Zimbabwe where do we go from here?

Like many Zimbabweans the results of this election has left me speechless, but not entirely shocked.

By Gracious Chihuri

It has been more than a week since Zimbabweans took to the polls; it’s difficult to fully digest the results and what they mean for every one of us. One thing I know from experience is that these elections like many before them have come and gone. The struggle for democracy in Zimbabwe has been dealt a massive blow.

The elections were rigged, stolen or won whichever way we want to look at it. One thing is certain in my mind, there will be no election until when they are constitutionally due. But, so where does the struggle go from here? Who will lead this struggle is now a very legitimate question that every progressive Zimbabwean should now ask.

The art of being a good visitor is knowing when to leave.

After 14 years as the face of this struggle I think it’s in the interest of democracy for Morgan Tsvangirai to set a good precedent and pass this baton to someone else. Surely he has had a fair crack of the whip. Now is time for him to concede defeat and make way. I am not saying he should congratulate Zanu PF on their so-called landslide victory and concede defeat to them. But I am merely saying in the interest of democracy and leadership renewal he should resign as leader of the MDC-T because he has failed to deliver victory against Robert Mugabe three times. There are also several reasons why I think he should quit as soon as the dust settles.

How Tsvangirai gifted this victory to Zanu PF

I, like most Zimbabweans are under no illusion that this election was somehow rigged and fraught with numerous irregularities. But it wasn’t Zanu PF’s job to stop their own victory. There are so many strategic blunders that Tsvangirai himself and the MDC-T made when they went into government.
Tsvangirai, Mugabe’s chief defender.

As soon as he started drinking tea with Mugabe, he took it upon himself to go round the world sanitising the man, telling everyone to our astonishment that the man really isn’t the monster they think he is. Really, now how are you going to spin this round and tell us, ohh I made a miscalculation, he really, really is a monster after all, and who is going to believe you now? Prematurely sanitising Mugabe wasn’t his job.

Tsvangirai the flip-flopper

The man never sticks to his word, his tenure has been characterised by flip-flopping from one issue to the next, and issuing empty threats. Unfortunately this has been feeding in to the Zanu PF narrative of portraying him as weak, indecisive and unprincipled leader. Is this not the Tsvangirai, who at some point gave the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) a clean bill of health, oh yes Zec! Only for calling for it to be disbanded a few days before elections. Was he not calling for elections to be held in June only to change his mind?

Tsvangirai backing a dead horse

I know he and Welshman Ncube don’t see eye to eye, but couldn’t they just set their differences aside in the national interest. But I don’t think their differences were as insurmountable as Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo’s, but if these two could sit down and iron out their differences in the national interest what stopped Tsvangirai and Ncube? I am not saying Ncube is an angel, but the blame mostly lies with Tsvangirai. This for me is an unforgivable strategic blunder he personally made. He decided to back a dead horse called AGO (Arthur) Mutambara. A man who had no known constituency, was obviously defeated or gave up power voluntarily only to go back on his word, was never going to contest in the elections after all. Why back a looser when the clear winner is there, with tangible benefits?

When Lovemore Moyo temporarily lost the speakership, to his credit Ncube instructed his MPs to vote for him, and they duly did, and he was elected with their help. I thought this was an opportunity for the two to start working together and narrow their differences in time for elections. But this gesture was never reciprocated by the Tsvangirai faction. If Tsvangirai had simply backed Ncube from the start that could have clearly laid out the ground work for a coalition. For Tsvangirai to start inviting Ncube when separate primary elections had already been done for both parties was just plain naivety on his part. Zanu PF was the biggest winner in this strategic political miscalculation. If Tsvangirai had worked with Ncube, the two would have ganged up on Mugabe and maybe got better concessions, than to align himself with Mutambara who always sided with Mugabe.

