Is Tsvangirai suitable to be our next President?

I have posted this article by Vince Musewe,
first published 16 August 2011, because I think it deserves as wide a circulation as possible. Elections in Zimbabwe may just well be nearer than even the PM thinks and Zimbabwean public opinion needs a little nudge from slumber.
Vince Musewe says personal sacrifice shouldn’t be equated with
leadership competence

Is Tsvangirai suitable to be our next President? In our stupidity we have
equated historical personal sacrifice with political leadership

Historically the only qualification of African Presidents has been their
fight for independence and as we have experienced, this has not necessarily
resulted in good, selfless  men who seek  to pursue the common good

In my opinion Africans have failed to define for themselves who should lead
them, it has been about  brawn and not competence, it has been about the past
and not the future. The authenticity of our political leaders needs to be
continually questioned and debated upon so that we choose those that are most
likely to take us to a better future.

I have argued in the past that a fundamental problem is the issue of “the
liberation struggle hangover” and “from poverty to power” where political
leaders who have come from a poverty background and suddenly thrust in the
fore-front to manage the vast resources of the state and the competing interests
of opportunistic charlatans who may have funded their political careers.

This inevitably results in cronyism and selfish accumulation of wealth as
those placed in power. The other limiting factor is what I term “mass idiocy”
where the masses who deliver the majority vote do so repeatedly and blindly
expecting different results. No wonder why the loudest and most populist
political campaigners have tended to get the largest number of votes despite
their failure to deliver.

In our stupidity we have equated historical personal sacrifice with political
leadership competence and look what we have got! We unfortunately believe that
because certain individuals have sacrificed  they are therefore entitled to live
in the State House. In the case of Morgan Tsvangirai, there is no doubt that he
has contributed tremendously to the possibility of change and I respect him for
that. The question we must now ask is should we vote for him to be our next

In my opinion I do not have  adequate information to make that decision yet.
Yes he has fought a good fight but I have found him compromised both by his
colleagues and by agreeing to some of Mugabe’s policies that have been
implemented despite his loud objections. I am not happy that he is not dealing
with the issue of diamond proceeds, these continue to be looted.

I am not happy he has let the indigenization process continue in its current
form and with its current questionable champion. I am definitely not impressed
with progress with regard to media freedom and the constant incarceration of

The economy is in pause mode and Zimbabweans continue to suffer. The
country’s value system of selfish ambition and short termism have not changed
and these are a cancer to social progress. The issue of national healing is a
farce and much must still be done to address the wounds of the past.

Please note that I am not berating or ridiculing his efforts for change and I
do understand the challenges he may face but the results to date hardly speak
for him.

I must confess that personally there is no one that really strikes me as the
next obvious candidate. Tsvangirai may therefore become our next president by
default as the masses protest against ZANU (PF) but is my view that we need more
Zimbabweans coming forward to take our country to the next level.  The talent is
certainly somewhere out there.

Hmmmm…….. I am looking in the mirror mind you.

Vince Musewe is an economist and you may contact him on

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