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MDC in need of leadership renewal

AS the first decade of the 21st Century draws to a close one cannot help but reflect on the might-have-beens for our beloved motherland Zimbabwe.

It is the ascent of Morgan Tsvangirai on the political scene that has reshaped Zimbabwe more than any other individual, I believe. Indeed it is the birth of the MDC that has been the major highlight of this dramatic 10 year period.
We officially lost our status as the economic hub of southern Africa thanks to Robert Mugabe’s wanton abuse of power. We became the laughing stock of the region as the likes of Olusegun Obasanjo and Thabo Mbeki continued to massage Mugabe’s ego at the expense of Zimbabwe’s long-suffering people.
This is the decade that Zimbabwe’s children fled en masse in search of greener pastures abroad in the salient hope that time would take care of events back home. This is also the decade that saw the formation of a government of national unity which to this day continues to hog the limelight for all the wrong reasons. It is like a choir with two groups singing from two different, unrelated hymnals. The discord is there for all to see.
That Tsvangirai almost wrestled power from the shrewd Mugabe in 2000 and is still pursuing the same up to this day speaks volumes of his leadership capabilities. Granted, Mugabe has fought tooth, nail and claw oftentimes resorting to extra-legal means to cling to power.
The charismatic Tsvangirai has indeed been a darling of the masses since those ZCTU days. There is not a doubt he impersonates the opposition politics of Zimbabwe.
It is against this background that I question the rationale in the MDC when they say Tsvangirai is the only man capable of removing Mugabe. Surely after 10 years one would think they would know better. That Mugabe continues to ride roughshod over Tsvangirai with unilateral appointments, and abuse of power shows the contempt with which the former views the latter. Mugabe has outwitted Tsvangirai at every turn during the past 24 months in government and at times with embarrassing results.
Tsvangirai’s over-reliance on the international community has been his major undoing. Is it not time then for fresher ideas within the MDC movement? For someone with intellectual stamina and capability to tackle Mugabe head-on.That the MDC is fast turning into a fiefdom is there for all to see.
After just 18 months or so as the holder of the national purse I have no doubt in the leadership capabilities of Tendai Biti. The results have been manifested in the arrest of the rapid economic decline of yesteryear, and the revival of production capacity. We are not there yet but definitely the economy has been tamed, and Zimbabwe is on the rise again. He has demonstrated it at the Finance ministry despite having no academic background in this field. His stint has earned him the admiration and respect of friends and foes alike even beyond our borders.
This is one man who is capable of taking Mugabe head on and also has the means to engage other critical fringe parties that will take victory from Zanu PF.
I firmly believe that the time for leadership renewal in the mainstream MDC is now! We made the same mistake in the Mugabe personality cult and now we are having trouble with him.
Tsvangirai has already earned his place as the father figure of the new Zimbabwe that will be birthed soon and it can only go downhill from here if the man decides to hold on to power like what that old man has done. Even the biblical Moses did not take the children of Israel  into Canaan, Joshua did! But was his role any less important than Joshua’s? We each have a role to play and when time is up, its up!

Tatenda Kunaka,
Texas, USA.

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