Tsvangirai the damaged/compromised brand

The brand “Tsvangirai” was built on being “one of us, mumwewedu”. However, Zanu PF wanted this brand destroyed and that “mumwewedu” narrative buried. The first thing they did was to give him a house, instead of a finished one, gave him one to renovate to his own taste. He was given millions for the project. He duly took the cash, fell into the trap in the process, renovate it to his true test he did, in the process the brand was compromised if not irreparably damaged. Haru Mutasa Aljazeera correspondent while waiting Tsvangirai’s Press conference at his residence tweeted; “we are in awe of Tsvangirai’s palatial residence, it’s enormous and looks very expensive . . . he lived well”. Is this consistent with “mumwewedu” brand? Now mumwewedu or chedu as most would call him is now going to address rallies in designer shirts with patches, leather sofas, red carpet everywhere he went, where these not premature comforts? How about paying lobola for one woman and five months later wedding another one, did all this go unnoticed in the voter’s mind?

Tsvangirai’s record in government

Although the coming of the MDC-T into government no doubt brought relief and some stability for the Zimbabwean people. I think Tsvangirai’s record in government was generaly poor. Zanu PF did everything to frustrate him and his ministers, but they could have done a hell lot especially in the towns they were controlling. Harare residents and all the other urbanites didn’t really see any change from the previous Zanu PF regimes, corruption, mismanagement of funds, water shortages and portholes were everywhere. Tsvangirai could have used this platform to show the people of Zimbabwe what he was really capable of. He could have used his influence to go to his so called friends from the West and begged for machinery, equipment and money to radically transform these towns and in the process convince villagers that if he could do it in the towns it could also filter down to them. How was Ignatius Chombo going to interfere with this? Even in his rural home if he was effective Joseph Chinotimba wouldn’t have won in his backyard or rigged in his backyard!

Failure of MDC-T to attract real talent

Again the blame lies squarely on Tsvangirai’s door. Zimbabweans are the most educated people in Africa, but why are the brainy ones not in the MDC-T leadership? Why is Zanu PF always out-thinking, out-smarting, out-strategising and out-manoeuvring the MDC-T? Where are the strategists in MDC-T, where are the Jonathan Moyos, George Charambas, Patrick Chinamasas, Emmerson Mnangagwas of the MDC-T? Why is it 14 years later the Lovemore Madhukus, Brian Kagoros, Zhangazhas don’t want to associate themselves with the MDC-Ts. Have these people been shut out of the MDC-T because of their intellect, independence of mind or what?
Who will take over now?

As I have lamented above, the MDC-T has either failed to attract talent or frustrated talent from its ranks, and this might come back to bite them. I don’t see anyone from the top six in the MDC-T who can take over, and who has a broader appeal. Maybe, Nelson Chamisa, but he is still young and still learning his trade. Tendai Biti, his record in government was good, he can andamburate, but that’s all there is to him, so who else then?
What are the MDC-T options?

If I am brutally honest these are limited to none in so far as this election is concerned. Their court challenge is a waste of money and time, because at the Constitutional Court they will meet Godfrey Chidyausiku (anodya usiku) and that will be the end of it. Our judiciary is heavily compromised and hence you can’t realistically expect a miracle to come from there. Sadc and the African Union have already endorsed the results, so diplomatically there is nowhere they can go. Protests will never happen, who wants to die so that someone continues to stay in Borrowdale/Highlands?

Way forward for Zimbabwe.

As Zimbabweans I believe we need to move forward, we have talked down our country a hell lot in the past few years, and we have all suffered as a result. It’s time to talk it up now for a change. Regardless of what happened, elections are over, and they will come again when they are due, in the meantime let’s all work in the national interest. For Zanu PF I hope they will be magnanimous in victory, and realise that their so-called manufactured landslide doesn’t mean total endorsement of their policies. They need to move from their extreme right and try to govern from the middle ground a little bit to accommodate the majority. The Herald, ZBC and other institutions need to be professionally run like they used to prior to the Jonathan Moyo era and the same with many other government institutions. The country needs to move forward and heel.

Just my most humble thoughts.lFeedback: gchihuri@hotmail.com

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  1. keep yo humble opinion to yoself

    1. Before the elections, you lot were ‘Mandelarising’ Tsvangirai and publishing all kinds of rubbish making a saint and an infallible human being out of him; after elections you all crucify the man? If ZANU PF ever loses, we will never turn on our leaders, like we never turned on our President faced with a first round defeat in 2008, instead we got stuck in and fought hard behind our man, Mugabe! MDC T will never get it; it is about Principles, stupid!

