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Mutambara feeds us Alphabetti Spaghetti PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 08 January 2011 22:53

Vigil comment on the deposition of Mutambara. Our view of Mutambara was articulated 5 years ago in the following article and we have seen no reason to revise our opinion. 

Mutambara feeds us Alphabetti Spaghetti
Comment on
London meeting of 9th May 2006
 

While Morgan Tsvangirai has been braving the heat of the kitchen in Zimbabwe his rival Arthur Mutambara has been dining in the US on Malcolm X, accompanied by a vintage Che Guevara.  These were the fashionable (well, 30 years ago) names he offered at his London meeting when asked who had inspired his new political career.   Some of us expected heroes closer to home.  Mandela for instance.  But it tells us quite a lot about Mutambara and his political philosophy: from the head and not the heart, opportunist and morally vacant.   

A forceful speaker and commanding presence, Mutambara looks the part but his strategy sounded like the Alphabetti Spaghetti we used to feed our children: pasta shaped into letters and drowned in tomato sauce.  Straight from the tin.  The easy option.  Not very healthy - full of e-numbers.  And the letter E was as far as he got in articulating the way forward for Zimbabwe.  (Even our children got to Z.) 

Mutambara’s big idea was as soggy as spaghetti.  We will contest the elections in 2010, he said, but we will identify the methods Zanu-PF has used to rig the elections of 2000, 2002 and 2005 and work to counter them.  Where has he been? Downing too many Che Guevaras?  He seemed not to know that the MDC has identified exactly how the voting has been rigged and has been challenging this in the Courts since the year dot. 

Should this strategy fail, the Mutambara Party will have not only a Plan B, but a Plan C, D and E ready to put into effect.  Of course he couldn’t divulge them to the 250 or so people present.  They would have to take their Alphabetti Spaghetti on trust.  But some people were hungry now.  They complained they couldn’t wait until 2010.  Would Zimbabwe still exist then or would everyone be in Jozi or Unit K?  Mass action, jambanja, the audience demanded.  He insisted it must be constitutional and democratic.  Not much sign here of Malcolm X and Che Guevara. 

And even Plan A began to look like Alphabetti Spaghetti in the sky when he let slip: “South Africa will turn a blind eye to vote rigging if they think we are not ready for government, or even help the rigging.”  Mutambara seems to have been told by Mbeki how to behave in grown-up African politics: Tell the West they are strategic partners (ie give us money) but remember we are a sovereign state and can do what we like (ie ignore neo-colonialist human rights).  And remember stick together at all costs.  Mutambara seems to have taken this to extremes already (“Mugabe has put in many years of work.  He will be judged very favourably by history.”) 

Every bit as economically illiterate as Mugabe, Mutambara came up with the inspired idea of asking our friends in China to invest in Zimbabwean factories so we can export Japanese technology to the world (putting Chinese workers out of jobs).  “We want to be equal to the EU and America in 20 years,” he declared.  His Pan-Africanist rhetoric may endear him to the political dinosaurs of Africa but will they attract Western investors?  “No puppetry,” thundered the robotics professor.  Talking of puppets  . . . . 

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