Such a principled position, rooted in the desire to ensure government officials properly served citizens without enriching themselves, resulted in the PM being regarded as a bulwark against looting and corruption in government.
However, last week Tsvangirai appeared to deviate from that position when he defended government’s acquisition of top-of-the-range vehicles for legislators.
Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe ministers were “poorly paid” as compared to their regional counterparts and could not be expected to “go around on bicycles”.
Reminded that the money used on each of the luxurious vehicles could have bought three ambulances for the needy, Tsvangirai said that the media was judging ministers harshly.
Tsvangirai’s robust defence of the vehicles-for-chefs scheme is bad news for Zimbabweans who have placed their faith in him to stop the pillaging of government resources by the chefs.
By embracing a scheme that benefits ministers at the expense of the suffering majority who brought him to power, Tsvangirai is no longer different from Zanu PF politicians who have grown rich over the years.
Indeed, Tsvangirai and members of his party now believe that as chefs, they deserve to live life in the fast lane without thinking of ways to fix Zimbabwe’s broken infrastructure which needs repair.
That government is facing a US$700 million budget deficit does not seem to bother him.
In fact, Tsvangirai appears to have undergone a metamorphosis — from an arch-critic of government’s uncontrolled spending to a defender of the same; that does not resonate with the suffering people of Zimbabwe.
Ironically just three years ago, Tsvangirai was attacking the charmed life led by Zanu PF ministers. Now he and his ministers have joined the gravy train.
The US$1,6 million could have been better spent purchasing ambulances for hospitals and clinics around the country, or it could have purchased textbooks for schools. Isn’t this a classic case of a chameleon changing its colours?