It was quite interesting to read in one of the Sunday papers that both MDC-T and the Rugare Gumbo/Didymus Mutasa-led Zimbabwe People First party (ZimPF) were trying to lure business magnate Strive Masiyiwa to lead them.
By Tafara Shumba,Our Reader
It was reported that the MDC-T and ZimPF are actually on a race to win the signature of Masiyiwa, with some members of both parties subtly confirming that their parties were toiling over the idea of roping in the businessman into their top echelons.
Gumbo, the spokesman of the breakaway or is it the main ZimPF, could not deny but only managed to say “why don’t you wait until we finish our consultations”.
That pregnant statement alone suffices to conclude that the party is indeed attempting to enlist the leadership of Masiyiwa. It was also alleged, in that report, that Masiyiwa hiked tariffs on his mobile phone service platforms in order to fund ZimPF.
Quite interesting! Indeed tariffs were hiked and no justifiable raison d’être was given for that. After the allegations, the world was anxiously waiting to hear Masiyiwa’s reaction, at least refuting the media’s story or confirming same. Masiyiwa finally came out denying the reports after some curious silence.
In the past, the multi-millionaire business tycoon used to hastily spring into action when these allegations were raised, refuting any links with any political party, MDC-T in particular. He was silent for a while this time around, leaving people to second-guess him.
In case Masiyiwa is entertaining the idea of joining any of the opposition parties, he must do so at own peril.
He is undeniably a shrewd businessman. However, that does not translate to political acumen. The two attributes are not related in any way. Politics is a horse of a different colour.
Americans, who conflated the two attributes and ended up electing a business tycoon, Donald Trump, for president, are already regretting. Politics is for politicians who must facilitate a conducive environment for businesspeople to do business.
Masiyiwa is a world figure. He is on the world map through business. That will be naive for him to reduce himself from that glorious altitude to a village politician. Neither of the parties mentioned are worth risking business reputation for.
MDC-T continues to vanish. The MDC-T’s erstwhile donors have all ceased to bankroll it due to its incessant dismal electoral performance. They have realised, late though, that they have been backing a wrong horse.
Nineteen years of pouring money into a bottomless pit is enough for the former MDC-T benefactors to realise that the project is not working out. Having realised that no funds were coming from the foreign lands, the cunning MDC-T now wants to tap from local sources. Masiyiwa is a target here.
The business mogul would do well to read history. When the MDC-T was stronger than it is today, some former white commercial farmers generously doled out money to it after they had been promised that Tsvangirai would reverse the land reform when it gets into power. The white farmers can be forgiven, at least the MDC-T was strong then and it almost appeared like it would form the next government. But shame on those who expect the same miracle to happen today. Masiyiwa should know better.
As for ZimPF which is co-led by Mutasa and Gumbo, even yours truly, an unemployed chap, would turn down the offer to lead that group of jokers. What more a world-class businessman in the stature of Masiyiwa.
He must give the invitation a thorough consideration before he soils his business reputation. The nature of his business empire cuts across the political divide. They, too, are after his money and only God knows if the ZimPF elders have genuinely repented from their well-documented shenanigans. This is the reason that has been causing the fighting and the subsequent messy split of ZimPF. That will be naive for Masiyiwa to invest in those vultures, which have already displayed their true colours.
Masiyiwa must learn from what happened to another world-class figure, former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, a robotics scientist. Mutambara was lured to lead the MDC that had broken away from the Tsvangirai-led MDC.
They wanted someone more acceptable to the people than the architects of the breakaway themselves — Welshman Ncube and Gibson Sibanda. The two gentlemen obviously thought that, being Ndebele, they would not have national appeal. We wonder who told them that Ndebeles cannot be leaders of this rainbow nation. They feared that their party would be perceived as a tribal ensemble, thus, they roped in Mutambara, who is Shona, to neutralise the tribal matrix.
However, Mutambara was later booted out in a chaotic manner that left him with a big dent on his professional reputation.
At least Mutambara was removed not before he enjoyed being in the corridors of power as a deputy prime minister of this nation, courtesy of the inclusive government of course. It is not certain if there will be another inclusive overnment for Masiyiwa.
One wonders why people form political parties when they have no confidence in themselves to lead those parties. Gumbo and Mutasa are outsourcing a leader as if they do not have anyone with leadership qualities in their cabal. Remember this is the same Mutasa who said the apex of his dream is to become a vice-president.