The chaos that characterised an MDC-T national executive meeting at Harvest House last week made damaging publicity for Morgan Tsvangirai and his party, which is governing the country in a power-sharing arrangement.
During the strategic meeting, senior MDC-T officials traded insults and came close to blows.
This happened in full view of Tsvangirai, the party’s president and the country’s Prime Minister.
Reports say Tsvangirai intervened and briefly broke the meeting saying the ghost of October 12, 2005 had returned to haunt the party.
The scuffle pitted Senator Morgan Femai and Thamsanqa Mahlangu, Nkulumane MP, against national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and Charlton Hwende, a member of the national executive of MDC-T.
The original MDC, formed in 1999, split in 2005 after Tsvangirai and then secretary-general Welshman Ncube clashed over policy issues.
Political analysts believe the disturbances were a result of ongoing factional feuding and not disclosures that some senior MDC-T members could have undermined Tsvangirai during discussions with United States diplomats.
The analysts say the fracas was a result of long-standing unresolved feuds which were aggravated at the party’s congress held in Bulawayo early this year.
Whatever the reasons for the fracas were, the incident was a serious indictment on Tsvangirai and his top leadership in the party.
Signals are that the MDC-T has removed eyes from the ball and is now clearly playing into the hands of President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.
MDC-T supporters should be worried that instead of haggling over inconsequential issues, the party leadership should put its act together and gear for a watershed election likely to be held in 2013.
Tsvangirai, as the captain of the ship, should put his foot down and concentrate on navigating the political vessel through the stormy waters to deliver on his promise to Zimbabweans.
If he cannot rein in a few delinquents in his inner circle, who have the mettle to cause mayhem during a meeting he presides over, then what assurance do we have that he will deliver to us sound democracy and good governance?
Tsvangirai has made his party’s position on WikiLeaks public – that the disclosures by the leaked US diplomatic cables were a non-event.
So why is there discord at the highest level of the party if the matter was discussed and a common position taken?
Is it a case of the Prime Minister indicating to the right and then turning left?
Let’s have some consistency here.
Could those that are agitating for the party to discuss disclosures in the leaked cables be undermining their leadership or could there be an invisible hand that is strategically pushing the agenda?
Tsvangirai should come out clean on this.