THE late MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who was buried at his Humanikwa rural homestead in Buhera yesterday, must be turning in his grave over the fierce, but petty fights that have characterised his funeral.
It would appear some, if not most, of the fights have nothing to do with Tsvangirai’s vision for a democratic Zimbabwe.
Just taking a cursory look at the actors and the issues they are fighting over, one would be left convinced that it’s nothing to do with the quest for democracy.
First, it was MDC-T vice-president, Nelson Chamisa versus his co-deputies, Thokozani Khupe and Elias Mudzuri in the fight for control of party business before Tsvangirai’s death in a South African hospital last week.
It was uncalled for for Tsvangirai’s lieutenants to engage in such nasty succession fights, as if that was the only urgent issue the party should address.
The body language and decorum exhibited by the feuding parties in the drama betray their propensity for retaining power at all costs – including selling out the democratic agenda.
Already, the fights have left the party so divided with Chamisa, Khupe and Mudzuri – all scrambling for a piece of the MDC-T cake, in the process compromising the party brand and derailing Tsvangirai’s vision.
The fights, which are playing in the public glare, have also divided Tsvangirai’s family, with one faction sympathising with Mudzuri and Khupe, while the other backs Chamisa.
If not handled carefully, these internecine fights have the capacity to further split the party and blight the vision that Tsvangirai dearly cherished.
The drama continued into the weekend when the former prime minister’s body arrived in the country, where his mother threatened to commit suicide if Chamisa and Tsvangirai’s widow Elizabeth were allowed to be part of the proceedings.
On Monday, Tsvangirai’s mother, Lydia Zvaipa, waded into the drama and stirred the hornet’s nest when she refused to disembark from the hearse carrying her son’s body.
Yesterday, there was more drama in Humanikwa, where Khupe and party secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora were reportedly briefly shut out of the proceedings by party youth from the rival camp.
It is our hope that the feuding camps will quickly realise that the main agenda is not succeeding Tsvangirai, but maintaining his legacy and vision for the good of the opposition party.
The MDC-T risks handing Zanu PF an easy victory in this year’s general election if it fails to put its house in order in time for the polls.