“A lot of Zimbabweans especially in the opposition ranks are aghast and flabbergasted by the news (of Tsvangirai receiving $70 000 for his medical needs form President Mugabe),” wrote Ndisi Gauke in the article “Tsvangirai entitled to Mugabe cash”, Zimeye.
“Ask yourself; should Tsvangira have turned down the payment and suffer the stress of burdening his wife and children with the responsibility of finding the money with a possibility of leaving them in financial ruin?”
The most important question to be asked here is: did Morgan Tsvangirai help President Mugabe stay in power by failing to implement even one democratic reform during the GNU? The answer to this question will determine whether this cash donation like the $4 million Highlands mansion is a reasonable entitlement or just a bribe, a common currency in President Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.
Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC friends were tasked to implement the democratic reforms necessary to ensure Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections were free, fair and credible. MDC has readily admitted that President Mugabe rigged the July 2013 elections. What Tsvangirai has been very coy on is admit that MDC failed to implement even one reform in five years because they did not want to admit that they sold-out.
President Mugabe saw to it that when Tsvangirai et al joined him in the GNU they were granted the same gravy train privileges that Zanu PF ruling elite took for granted, the ministerial cars, generous salaries and allowances, etc. For the first few months of the GNU the working relationship between the partners was more like a donkey yoked with an ox, Tsvangirai even threatened to withdraw his MDC party. President Mugabe bought Tsvangirai the $4 million Highlands mansion and the later never criticized Mugabe ever again for the rest of the GNU and he kicked all reforms into the tall grass!
There is no doubt that Tsvangirai sold-out during the GNU and President Mugabe rewarded him the gravy train lifestyle, the $4 million Highlands mansion, etc. Considering the vast fortune President Mugabe has continued to pocket thanks to Tsvangirai’s corruption and incompetence; even a corrupt and murderous tyrant can afford to be generous to those who have done him a great favour. Mugabe has pocketed as much as $ 2 billion from Marange diamonds in 2012 alone, according to Partner Africa Canada; the $70 000 donation would be the equivalent of a few coins you and me would give a beggar!
Besides, President Mugabe spends $3 million every time he flies to Singapore for an eye check-up or some such routine health check. In 2012 he made eight such health trips and Tsvangirai, as Prime Minister, publicly defended the reckless spending.
The birth of Mugabe’s grandson early this year must have costed the nation $10 million, at least, given the Bona, the daughter, and Grace and their entourage were in the Far East for two months for the birth. Mugabe then commandeered an Air Zimbabwe for three days to go himself to the Far East to pick them up.
Today even big referral hospitals like Mpilo and Harare Hospitals, saving the health needs of millions of ordinary Zimbabweans, have often stopped carrying out even the most basic and simple operations because there are no drugs, clean running water, etc. following decades of poor funding.
A few people have since started to question the rational of the nation spending $10 million on the birth of one child in out-of-this-world facilities when hundreds of babies are dying every month for the lack of something as basic as incubators in our hospitals and clinics up and down the country. There is no chance of any MDC supporters join the descending voices; the donation to their leader’s medical needs have bought their silence just as the $4 million Highlands mansion bought Tsvangirai’s silence during the GNU.
President Mugabe is shrewd enough to know that his victory in the 2018 elections is totally dependent on him keeping corrupt and incompetent leaders like Tsvangirai, Joice Mujuru, etc. as his opponents. We all know MDC-T is stone-broke still Mugabe will bankroll the opposition, his legitimacy after the elections depends on creating the impression that there was a serious political contest!
“I would never for one day bash Morgan Tsvangirai for taking what he is entitled to,” wrote Ndisi Gauke.
Where in the new or old constitution does it say an ex PM is entitles to keep his government mansion, pension, free medical cover, etc.? Tsvangirai is no more entitled to the $4 million Highland mansion or $70 000 donation than Mugabe is entitled to his $5 billion Blue Roof Mansion, 14 commercial farms, regular Singapore health trips at $3 million @, etc.
Millions of Zimbabweans are out of work and are living in abject poverty, basic public services like health and education have all but collapsed, there is no clean running water, no electricity supply, etc. all because of the decades of mismanagement and corruption by the ruling elite. Public resources which should be used for the good of us all are being creamed off to gratify insatiable greed. They have fooled the public into believing it is their entitlement and some naïve and gullible members of the public believe it.