ZIMBABWE – One of the highlights of my journalism career was clashing with leaders and members of the MDC – a number of whom regard me as a comrade or brother – during the days of the GNU.
I came out of the crowd as early as 2009 to criticise the MDC’s lethargic attitude and approach to the implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), by and large.
I maintained and even intensified my criticism through the lifespun of the GNU, including warning about the danger of plunging into another stalemate and rigged elections as we got on July 31 last year.
The MDC, as a vehicle for change and democratisation, played a crucial role in pushing the Mugabe dictatorship to the wall and credibly recording key achievements. However, my position has always been that they slackened at vital stages and allowed Zanu PF to obfuscate and get away with intransigence, violation as well as blatant barbarism.
Not that l have changed my position on these matters, but was forced to revisit them yesterday after reading an interview of Elton Mangoma in the Financial Gazette.
Mangoma’s interview is littered with wholly ridiculous and close to insane statements, and he almost broke my ribs with his claims regarding the GNU, Morgan Tsvangirai and how things unfolded.
Mangoma claims that Tsvangirai ‘would fall away from discussions’ during cabinet meetings, in addition to alleging that the MDC leader is incapable of sustaining concentration.
I cannot claim to be privy to what used to transpire in the cabinet but have no doubt that it takes normal intelligence levels to identify Mangoma’s hypocrisy and even mental confusion.
First, he attempts to imply that probably him and the rest had a mandate, or special privilege – of whatever manner – to ‘fall from discussion’, save only for Tsvangirai.
For, Mangoma implies that the MDC would lose it because of the ‘fall from discussion’ which apparently he claims to have been a weakness of Tsvangirai.
Questions flood and stare Mangoma in the face, including that, where was he and the other MDC ministers when their leader was losing it through whatever he terms ‘fall from discussion’.
I have checked again and confirmed that the set-up in cabinet would put everyone at equal terms during discussions, meaning, if Tsvangirai would ‘fall from discussion’ as alleged by Mangoma and consequently have that lose the battle to the Zanu PF side, it simply implies that therefore, the whole MDC team would be in tandem and conniving to ‘fall from discussion’ with Tsvangirai.
That would include the highly esteemed Elton Steers Mangoma.
Indeed, if there was the crisis of the MDC’s alleged ‘fall from discussion’, it logically would reflect on all members that were in cabinet from the MDC side.
This exposes Mangoma in many ways and with regards the basis of his fight for the leadership in the MDC.
Chiefly, it beats me how Mangoma fails to identify the deep pit of hypocrisy he wantonly and recklessly plunges into through his utterancies.
It becomes clear that, whilst hoisting the flag of constitutionalism and democracy, Mangoma is choking with an unbridled sense of loathe towards Tsvangirai, which leads him into a rampage of character assassination – even through naked rubbish.
Clearly, the attempts by Mangoma to exonerate himself and the others in order to single out Tsvangirai for all the blame, is as shallow as it is malicious. In reality, it doesn’t help Mangoma’s cause nor aid his argument. Rather, it leaves a lot of questions about his own integrity and even real motive.
Mangoma went on to imply in the same interview that Tsvangirai failed to negotiate for ministries as well as seize executive power during the GNU.
Again, this could be nothing else but blatant hypocrisy and insincerity for Mangoma to say.
Not only was Mangoma one of the chief MDC negotiators of the GPA -who were criticised by the facilitation team for lacking grit and stamina – but Mangoma was also one of those that paraded with broad smiles to gratefully accept ministerial appointments made by Tsvangirai.
I attended several press conferences held by Mangoma as minister of Economic Development and later Energy, and vividly recall him exuding confidence that the MDC was making the difference in the GNU – which they did to a credible extent.
To turn around now and tell horrible stories about his boss he used to praise fawningly for steering their side into the right direction, apparently exposes Mangoma’s hypocrisy and double standards.
I have no doubt this reinforces the aspect of Mangoma’s drama l have all along been highlighting, which is that some circumstances and factors must have forced him to assume his current hypocritical nature and wage his battle in the manner he is rolling out.
Whatever the circumstances and factors could be, one thing beyond doubt is that they have driven him into a state close to insanity or a confused mental status.
That is why virtually everything he said in the interview is either totally absurd, nonsensical or meaningless.
That includes his claim that ’100% of members of the Standing Committee are against Tsvangirai’ as Mangoma betrays the possibility of a delusional state of mind.
In all fairness, that claim is clearly contrary to reality and Mangoma knows it, begging the question about his state of mind.
He has occasionally come out attacking members of the Standing Committee such as Nelson Chamisa and Douglas Mwonzora for siding with Tsvangirai and fighting Mangoma’s so-called leadership renewal agenda. Suddenly, so Mangoma wants to imply, the likes of Chamisa and Mwonzora are now part of ’100% against Tsvangirai’.
Lastly, whoever hoodwinked Mangoma into believing that his mere trump card and game plan would be denigrating and demeaning Tsvangirai, is also very myopic. I say so because it seems they forgot to remind Mangoma that for whatever weaknesses he truly has, Tsvangirai apparently has a record of leadership and achievement in trade unionism and civil society before coming to the sphere of politics.
Therefore, for Mangoma to labour and try to portray Tsvangirai as a dimwit or cabbage totally bereft of capacity, in reality leaves him worst than what he tries to construct about Tsvangirai. Because, not only is it fundamentally baseless, but also malicious – which l am sure sets Mangoma for both ridicule and derison in the public domain where observers and the electorate are not as stupid as Mangoma seems to think.
Something is clearly very wrong about Mangoma and which is way beyond the now trademark hypocrisy, because, l am sure the man has a mental crisis requiring urgent attention. By Itai Dzamara