  2. Newsday u are hurt cause ncube did not get a single seat he is the one who should retire not tsvangirai he is our true hero zanu pf only came to power in 1980 after being formed in 1963

  3. MT is a brand which is synonymous to change. RMT can only step down when the old man quits or is dead otherwise any new leader has shortcomings wc zpf can easily manipulate.

  4. Silvester Matambo

    Iam one of the multitudes of Zimbabweans who are happy with the Zanu Pf win. All the puppets combined were no match for Zanu Pf.

    1. @silvester matambo
      u are a brainless, underpenless zpf idiot.
      Who is not a puppet.
      If your master is not a puppet of the west why then does he cry for removal of travel bans-so called sanctions?
      If i was Mdc i wud extensively call for more ‘western sanctions’ so tht Mugabe- a serious aspirant of Western puppetry butressess his vain look east policy.

  5. The best scenario was for Mdc to groom Simba Makoni and front him as Party President whilst the other structures remain unchanged. The rest have been tainted with zpf s propaganda brush.

  6. The reapoter is very good at child minding and he sounds to me like words were from some else , probably the high profiled people if i am not mistaken,

  7. Problem with a lot of analyst is tht you live in dream land giving people proposals tht never work.
    ZIMBABWE IS A DICTATORSHIP where every structure-Police, Zec the Courts are there to support the status quo.
    Problem is you want to remove Mugabe through the ballot when they sing to you everyday they rose and can be removed only by the barrel.
    If people are serious to claim their land and resources back, they should be busy gathering resources to fight for their freedom.
    No freedom comes on a cheap platter. Ask Iraqis, or Libyans.
    It sounds rather too extreme but for how long can you live knowing your election was stolen.

  8. Whilst i dont subscribe you proposal Gauteng preacher but i think Zpf knows the amount of anger and tension within most Zimbabweans ryt now.
    If they demand power, give them the power. They have decided to carry the Zimbabwe burden and should be able to take us out of this pit in as much as they took us in.
    Why argue with a person who has decided to marry a stubborn wife?

  9. Mr writer you are worried about what you call Zpfs ‘manufactured landslide’ but realistically on the ground these ‘manufactured politicians’ have legal priviledges of changing the constitution and forming a gvt.
    Wait until they start fiddling on the Copac Constitution.
    That constitution is going to be changed the very day it is going to take effect.
    Feel pity on the ordinary Zimbabwean man.
    Talk of people vs politicians

  10. YOU newday people you are fools ask your w ncube he is the one defeated there is no movement no wayforward not even an inch because its not only morgen who was robbed but everyone of us us I mean majority of people including diasporas the relatives and all the young generation so never dream of wayfoward for where as long as this mess is not addressed you go and get married wayford never ever

  11. ibhebhi rakasvika tarira zvaarikuzviita- warwadziwa nei. morgan ngaabate maout going mp emdc t ekuchitungwiza amboazvambura stereki they costed the party. shoko nevakadzi vemusika kuswera patower light muN achidya mari yeCDF nepfambi, uyu mhashu pamba kunge pacar sale yema volvo, pajero, navara, benz, jaguar mota kuwanda kukunda vanhu achiswerawo kuN pazvido mavelous khumalo hatitaure. rova vanhu morgan. masundure maown goal hatitaure

  12. I agree with the writer. MT made strategic errors driven by hate. If Nkomo and RG who had actually attempted to kill each other at some point cud agree to work with each other to make the country move forward – why not these two…??? Pakashaika leadership and Zpf exploited that. Well done Gracious

  13. there is no movement no wayforward not even an inch because its not only morgen who was robbed but everyone of us I mean majority of people including diasporas the relatives and all the young generation so never dream of wayfoward for where as long as this mess is not addressed you go and get married wayford never ever.Those mdc winners who think they will join the gvt must totaly foget they have to get that mandate from all zimbabwean.you allow mugabe to denay despora vote where on eath this has happened.you let mugabe rush election,ini ndakaona mapolling station airara akachengetwa nevanhu vezanu pf pasina munhu vemdc in town in harare not kumusha hamuna even kuziwa mapolling station ose kwanzi pane vari kuunza maCV for mayorship .election are null and void apinda next time hatimuvhotere. vavhoti takatsamwa we need evething to be stated again no matter the outcome of your patsan concourt. but next time involve everyone in your systems tokupaimazano even for free not all this mess

