Morgan Tsvangirai is the modern day Unoka, the lazy man, in Chinua Achebe’s classic book “Things Fall Apart”.
Unoka was lazy and like all lazy people he was poor and, worst of all, blamed everyone and everything for his poor harvest and poverty. In the Book, Unoka consulted to the clan god Agbala to find out why he had poor harvest.
“Every year,” he said sadly, “before I put any crop in the earth, I sacrifice a cock to Ani, the owner of all the land.” He continued in the same sorrowful vein for a few more sentences before Agbala’s priestess interrupted him.
“Hold your peace!” screamed the priestess, her voice terrible as it echoed through the dark void. “You have offended neither the gods nor your fathers. And when a man is at peace with his gods and ancestors, his harvest will be good or bad according to the strength of his arm.”
“You, Unoka, are known in all the clan for the weakness of your matchet and your hoe. When your neighbours go out with their axe to cut down virgin forests, you sow your yams on exhausted farms that take no labour to clear. They cross seven rivers to make their farms; you stay at home and offer sacrifices to a reluctant soil.
“Go home and work like a man,” concluded the priestess!
Throughout the five years of the GNU SADC heads, amongst many others, argued Tsvangirai and his MDC friends to implement the democratic reforms agreed in the GPA. Like Unoka, Tsvangirai wasted time gallivanting round the world, chasing women of ill repute, everything else of no consequence except implement the reforms.
Tsvangirai made a big song and dance about the new Copac constitution calling is an “MDC child”. He asked the people to vote yes in the referendum to approve it promising it would deliver “free, fair and credible elections”. It was Unoka offering sacrifices to a reluctant soil!
Tsvangirai was warned that the Copac constitution was weak and feeble and that it would not deliver free, fair and credible elections. By noon of the day of the elections, Tsvangirai acknowledged that the elections had been rigged, blatantly rigged. It was like taking candy from a sleeping child!
Paul Mangwana, the Zanu PF co-chair of Copac, the parliamentary committee that wrote the new constitution boosted that it was Mugabe who “dictated” the new constitution.
So the new constitution was not an “MDC child” and, yes, it is weak and feeble. It failed to deliver free, fair and credible elections in July 2013 elections and it will never deliver free and fair elections regardless the amount of time and resources are wasted tinkering with it.
Sadly instead of going back to the GPA reforms and put his back into it Tsvangirai is going for the easy option of tinkering with the weak and feeble Copac constitution. He is asking for the implementation of the wishy-washy electoral reforms.
Veritas, a local think tank on legal matters, has already had a look at the electoral law reforms Tsvangirai is wittering about and concluded the reforms are “inadequate and incomplete”.
After Unoka was told to go home and work like a man needless to say the next planting season he still planted his yams on exhausted farms. Just like Unoka, Tsvangirai doing the same thing. He too has learnt nothing from all the advice he received throughout the GNU years about implementing the GPA reforms and is ignoring the warning that the electoral reforms he is proposing will not deliver free and fair elections.
If it was not for his hard working son Okonkwo, Unoka would have died of starvation. The people of Zimbabwe have a simple choice to follow this modern day Unoka, Morgan Tsvangirai and his corrupt and incompetent MDC friends lazy-man’s solution of easy to implement but totally ineffective reforms and forfeit yet another chance for free, fair and credible elections! Or else denounce Tsvangirai and demand the implementation of all the GPA reforms as the only way out of this political and economic hell-on-earth Mugabe has landed the nation.
“Go home and work like a man!” Agbala’s priestess said to Unoka but until his son Okonkwo was not afraid to work like a man. The destiny of Zimbabwe should not be entrusted in the hands of someone as corrupt, incompetent and lazy like Tsvangirai but that will depend on whether we, the populous are willing to go home and work like a man!