could tsvangirai have gotten it so wrong?
In the unforgiving world of politics where everything is connected and therefore information whether accurate or otherwise is easily available there are special challenges that now exist.
The things that remain the same like any game are the strategy and the tactic. The vision remains the same but the missions can change from time to time. But of course if the vision which is of course the strategy in this instance is faulty then you are in a bit of a fix to say the least.
I am currently in the middle of Bill Clinton’s My Life and of course he being one of the most brilliant politicians of his generation deserves a good listen. He speaks of the time when Judge Holt was running for office in Arkansas and exposes one of the fundamental flaws of that campaign. Judge Holt would get attacked and never hit back. In short his refusal to take off the gloves until late in the game lost him the vote with the progressive voters who really didnt know what he was all about. He lacked distinct policy and preached a general message. Not to say that he was not a good candidate. He just not a winning candidate.
Of course the opposite can be said of John McCain who spent too much time punching Barack Obama that he alienated the voters in the middle. Of course that he had Palin on the ticket and his campaign had a schizophrenic message was a big factor as well.
In both cases, the strategy was flawed and the tactics failed on the back of this. You see it is not enough to say that you want to win a seat but it is down is what political moves do you make? Who do you make your alliances and how do you win the undecided voters without alienating your base?
Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC was able to make inroads into the educated cities but then that was it because in their wisdom they thought that was enough. Of course it did not help them that they were initially denied access but even when given that access, the fact that he could not garner the 50%+1 vote against what looked like a party stuck in the past and on its knees praying for mercy was astounding.
The reality is that Tsvangirai is a master at making gaffes, taking the wrong turns and flying with the wrong agenda. You see he campaigned for change and he did not articulate what that meant. He lacked substance and the little he had could not even be disguised with style.
You have to understand that the biggest obstacle to modern politics is the lack of understanding of the route. Everything is instant like coffee, sex and booze. Nothing is prepared anymore and people just run and hope some form of momentum outside themselves would carry them home.
In the case of Tsvangirai he has pushed the same agenda for long in a directionless way hoping to happen upon an answer. And to date he remains in the same position he was when MDC was formed.
He has men of intelligence around him but very questionable intellect. He has read his messages often to his base and never really tried to expand his base. He thought the same message that worked in Harare would work in Mhondoro. And he was rather wrong. Maybe not slightly but spectacularly so.
Robert Mugabe skillfully managed his image from the man noone wanted to touch to the statesman in little time. Through some questionable but effective means his tactics were on point in every step of the way. He lured Tsvangirai and roped in Mutambara into an agreement in which he would concede only by gaining. This was the art of war personified par excellence.
He worked SADC into a corner and then set them loose on Tsvangirai and left the opposition leader looking a bit silly. Yes he wants to call AU but AU gave SADC the mandate so it is highly unlikely that position will change. Even David Coltart, a fierce critic of Mugabe was quoted as having said that there was ‘very little option but to accept under protest what Sadc has ruled so that we can move forward’.
The significant position was that even Botswana and Tanzania who were at least sympathisers – Bostwana being a little more than that – all supported the SADC resolution passed in Sandton.
And in the heat of the moment coated with blind and ill-advised stupidity Tsvangirai and his gang have stood against this. To what end they know and I am not about to speculate but one does not see a way that is about the people out of this. But that is the populist argument and I am not about to get into that right now.
In short this episode has gone for way too long. SADC is weary, Zimbabweans are weary and just abotu everybody is fed up. In the midst of humanitarian crisis, the MDC tactics remain skewed and the strategy piss-poor!