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So, Tsvangirai falls sick too?

21 May 2016 at 22:01hrs | Views
It is not in our African culture - we guess in all humanity - to celebrate the misfortunes of other people, especially when it comes to natural afflictions and death. As such, even when your enemy is stricken by disease or death, humanity demands that we show compassion and grace. It is not for gravity to celebrate. But not many of us have that sense of compassion and grace - especially when it comes to politics.

In Zimbabwe we have seen opposition politicians and their lapdogs in the media outdoing each other in celebration each time President Mugabe has gone somewhere for a medical check-up - or is rumoured to have fallen ill.

In fact, it has become such staple for the private media to speculate on the health of President Mugabe. Worst of all, though, has been that morbid ritual of announcing the death of the veteran leader each time he is on his annual vacation.

It is such a strange and sick fascination, which also feeds into hostile foreign media. There is a method to the madness though. The continuous speculation feeds into the general negativity and campaign of the opposition against President Mugabe.

Only, this time, the opposition appears to concede its failure to dislodge President Mugabe and his ruling party, zanu-pf, and looks up to some kind of divine or supernatural agency.

It is desperation by failed political forces.

And every so often, opposition figures and supporters take extraordinary delight in reports about President Mugabe's ill-health, whether the reports are real or imagined.

They see the demise of the President as a political blessing and this has become customary for opposition characters such as Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC-T and Tendai Biti to urge Zimbabweans to shun President Mugabe and the ruling party because President Mugabe would have fallen ill and is advanced in age.

As we all do; as we all shall, that is.

But it was Biti's underling, Jacob Mafume, who gave us probably the most distressingly sick comment regarding President Mugabe's health.

He said last December: "People must understand that old age is an illness . . . The idea that a country can be ruled by people who have both feet in the grave is sad, if not tragic. The sad thing is that the people of Zimbabwe have no clue how to protect themselves from the First Family."

He was calling for the impeachment of the President and added: "We are going to enter a period of lamentations if that happens and as Zimbabweans we can no longer wait for 2018 because we will have perished."

The year 2018, of course, is the year of elections.

It is conceivable that those elections will be lost by the opposition, in a massive way – as they always do.

Ailing politicians
One riposte to the ill-health rumour-mongers was given by a sharp-tongued columnist who reminded the nation that President Mugabe was far healthier than his younger political rivals in the opposition. Interestingly, Biti himself has been stalked by health rumours, especially after pictures of his less than chubby face surfaced in 2014.

Not least, there have always been swirling rumours of some fatal affliction.

But he had to be on the defensive at some point.

He told a newspaper: "Are they my doctors?" (those speculating).

"I am not sick but obviously I will not go public over malice. I will not dignify their malice by speaking. I have seen what they are writing and saying but that will not stop the renewal movement."

It had obviously cut close to the bone!

President Mugabe himself has many times alluded to the fact that many of his colleagues in zanu-pf are promiscuous and spreading HIV because of reckless and immoral sexual behaviour, including having "small houses".

This means that these guys are in some danger that President Mugabe, for all his advanced years, is well clear of.

Poorly Tsvangirai
Yesterday, we woke up to screaming headlines in the opposition media announcing that Tsvangirai had been taken ill and flown to South Africa. "Sick Tsvangirai rushed to South Africa," said the NewsDay while the Daily News announced, "Ill Tsvangirai on the mend".

There is little doubt that the two stories were deliberately planted by the office of Tsvangirai himself to manage speculation that would come with the knowledge of his condition – especially were such grim news to be announced by the so-called State media.

And the Daily News wanted the news to be hopeful and not want its readers burdened with such weighty an announcement.

That is, so much so that they had to tell us news about a "mend" whose bend they had not even told us of before!

Of course, it has been a public secret that Tsvangirai has been unwell for some time and actually failed to address a march that the opposition held a few weeks ago – at least for more than four minutes that he managed on that day.

The news that he is today poorly and in South Africa is a mere confirmation of what we knew already.

Not that we celebrate.

Today, Tsvangirai reminds us of our humanity and frailty as men and women of flesh.

People fall ill.

People die.

It is natural, for no man is meant to live forever, unscathed.

That is why it is reprehensible for opposition personalities and sick media mouthpieces to savour the news of President Mugabe's ill health, real or imagined.

But there is also something remarkably profound in the statement that was issued by Douglas Mwonzora, the secretary-general of the MDC-T.

He said: "We kindly request the nation and the party to give the president and his family the necessary space and privacy as he recovers. The nation and the media will be kept updated."

Of course!

A person in a poor condition as Tsvangirai is today demands all our prayers, not death wishes.

Their families also deserve privacy and space for them to reflect and not to be subjected to unnecessary speculations and innuendo.

Real politics is about policies and programmes, not silly death wishes and morbid savours.

At that, we wish Tsvangirai a speedy recovery.
Source - the herald
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