EVERY picture tells a story. The picture of Mugabe, Mutambara and Tsvangirai after signing the ‘deal’ portrayed a bitter Mugabe having to stand next to the “despicable” Tsvangirai .
He surely must have felt like he was standing next to Gordon Brown. Arthur Mutambara looked like a young boy who could not wait any longer before running to the school grounds to show off his new prized possession.
For the people of Matabeleland the picture would have told a different story. For the first time in a very long time no leader from that part of the world was part of the set. There was no Enos Nkala, no Joshua Nkomo nor Dumiso Dabengwa —— there was nobody. To think it’s this very part of the country that by default will decide the sway of discussions and decisions in Parliament.
It would not be out of place to contemplate how the three leaders will recognise the significant contribution that Matabeleland holds in the corridors of power. When they have their own little discussions —— and they will be many —— who among them will truly and honestly take up the mantle for Lupane, Kezi and Mawabeni?
For MDC Mutambara the question should be fairly simple to answer. All his cabinet posts must be made up of MPs and or senators from this part of the country. There is no point in Mutambara or any of his executive council kidding themselves that they are a national party —— they are not. He is only deputy prime minister as a result of the elections of those MPs and senators.
The challenge for MDC Tsvangirai is no different. The message will not be lost to Tsvangirai that the people of Matabeleleland have provided the party’s oxygen without fail since its formation and it is only proper that their role and contribution is acknowledged accordingly. There will be an expectation of proportional representation of the cabinet ministers from Matabeleland in Tsvangirai’s group. The leverage that Thokozani Khuphe, Lovemore Moyo and others have or do not have will be reflected in the cabinet make.
Let there be no mistake, the four cabinet posts for Mutambara, do not count as part of overall cabinet ministers from Matabeleland. They are separate number altogether.
This is not tribal politics but an acceptance and acknowledgement of the facts that have given birth to the structures of political power that are in place now.
Others will argue that since the Speaker of Parliament is from Matabeleland that should be sufficient to appease the spirits of Joshua Nkomo, Lookout Masuku, King Lobengula and others, it is not. The truth be told the Speaker of Parliament was delivered courtesy of the Mutambara MPs who by default may have realised that a perfect opportunity had arisen to tilt the pillars of power towards Matabeleland.
Zanu PF faces no such problem.
By Bekithemba Mhlanga