Smell the coffee, Mr Prime Minister


And so it came to pass that the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe was finally given the nod to tour Chiadzwa Diamond operations, albeit, three years down the line, and he was elated. But, elated over what?

Over the years, not only the Prime Minister has been blocked from, and denied permission to visit Chiadzwa, but even a parliamentary committee was denied such permission, several times.

Hordes of Chinese, soldiers and all manner of foreign speculators have been allowed to visit Chiadzwa and even an unsolicited invitation was extended to scribes, at the National Press Club . . . but the Prime Minister of the country had to sweat it out, to be allowed to come anywhere near the diamond works — denied permission by one of his supposed subordinates, ObertMpofu, the Minister of Mines! Lord have mercy!

This reads like a classic case of the tail wagging the dog.

If Chiadzwa had been some stone quarry or coalfield, there wouldn’t have been any hullabaloo, the Prime Minister would have been allowed to camp there for as long as he pleased, but Chiadzwa is a treasure chest and a no-go area for someone considered a “step-child” like Morgan Tsvangirai, in the convoluted minds of some.

Welcome to Zimbabwe and its warped politics . . !
Tsvangirai has taken all sorts of insults and humiliation:

From being almost forced to bungee-jump from a six-storey building without a rope; being tried on accusations of treason; beaten to a pulp right inside a police station where, ordinarily, one would seek sanctuary, for wanting to attend a prayer meeting, to being denied the right to occupy and reside at the traditional Prime Minister’s residence, which was the home of successive Rhodesian prime ministers, including Garfield Todd, Edgar Whitehead, Winston Field, Ian Smith and even Bishop Abel Muzorewa, among others.

He has been defied and scoffed at and ridiculed by almost all Zanu PF ministers who are supposedly under his supervision, without any of them ever getting as much as a spank or reprimand.

He has had most of his MPs and party officials and members routinely arrested and has also been denied permission to hold rallies more times than he cares to remember, not to mention the countless police raids on his Harvest House party headquarters on the most spurious of pretexts.

His constant vilification and ridicule in State media, day in and day out is now almost routine.

The police have never raided Zanu PF offices since independence in 1980.

His choice for Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Roy Bennett, was turned down outright by His Excellency President Robert Mugabe, until Tsvangirai capitulated and nominated someone else, though the Global Political Agreement (GPA) has no stipulation giving the President discretionary powers of approving another party’s choice, and his line-up for provincial governors has cobwebbed and remained like shadows in the waiting room while senior civil service appointments continue to be filled without him being consulted, as stipulated by the so-called GPA.

Tsvangirai has taken it all on the chin . . ! Incredible, isn’t it?

When the papers broke the story about the President, who was then still married to Sally Mugabe, dating Grace Marufu, a young typist in his office then, and now his wife, the police sprang into action and arrested Elias Rusike, the then owner of the paper that broke the story, and its then editor — but when a story broke about Tsvangirai, a widower, dating Locardia Tembo, the police couldn’t find their handcuffs.

And now the Prime Minister gets all excited as a pig in mud over being finally given the nod to visit Chiadzwa.

He has also recently taken to showering his rival, President Mugabe, with such flattering language as to suggest that he was chosen by God, to rule the people Zimbabwe.

If that is so, so why then does Tsvangirai try to put asunder those that the Lord has put together by contesting President Mugabe’s divine appointment?

Oh Sinner-man, where are you gonna run to . . ?

Am I missing something or is Tsvangirai truly the “step-child” of Zimbabwean politics, falling out of the shopping cart at every turn?

Celebrating the nod to visit Chiadzwa . . . God in Heaven! Just how much humiliation can a man take before he realises that he is being made a monkey of?

What will it take, to change the essence of some people . . ?

Did it ever occur to him that whatever it may have been that made the relevant authority refuse him permission to visit the site for three years would not be visible when he visits, and his permission to visit is therefore of no substantive significance save to cast a veneer of some semblance of authority on his part, and to get him to endorse and give a clean bill of health to the goings-on at Chiadzwa, whatever they may be?

President Mugabe’s spokesperson, George Charamba, underscored it perfectly during the debacle over the recent re-appointment of Police Commissioner-eneral, Augustine Chihuri, when he said that some of these things are done to give the impression that some of these GPA partners have some semblance of power and authority, when in actual fact, they are merely impotent eunuchs, while all power vests in the President.

As it turns out, Tsvangirai then tries to save face and dupe us with his suggestion that he had agreed for Chihuri to be re-appointed in an acting capacity until 2014.

What is the meaning of that? Mr Prime Minister, why not simply admit that you are being upstaged all the way? We understand, we are not stupid!

Tsvangirai has been a very brave man, tussling with a whale for all of his political life and has the scars to show for it.

He has gone further than all his predecessors put together, that much is granted, but if only he had half the qualitative mettle that Raila Odinga has, and a no-nonsense approach to business, he wouldn‘t have had to put up with any humiliation.

What, really, will it take for him to wake up and smell the coffee?