“Mr. Tsvangirai apologised to Mangoma and Biti yesterday (Wednesday) during a meeting in the afternoon. But we all wonder if the apology is genuine,” an insider source has said.
When contacted by editors for a yes or no verification on Thursday morning, Mr Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka who picked up the phone twice did not reply only stating that he was at a funeral:
“Can I call you back I am at a funeral,” he said.
Biti and Mangoma have been the subject of attacks from party youths some who have been calling for them to be physically attacked because of Mangoma’s proposal for Tsvangirai to consider resigning.
‘I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.’ Ralph Nader.
How I so wish this applied to our own leaders. If this has made sense to them, we would have seen tolerance and openness in our politics. There would have been no long running animosity between and among the current and prospective leaders of our political parties. If this had made any sense to them, Morgan Tsvangirayi would not have had the riot act read to him today. He would not have had to go about looking for those he had set his attack dogs upon, offering his profound apologies. Yes, Morgan Tsvangirayi has apologised to Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma and begged them not to part ways with him. That is very commendable of him. However, I wonder if his begging them to stay is for the sake of the party or for the sake of the funding they seem to be walking away with? Will apologising privately whilst those who are very close to him are busy lambasting Biti and Mangoma help in any way? What apology does one offer without telling his fervent supporters to stop behaving like a pack of hungry dogs attacking a hapless hare? Morgan Tsvangirayi should offer his groveling apology in the same way he denounced Mangoma and Biti. Tsvangirayi should tell his followers that he will follow the party constitution as he has been strongly reminded; it allows a democratic challenge in every leadership post in the party. The party constitution doesn’t have room for a life president, let alone for creating a messiah? Those who thought Elton Mangoma was writing Love Letters to Morgan were mistaken, actually it seems they were Divorce Letters, and Tsvangirayi is unwilling to accept the termination of the marriage! But will its glue hold, or things have fallen apart already?
MDC Tsvangiarayi faction’s leaders like Obert Gutu, Charlton Hwende and Boaz Manganiso who are blaming the British Ambassador for allegedly engineering and funding the party’ s problems are simply being myopic and failing to accept that they erred by beating Mangoma. Everyone was appalled by the violent behaviour the youths exhibited whilst Tsvangirayi stood by watching as if it was a movie. For such people to always blame Zanu PF and other external forces for the party leadership’s failures encourages lack of constructive reflection. To always give a tag to others as CIO and Zanu project because they are disagreeing with the party leader will always stunt its growth, cause hatred, split the party and take it to nowhere. No political party grows out of unmanageable internal squabbles. Now that the two factions’ followers have been out in a full blown verbal warfare, how are they going to face each other and work together? I said this of the 2005 split; failure to manage internal dynamisms and to set youths upon other leaders will not build the party, but will surely continue to keep it away from power. The arrogance and cultist perception that is devoid of future plans and the party’s continued existence will not get anyone anywhere. Indeed, the ‘function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.’ MDC T had so many followers such that by now it should be running the country, but by failing to allow a democratic space for others’ views, it has inevitably destroyed itself. I hope Tsvangirayi’s apology also serves as a big warning to his followers that the future is not in these insults and beatings; politricks is unpredictable and leaders are forced to work together for various reasons, even if they do not like each other. Most of these leaders were no longer talking to each other towards last year’s elections because of the way primary elections were being handled, but they were prepared to cooperate where possible because they all knew they needed something from each other. But did this dawn on their followers? Followers can make or unmake leaders, and can equally destroy their own hopes and aspirations through blind loyalty.