PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is standing on slippery ground following a series of missteps that have turned into an embarrassing national spectacle and swung the pendulum of public opinion in an adverse direction.
Confirming the home-truth that all politicians are not infallible after all, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) leader has made a number of political blunders since launching his political carrier in 1999.
His recent gaffe in calling for gay rights in a conservative society as well as his love trials and tribulations have given rise to questions as to whether or not the premier is sure-footed to lead the country should polls that are on the horizon go in his favour: This is in view of the fact that matters of the State require a steady hand.
The premier's alleged love triangles -- details of which verge on the ridiculous -- are susceptible to various interpretations, but one thing is for sure; he was never an innocent bystander.
Tsvangirai has repeatedly invoked the loss of his venerated wife, Susan to explain away his mistakes.
Unfortunately, this has only served to make people wonder whether the MDC-T leader's mind has stagnated, leading to diminished responsibility since the tragic death o f his wife that occurred in March 2009.
This week political analyst, Jones Musara, said the Prime Minister lost it when he blamed others for the latest fiasco as ordinary people would take that as shirking responsibility, something that is synonymous with ZANU-PF, which he wants to dislodge.
Politically, the Prime Minister is not finished yet, but recent developments have a bearing on the number of votes he would ultimately be able to garner, he said.
"I think that these issues have negatively affected his image and political leadership and credibility and have provided co-nvenient bullets to political competitors. But with better political strategising he can recover. He is not out yet," said Musara.
But can the former trade unionist really recover from this setback and recapture his former glory that saw him outpolling President Robert Mugabe in the first round of voting during the March 2008 elections?
University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, John Makumbe, said issues dogging the MDC-T leader are just but a storm in a tea cup adding that ZANU-PF, which should benefit from his gaffes, has not instituted any reforms to make the party popular, than its rivals.
"In the first place, the people have been loyal to the MDC-T as a political party and those same people don't see ZANU-PF as a better party. People are not simplistic and can see that it would be of no consequence as to how the country is governed. The Prime Minister is only human like you and me, like (President) Robert Mugabe and Didymus Mutasa. This is only an indication that he is not God or an angel," said Makumbe, an MDC-T sympathiser.
In the wider world, the Prime Minister's consolation is that leaders who have suffered setbacks similar to his have survived politically, only to bow out due to factors that have nothing to do with their personal lives.
Italy's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi survived a vote of no confidence 51 times in the last three years over his sex scandals that included paying prostitutes, only to be forced out last month due to his country's debt crisis.
Former United States president, Bill Clinton also served his full two terms despite a scandalous love affair that unfolded while in office.
Closer home, South African President Jacob Zuma's questionable relationships with women did nothing to deter voters from giving him the presidency.
While once upon a time, due to the euphoria of independence, transgressions by Zimbabwe's political leaders could go unpunished, things have changed. There is now a new generation of voters, whose perception of the world around them has changed.
So the handling of the Prime Minister's personal affairs has somewhat downgraded his appeal among some Zimbabweans, even though they are also fiercely opposed to President Mugabe's continued rule. Through his actions, the MDC-T leader has alienated some church groups, women's groups, HIV and Aids activists as well as traditionalists.
One of them is the United Kingdom based group -- the Zimbabwe Vigil that has supported the MDC-T leader through thick and thin, until now.
Two weeks ago, in a sign that the Prime Minister is entering a danger zone through his shenanigans, Vigil said he should think of handing the party's leadership to someone else.
"ZANU-PF has been paralysed by its inability to renew its leadership. The MDC-T should not make the same mistake. We believe there is no shortage of talent in the MDC-T and, with elections unlikely in the foreseeable future, there would be time for a new leader to make his mark," said Vigil in its statement.
Time will only tell whether the MDC-T leader has several lives just like the proverbial cat.