Tsvangirai is not a brand that can easily erode in the modern political world. It is a brand to reckon. What his supporters and those aspiring candidates need to understand is that so far no one can easily match with his brand and his name is very critical in the succession matrix in the future plans of this opposition.
Tsvangirai’s name has managed to over shadow the political map in Zimbabwe.
We all understand that he has been suffering with this terminal illness for some time but my good advice to the MDC T as a party is that whilst it is very important to debate the succession issue in the opposition, though it is very treasonous in the ruling Zanu PF, it is very wise to do it cautiously to avoid or avert another split.
Tsvangirai is very much aware of the consequences of opening the succession paradox.
Those who will benefit from his succession plan will have to work extra hard to match his brand.
Morgan may not be very educated but he has a doctorate in politics which you can’t take away from him, very brave and charismatic and he has built a very strong foundation around his name and he has a very strong legacy in the democratic movement.
As a research and an academic analyst I’m of the view that there are some models that the former trade unionist and prime minister of Zimbabwe can adopt to suit his succession plan.
My assumption is that for every political institution to grow there is need for advisory council, and to take note of what analysts and academics say for laying plans.
I guess even the ruling Governing party; Zanu PF has one or two things to learn from academics.
There are five major groups in political institutions and these are supporters, cadres, activists, hooligans, front line leaders and advisors.
Every leader has to balance the politics of these groups. You have to make use of these groups separately.
You can’t take everything that supporters say on the ground, there are party cadres on the ground, all they need is beer, chikokiana, nemasese to bring discipline and deal with unruly behavior, and they are those who are back benchers who support from the backyard of the party, then there are those who are activists who are always active on some pertinent issues such as Facebook, every corner of the social media but they are not visible on the ground, basically they lack visibility on the ground but very active in several platforms.
Then they front line leaders who then take the leading role. So these are the groups which are defined in every political journey.
You can’t expect a hooligan to lead a party, you can’t expect an academic to lead a party, leadership is an inborn thing, and you can expect a cadre or activist to lead as well.
They have their limitations, so this is what Morgan Tsvangirai and Mugabe should do when adopting their model succession plan.
It is very important to listen to people but you should not listen to everything which people say.
Hooligans will tell you go and beat them if they can’t listen to you and academics will always tell you do it the academic way, and cadres will always tell you we will bring them to order.Charisma is also important in politics, how you maneuver the system, and how you convince the people on the podium.
How you dress, how you approach people is very important, how you deal with decisive elements, you can’t beat people because your cadres told you to do so, so leadership is a critical task and it requires careful responsibility.
What MDC supporters need to understand is that not everyone is a leader, some were born to lead and some may even get the highest level of education in this world but that does not make them good leaders.
Look at Tsvangirai himself he is surrounded by the business community, academics, lawyers, the best legal brains but he has managed to lead them. It is God who appoint leaders.
Chamisa will then be deputized by Mudzuri and Khupe, whilst Tsvangirai will remain at the helm of the party to manage the party affairs and a good exit plan before 2019 congress.
Chamisa has the charisma and age is on his side he can perform well, remember he was the ICT minister and he performed very well, in fact he did it exceptionally well. This will allow the public to make a good assessment and judgement before 2019 congress.
The advantage that Tsvangirai has in his party is that his party is full of young and energetic people who can even lead the party and national affairs of both the party and the country. Chamisa is visible both in the party and parliament business.
Chamisa has done very well at parliament building, the way he manages himself and some very critical debates he has done very well, he is steady.
Komichi is also a prominent politician, he has the charisma and mature enough to handle national positions, very steady and he is sober, he is also educated he can do very well.
Khupe is good though a bit petty and she does not tame her tongue. Education is on her side and age as well but she will face a stiff challenge on gender discrepancy and tribal ethnic.
Zimbabwe is not prepared for female president. Mudzuri is quite okay but he lacks political charisma, he also lacks good political judgement.
Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo is the Head of Southern Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (SIPAR TRUST). He is also an academic, researcher and policy analyst. He can be contacted at [email protected]