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MDC letting Tsvangirai down

13 Feb 2018 at 22:09hrs | Views
In 2015 the newly elected Zambian president, Edgar Lungu, collapsed during a public event and it was later announced that he would need to seek treatment abroad. The procedures following a president's death are often rather straightforward - as Zambians know all too well having had two presidents die in office since 2008. But what happens when a president falls ill and cannot perform the duties of his office?

In the United States, if a president's illness makes him unable to discharge his duties, the 25th Amendment to the Constitution provides for the vice president to take over the duties of the president. There are two ways the 25th Amendment can be invoked. According to Section 3 of the amendment, the president can make a written declaration of his inability to discharge his duties. Alternatively, if the president doesn't voluntarily transfer powers before his incapacitation, according to Section 4 of the amendment, the vice president can, with a majority of the cabinet (or some other such "body as Congress may by law provide"), submit their own written declaration that the president cannot discharge his duties, after which the vice president immediately assumes the powers and duties of the office. However this is not the case in the MDC constitution. With its pool of lawyers one wonders how did they miss that important section.

Despite the position of the constitution common sense should tell the MDC that they have a duty to look after Tsvangirai even if he is sick. It is at this time of sickness that Tsvangirai needs his party and his party must show their compassion and love towards their leader.

Tsvangirai is beyond a party person, his opposition politics plays a big role in promoting democracy in ZIMBABWE. In his own right he is a national figure. It is on that basis that his party should show respect to him.

Instead of taking care of Him the MDC executive have surrendered Tsvangirai to his family and engaged in the leadership fight. They have transformed their party from Movement for Democratic Change to Movement for Democratic Confusion. One wonders if MDC cannot take care of their leader now how can they take care of the nation. Now they are busy fighting for positions while Tsvangirai has to sort his pain. The lack of compassion in the MDC leadership exposes their selfishness and lack of purpose.

Tsvangirai is the most unlucky person who is surrounded by gluttons greedy thugs, his family started looting his property before hr even dies. His wife is being chased away from the ailing husband and the MDC women league looks aside and fight for positions. The character exhibited by the MDC is not expected from a National party expecting to be a government.

The lessons we learn from MDC are that you vote for them at your own peril. They form a military vigilante group which bares leaders from entering Harvest House but no security protecting their leader's wife and his property.

If it was not for the president of Zimbabwe who asked the police to protect Tsvangirai from his party and his relatives Tsvangirai would be a pauper by now.
The treatment given to Mrs Elizabeth Tsvangirai shows how MDC will treat women should they come into power. Not long-ago MDC sent thugs to thrash Khupe in Bulawayo now they send more thugs pretending to be relatives to persecute Elizabeth in South Africa at the husband's bedside.

Tsvangirai in his frail state has to engage into a hunger strike to protect his wife from his relatives and party members who are using his wife to settle their factional scores. One would have thought that by now using the president's wife to gain entry to the president's heart will backfire. ZANU PF had fallen into that problem and we all believed that the nation has learnt. Where can we get another Chiwenga to restore legacy in the MDC.

Tsvangirai deserves better in the time of his weakness.

Despite its relative youth, the MDC's constitution has no provisions for presidential incapacity. If the board deemed the president incapacitated, the constitution is silent.

What does this mean for MDC It is hard to make a direct comparison to ZANU PF though the little information that has been shared about President's ailment makes clear his condition is life threatening. His loses in the past special elections and the general election scheduled to be held sometime in the next four months will likely motivate him and his supporters to downplay his condition. This will prove challenging because his poor health was widely reported.

The handling of presidential health is a delicate matter. Though well studied in the United States, there is more to be learned about the politics of presidential health in African countries.

Even though ZANU PF had its succession fights it had a clear succession policy on paper.  The wars were simply as a result of mischievous elements who needed the army to whip them in line. This can not be said of MDC. They should live up to their name but in this case,  they have failed.

Tsvangirais treatment by his relatives and his party serves to tell Zimbabweans that you vote for them at your peril.

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
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