  14. None has dared mugabe like tsvangirai has done in the whole history of opposition politics. Ppl are good critising morgan left, right and centre wthout suggesting and advising him as a way foward. Morgan is not the enemy mugabe is

  15. Mpofu aita mari nemadiamonds vana vemashefu ezanu vodzidza kunze kwenyika iwe wako achidzidza kuchimurenga high. Vose vakavhotera zanu ndozvamakada .

  16. Libya,lraqi or whatever you are daydreaming their life is worse off so don’t even envy that. mazimbo anoda pea e and the sooner everybody realises that the better and use a digferent approach. tsvangison should be criticized where he failed,even the west so his defeat well before it happened he is just not sharp to make the right decision and how can he lead,ngatichimbowonawo vamwe sure there ate brainer people in Zimbabwe, and do away with use of mawhindi where seriousness is required. Mugabe is a genious and will always outfit little minded people lke chedu

  17. mdc was good to keep zpf in check but supporters of tsvangison are blind if they can’t how he is so dull and doesn’t think straight,Biti rise up asi ukaita zvawaiita zvekunyima vanhu mari muchi demander stands nemota as mps hamutongi,before pointing at zanu take a good look at the people at the helm in mdc are they not selfish idiots who forgot about the electorate

  18. mdc was good to keep zpf in check but supporters of tsvangison are blind if they can’t how he is so dull and doesn’t think straight,Biti rise up asi ukaita zvawaiita zvekunyima vanhu mari muchi demander stands nemota as mps hamutongi,before pointing at zanu take a good look at the people at the helm in mdc are they not selfish idiots who forgot about the electorate,moreso most of the supporterrs are diasporans makwara akatiza kuti isu takasara tivarwire and they forgot their vote was needed in the ballot so who was to vote on their behalf. we will not be violent,but just wait for another protest vote 2018 if zpf does not deliver and have another gnu

  19. toda service delivery please zanu pf and slim cabinet with right thinking ministers who use brains not like made and goche,its time to turnaround our fortunes forgive Britain and west create good relations and move on,chivanhu chedu toziva vanhu vachigadzirisana vachiregererana for development Z’s sake

  20. musada kutibata kumeso vaChihuri. we all know how you all benefited from ZANU PF since you were a toddler. Yashata papi nhasi ZANU iriyo yakakurera ikakuendesa ku Ireland ikoko. kukanganwa chazuro nehope! Tichange takakumirira ku inauguration ya mudhara!

  21. this report is headlined ‘ zimbabwe where do we go from here’ interestingly you are talking about Tsvangirai leaving mdc to someone else instead how the country can move forward,mdc is not the only party in zimbabwe and still more can be formed to challenge the status quo.

  22. this writer should be asking where do we go with a 90yr president than concentrating on Tsvangirai.

  23. mdc n and zanu supporters should leave Tsvangirai alone he is not the problem.

  24. Tsvangirai is the right person to leader us all those who need real change.These elections were robbed from us all who are after democracy.The battle is still on.Do not listen to the so called proffessors they are after confussion on us .

  25. How many times was Welshman approached for a coalition and he started giving Zimbabweans a lecture on Principles and Values.And the guy is no different from Chinotimba, picture this,with his PHD Constitutional Law this guy say the elections were rigged but I cant take Mugabe and Zanu pf to court because I will lose the case, a shameless coward or even a sellout I say.So why are you called a lawyer?The guy is a waste of space ,you study law and then you dont fight for justice,why give Zanu pf a blank cheque. Why go into politics if you cant fight for the people.

