Wikileaks report: Tsvangirai gets fairly favaourable appraisal from the US

THE United States believes Morgan Tsvangirai is a is a brave, committed man and, by and large, a democrat, and in a well balanced assesment its former ambassador to Zimbabwe also found him to be “a flawed figure, indecisive and with questionable judgment”, according to a leaked secret cable published by Wikileaks.

This is contrary to Zanu PF media reports cranking up the propaganda that says "US expresses doubts on the PM". 

"Morgan Tsvangarai is a brave, committed man and, by and large, a democrat.  He is also the only player on the scene right now with real star quality and the ability to rally the masses.  But Tsvangarai is also a flawed figure, not readily open to advice, indecisive and with questionable judgment in selecting those around him. 

He is the indispensable element for opposition success, but possibly an albatross around t heir necks once in power.  In short, he is a kind of Lech Walesa character:  Zimbabwe needs him, but should not rely on his executive abilities to lead the country’s recovery. 

Arthur Mutambara is young and ambitious, attracted to radical, anti-western rhetoric and smart as a whip. 

But, in many respects he’s a light-weight who has spent too much time reading U.S. campaign messaging manuals and too little thinking about the real issues. 

Welshman Ncube has proven to be a deeply divisive and destructive player in the opposition ranks and the sooner he is pushed off the stage, the better.  But he is useful to many, including the regime and South Africa, so is probably a cross to be borne for some time yet.  The prospects for healing the rift within the MDC seem dim, which is a totally unnecessary self-inflicted wound on their part this time. 

With few exceptions Tendayi Biti, Nelson Chamisa  the talent is thin below the top ranks.

The great saving grace of the opposition is likely to be found in the diaspora.  Most of Zimbabwe’s best professionals, entrepreneurs, businessmen and women, etc., have fled the country.  They are the opposition’s natural allies and it is encouraging to see signs, particularly in South Africa and the UK, that these people are talking,  sharing ideas, developing plans and thinking together about future recovery.  

Unfortunately, among the MDC’s flaws is its inability to work more effectively with the rest of civil society.  The blame for this can be shared on both sides (many civil society groups, like the NCA, are single-issue focused and take the overall dynamic in unhelpful directions; others, like WOZA, insist on going it alone as a matter of principle), but ultimately it falls to the MDC as the largest and the only true political party, to show the way.  Once again, however, these are natural allies and they have more reason to work together than fight against each other.