HARARE – The late Morgan Tsvangirai’s family will not have anything to do with MDC politics as their role in the party naturally ended when he was buried on Wednesday, social and political analysts have said.
While Tsvangirai’s family has been at the centre of the MDC succession row, giving conflicting statements on who was the opposition leader’s preferred successor, their contribution to this debate was only acceptable when the late opposition leader was alive, analysts said.
Media and democracy scholar Rashweat Mukundu said naturally, the family role ends with the burial as none of them has any senior position in the party.
“This as it may, the family is likely to be welcomed should any of them decide to support the MDC and contest for leadership like every other party member.
“I don’t think any of Tsvangirai’s family members needs special treatment but must, like Morgan himself, prove themselves in the field and earn their mettle,” said Mukundu.
Political analyst Mcdonald Lewanika said the Tsvangirai family’s voice has never really been pronounced in MDC matters, at least not publicly.
“One assumes that after Morgan’s burial, they will retain some influence and respect within the party but they definitely will not have any veto power over the party’s decisions, save for those who are already in or have intentions of joining the party’s organs, where their name will no doubt still retain some value and command respect.
“But the MDC is a party of institutions, rules and regulations, and I am sure both the party and the family will be happy to allow this party infrastructure, which Morgan built, to dictate the pace in the party and safeguard its future,” said Lewanika.
Political analyst Maxwell Saungweme said it is true the MDC has been operating as a cult weaved around the magical name Tsvangirai.
“Normally organisations or parties run that way die with their leaders. But the events of the past few days point to (Nelson) Chamisa as someone who can still rally Tsvangirai crowds to continue with Morgan’s legacy.
“The advantage Chamisa has is that the majority of party members are youths who resonate with his calls. So he can harness this youth demographic dividend and continue with the party.
“Certainly the party will now just be MDC with no surname. The issue of giving surnames to political parties must be buried with Tsvangirai,” said Saungweme.
He said there could still be some influence on the MDC from the family.
“As you saw that just before his death and at the funeral, Tsvangirai brothers wanted Mudzuri to takeover, who is said to be related to the Tsvangirais.
“At the same time Morgan Junior (Richard) endorsed Chamisa in public. But the truth is, slowly but surely, Tsvangirai family will not have much influence on the party, but Morgan’s name will still carry some political weight and it will be used and abused by contending MDC officials during the period of succession tussles and beyond.
“You are likely to hear people saying I am doing this because that is what Tsvangirai wanted for example. His wife may still have some connections with some MDC officials such as Chamisa, but it will not influence the way the MDC progresses.”
Political commentator Rejoice Ngwenya was blunt about any chances that Tsvangirai’s family may influence anything in MDC.
“An emphatic No! Actually, the right phrase is ‘never should they’. Our opposition is not dynastic.
“However, they are free to join structures like anybody else. My wish is that they preserve their father’s or brother’s legacy by setting up — or at least accepting a Morgan Tsvangirai Foundation for Democracy. Joining in factional contestations will destroy their reputation.”
Political analyst Phillip Pasirayi urged the MDC leaders to bury their political differences and find convergence in honour of this great man.
“Tsvangirai was humble and tolerant of divergent political views. He was vilified, brutalised and there were several attempts on his life, hundreds of his followers were murdered but he remained resolute and kept fighting for change and a new politics that was more humane and tolerant in Zimbabwe.”
Media practitioner Nigel Nyamutumbu said the greatest honor that the MDC can give to this gallant fighter is for the MDC to mature out of politics of personalities, unite and build consensus on who takes over and ensure Zimbabwe becomes a vibrant democracy.
Political analyst Vivid Gwede said to honour Tsvangirai, the vision of a truly democratic Zimbabwe must be followed to its ultimate fulfilment by those who profess to follow his path.
“Like Martin Luther King Jnr., like Herbert Chitepo, like Tongogara and others, he has seen the Promised Land but has not been allowed to get there,” Gwede said. – Daily News