Allow me space to comment on the statement attributed to MDC-Ncube president Professor Welshman himself, in a recent edition of NewsDay, which was reprinted in several other newspapers.
Professor Ncube is alleged to have attacked MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai, for being uneducated.
But before I go too far, let me first of all give Professor Ncube the benefit of doubt as he may have been misquoted. In the past when I have confronted Professor Ncube to clarify positions attributed to him in the media, he has professed ignorance and said he had never had an interview with the media as claimed.
My last confrontation with Professor Ncube was towards the time of the Parliamentary Speaker’s re-election following the nullification by the courts of Lovemore Moyo’s first election, when I asked him why his party was barring its MPs from participating in the election.
I told him that was a violation of the MPs’ rights. He denied his party was barring the parliamentarians from voting, until I had to produce for him media statements by two senior officials in his party.
He then admitted that such a move was inappropriate and said corrective action was to be taken.
But if Professor Ncube really said what has been attributed to him by the media, I would love to hear from him his definition of education. For me, education is not measured by the number of university degrees one has attained.
I find the idea that education is the delivery of knowledge, skills and information from teachers to students misguided.
There are a lot of people who are self-taught, and have achieved immensely.
It would be unfair to say Tsvangirai has been a failure when he managed to lead a party that defeated (President) Mugabe with all his university degrees in the 2008 elections.
When the original MDC split in 2005, Professor Ncube’s party took away the majority of the MDC MPs, but wasn’t it leadership failure that made them lose the majority of those seats in the 2008 elections?
Wasn’t that party led by a professor as party president and Professor Ncube himself as secretary-general?
Professor Ncube seems to be hitting Tsvangirai below the belt. Just a month or so ago, he was in the media shouting that Tsvangirai has nothing to offer and now he is heard saying Tsvangirai is uneducated.
In his latest outburst, Professor Ncube goes further to say the people who started the struggle for freedom realised the need for educated leaders and invited them to lead the existing parties then.
If that is what you said, Professor Ncube, let me educate you by saying that you are being very subjective and uneducated in your statements.
Every Zimbabwean knows that it is Tsvangirai’s leadership that has brought (President) Mugabe to the negotiating table, hence the very high prospects now that Mugabe will go soon.
It was the skewed judgment of the professors who were in charge of the then MDC-M that led to the two MDCs failing to work together in the 2008 elections.
No matter how hard anyone might want to blame it on Tsvangirai, the truth of the matter is that the party led by professors insisted on more parliamentary seats than what they got in the end.
The professors failed to gauge their potential.
Already, when discussion started around the possibility of the two MDCs forming a united front in the next election, Professor Ncube is reported by the media as saying Tsvangirai was not taking the MDC-N as equal partners, suggesting that he would want larger representation of candidates from his party fielded than is the party’s actual potential, that is crazy.
He must accept his party is the smaller of the two, especially when their rallies are attracting a paltry 100 to 200 people as has been reported in several newspapers recently.
I would want to conclude that Professor Ncube is a difficult personality, and negotiating a partnership with him may be more retrogressive than progressive.
Zimbabwe is supposed to be a democracy, but at this rate I see the MDC-N’s representation in Parliament after the next election severely reduced.
It would appear from the words attributed to Professor Ncube that he will be another “know-it-all” leader like (President) Mugabe who will say because I have a degree in Economics, I should tell the ministers of Economic Development and Finance what to do.
The government should work as a team and that is why there is Cabinet.
Let me conclude by apologising to Professor Ncube in advance if the statement in Tuesday’s papers has been falsely attributed to him, but if he indeed said so, I challenge him to be real.