    1. @Sqarebasher- I am inclined to agree with you here..as a senior University lecturer would he not have gained more not just as leader of the MDC but a constitutional lawyer to expose with facts and arguments the failings and flaws of the elections at the consitutional court if any..Wouldnt this have proven invalauable to his students and the legal fraternity at large given his pedigree???..As an academic why would he allow such a gold ripe opportunity to waste? As a lawyer citizen of this country does he not owe it to all Zimbabweans (who paid for his studies) that he engage in the debate that is going to flow from this case and set precedents? The professor should reconsider, since it is not just the election that is at stake here it is justice itself? Is he not one of the high priests in this area? Now if high priests turn their backs on justice where to for the common man?

      1. Yes, Prof. Ncube must sacrifice his principles to ‘gain’ a little bit of power after unseating President Mugabe! Really? My advice to MDC T is choose something noble to stand for and face the whole world while defending your position, even if it means isolation from the ‘international community’ or any such club; let them know that you are willing to sacrifice membership to a club in defense of your principles. The Lord, Jesus Christ did it, stood up to Rome and all of the rich and powerful empires of the day and gave up his life but never submitted. We will never submit to the way the West rules the world and we will never give up our sovereignty!

  26. I dont know where the writer is going with this..it takes two to tango as they say..If one were to compare the two MDCs leadership then Tsvagirayi comes out smelling of roses. Ncube was fighting Mutambara who he invited to the party himself and because he was not man enough he decided to then ditch him at the last hour. Mutambara was even worse, after agreeing to the takeover he then did U turn and did a hatchet job on Ncube..with hindsight why did Ncube not see this coming? Remember Ncube had already made it clear that his former boss was an idiot..In any case Davengwa and Makoni walked away from ZANU and did no better, why is there no noise about it. The only brand that equals Mugabe in local politics is Tsvagirayi..That he made blunders is not in doubt but refusing to grovel at the feet of Ncube is not one of them. Mugabe did not grovel at the feet of Davengwa or Makoni, senior players in his party, why should Tsvangirayi have done this given that Ncube had removed himself from the leadership of his own project in preference of Mutambara? Tsvangirayi did not have the intelligence to tell apart who the real player in the other MDC was, was it Ncube or Mutambara..frankly his focus was on dethroning Mugabe, why should he have spent productive time engaging fringe players as the two players had reduced themselves to? This is not to say Tsvagirayi is a saint, he should have done more to court the smaller MDCs, not just Tsvagirayi’s but both of them. I suppose no easy task since for Ncube everything is a a zero sum game.

  27. Morgan Tsvangirayi is not responsible for the condition Zimbabwe is in today.


    1. Tsvangirai sacrificed his principles and alienated his comrades to become President Mugabe’s bich! You think anyone would respect such a man?

      1. Like the little bishop Tutu, he is willing to accept practices that are against God and against our culture in return for the praise of man, he is fought the economic empowerment of blacks in return for FDI!

  28. Gracious Chihuri – you are ignorant for sure. There’s no way Tsvangirai or Welshman or Dabengwa will ever win against a ZanuPF military dictatorship. It is impossible. Civilian political parties have to change their strategies but it could be too late now. They should have informed Sadc, AU, UN, EN and Mbeki way back after the 2008 violent election that Zimbabwe is under the grip of a ZanuPF military dictatorship. Even the best political strategist will never ever win against a military dictatorship.


    Zimbabweans should just endure and accept the outcome until donkeys grow horns. For now, the best is to do away with these elections becoz they cause BPs and stress.

  30. masvingo wenharo

    pliz vamunyori leave Tsvangirai alone and form yo own party and try to unseat mudhara tione some u are very good at kuwawata

  31. kuna vamunyori: U nid 2 form your own opposition party and u wil probably hev e opportunity 2 oust Zpf. Coz it shows that u hev go a good plan and u gonna strategise it 4 sure. Isu naVaTsvangirai tapererwa, go ahead, writer!

  32. Zanu pf policies are theoretical they will never work anywhere in the world.The economy will never go anywhere. The only solution is to continue fighting until the regime is gone. We need industrialization not indegenization.

  33. tadinimamadzimbahwe

    who are yu to decide for all zimbabweans when we are in politics,if yu no longer support mdc t go in peace and when love zanu pf stay their in peace about the two big leaders God knows his ways.

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