custodian of all the MDC spoons? Sekuru just outdid him and come next congress when Tsvangi wants to appoint his Deputies will you still be in the tent Luke????

Wezhira - 9 December 2014

hapana chakasiyana mdc t ne zanu. otherwise tsvangis mu cio arikutivhara kumeso neku pritenda kurwisana ne zanu pf. the same things that have destroyed zanu are the same things that have destroyed mdc t. the guy is also a handiende. he will soon clock his own 34yrs as leader of the party as if there is no one who can take over the job from him. two sides of the same coin. no opposition in zimbabwe as yet.

zvirozviyedzwa - 9 December 2014

Our lives in Zimbabwe are far more important than these parties doing what they do best - partying! Neither of them is capable of running the country as shown during the ill-fated GNU.

saundy - 9 December 2014

I personally dont see any difference here? Who contested the position of the MDC presidency against Tsvangirai? I thought his was an autimatic entry just like what Mugabe did.

Chapo - 9 December 2014

Well said Saundy

ronaldos - 9 December 2014

Well said Mhofu kubaya dede nekumanhamba

MukarangawekuMberengwa - 9 December 2014

I really admire two guys in the MDCT party, James Maridadi and Luke Tamborenyoka for their incisive thought process when they write their articles. Whilst Luke bases his on projecting and profiling Tsvangirai and the MDCT , James simply lays bare the state of affairs. How I wish these two could co-lead the information dept at their party. Well said Luke and I am now waiting for Maridadi to give us an analysis of these dismissals and the aftermath. I remember he said Mujuru would be discarded like a soiled diaper and that there would be no war. It has come to pass. Well done you two bastards

Tafanana Zhou - 9 December 2014

utter Rubbish.

Prosper Chinamhora - 9 December 2014

Both of the two parties are nonsense . Tsvangirai was given leadership in a silver plate in 2008 but he refused with excuse the people will die as if he has given any person life . He must resign like what Matinenga did . if you put him in power you will still regret because he has the signs that he can even be worse than Sekuru who want to die while seating on the chair in Munhumutapa building . Only that Zimbabwean are peaceful because we can not start a war which we experienced before independence .

albert Kufahakuperi - 10 December 2014

Moregay is worse and uneducated dictator. He transfered all powers to himself. He went past the MDC constitution of two terms. We wont vote for him, if he cant abide by party constitution what of the country constitution. We want true democrats. He paid $450 000 as damage, which is R4m rands. If one can google what a R4m rand worth house looks like. He forgot the children of those killed supporting him. He went to live in a ZPF house, having spent $3m on it. But $1.5 he stole it. He authorised the mayor to buy a Dodge for $50 000, a car worth $20 000. He lied about paying lobola. He said he is for gays. He doesnt respect democratic outcomes which dont favour him. He went on with 2013 votes against advise. He let his supporters beat those who oppose him.......

Hombarume - 10 December 2014

Well said luke you told it as it is no sane person in this country can say Morgan is same with Mugabe . Mugabe is evil while Morgan is not and he has no blood of citizens in his hands . Millions like Morgan bcoz he is stands with the poor viva morgan chesa mpama!!!!

Diibulaanyika - 12 December 2014

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