Zimbabweans have become masters at rationalizing their folly under the disguise it was the better of two equally unpalatable choices when in fact the choices were a false dilemma.
According to WikiPedia, false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, false binary, black-and-white thinking the either–or fallacy) “can arise intentionally or unintentionally, when a fallacy is used in an attempt to force a choice or outcome. It can be the result of habitual tendency, whatever the cause, to view the world with limited sets of options.”
“Would you delay Mugabe's departure for a year or however long it takes to get the competent leaders to replace the corrupt and incompetent Tsvangirai and Mujuru?” asked Patrick Guramatunhu.
“The people of Zimbabwe have their hearts and minds set on removing President Mugabe they would rather vote for Mujuru and Tsvangirai, knowing fully well the two are corrupt and in-competent; that is how desperate the people are to see the back of the tyrant. They would not want to risk delaying the departure of President Mugabe by even a month because they were out scouting for the competent leaders you are talking about.
“They can deal with the consequences of having the corrupt and incompetent Tsvangirai and Mujuru, the people are confident they can have either removed from office very quickly. They cannot deal with the thought of Mugabe staying in power for a day longer if they can help it!”
Patrick, if I have heard this argument once I have heard it thousands of time! We are all being asked to forget that characters Tsvangirai and/or Mujuru are corrupt and incompetent, with well-documented proven records at that, in the interest of a united opposition to defeat Mugabe. There are many glaring false choices and follies here:
1) Some people have convinced themselves into believing that we can either have Mugabe and Zanu PF to continue ruling the country or a coalition of Tsvangirai and/or Mujuru. This is nonsense because other competent and visionary leaders can easily be found if we created the right democratic political environment.
As long as we have the present tyrannical dictatorship, that has stifled open debate and democratic competition; we will continue to have corrupt and incompetent politicians.
The choice before us is between dictatorship and democracy; Mugabe has fostered the former on the nation it is up to us to dismantle the dictatorship and replace it with a healthy and functional multi-party democratic system of government.
If we elect to go into the next elections without first implementing the democratic reforms designed to dismantle the dictatorship then we have elected per se to elect leaders from the corrupt and incompetent leaders the dictatorship produce.
2) Tsvangirai has already had many opportunities in the past to defeat Mugabe, with the best chance being during the GNU, he has failed to do so precisely because he is corrupt and incompetent. In 2014 Mai Mujuru amassed the support of eight out of ten provinces in her bid to be elected VP; Mugabe elbowed her out of the way with easy and the contempt of a lion chasing a jackal from a kill. After spending 34 years at Mugabe’s side Mujuru should have known that he rigs elections but she clearly did not know what hit her when she booted out of Zanu PF!
It is sheer folly to believe that uniting Tsvangirai and Mujuru will somehow transform these corrupt and incompetent individuals into formidable political opponents; Mugabe will not bamboozle or cheat them as he did before.
3) Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown with its 90% unemployment level, government failing to pay civil servants, etc. has created an economic situation that is socially and politically unsustainable. It is the worsening economic situation that is forcing people to protest, that is fuelling the dog-eat-dog fighting that is tearing Zanu PF itself apart, etc. It is the economy that is delivering to the nation the regime change; something Tsvangirai and Mujuru have failed to deliver.
MDC has been calling on Zanu PF to implement electoral law reforms as a way to end the Zanu PF dictatorship. It was just an empty gimmick because only the very naïve would believe Zanu PF would FREELY implement reforms to end the party’s strangle hold on power. MDC has since abandoned its reform demands and jumped on the bandwagon of street protests demanding an end to the economic hardships.
It is the economic meltdown that is forcing Zanu PF to accept meaningful political change; MDC and the other opposition parties are positioning themselves to claim all the credit and profit from the changes.
4) Tsvangirai and/or Mujuru are doing their best to have their record as corrupt and incompetent leaders swept under the carpet, they are even offering those who refuse to be so easily fooled the promise they can remove the two from office afterwards. This is just a cheap trick because once elected the two will point to their electoral mandate as proof they are not corrupt and incompetent.
When Jomo Kenyatta died in 1978 many people in Kenya were convinced the corrupt and tyrannical dictatorship he had fostered on the nation will be interned with his bones; few people believed Daniel arap Moi, the docile VP who succeeded Jomo would be a dictator. Wrong! Moi turned out to be even more ruthless, corrupt and incompetent.
Even if Tsvangirai and/or Mujuru should turn out to be tyrants like Mugabe the very fact that they are corrupt and incompetent means the country will not achieve the same rapid economic recovery it would have otherwise achieved with competent leaders.
As for Tsvangirai or Mujuru implementing the democratic reforms we been dying for, that they will never do. They are incompetent but not that incompetent to freely implement reforms that will cost them to loss the next elections.
If Zimbabweans do not force the implementation of democratic reforms before the next elections then the nation will have a battle in its hands to force the new government to implement them!
So to answer you more directly Patrick; by rejecting failed leaders like Tsvangirai and instead concentrating on the important task of implementing the democratic reforms the nation is rejecting the false choice of either the tyrant or the incompetent opposition. The real and only choice we have to make here is either to keep the dictatorship or to implement the reforms and dismantle it.