Theatrics by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara overshadowed an important visit by South African President Jacob Zuma last week.
Zuma, who is the facilitator to the Zimbabwe crisis, was in the country to check on the progress of the implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) ahead of the Sadc troika meeting that ended yesterday in Mozambique.
But alas, it was not Zuma who dominated headlines. Rather, it was Mutambara who stole the limelight for all the wrong reasons.
After being snubbed by Zuma, who chose to recognise Mutambara's nemesis, Welshman Ncube, as the principal of the other MDC formation in the light of High Court judgements that gave him the presidency, he sought unorthodox means to get to the top of the Rainbow Towers hotel, where principals were meeting. Alert South African security details denied him entry, prompting him to engage them in verbal spats.
After being embarrassed in Harare, Mutambara didn't relent. The robotics professor chose to follow bona fide principals to Mozambique, where he is reported to have launched a tirade at Zuma. At that level, Mutambara needs to realise diplomacy takes precedence over everything else and whenever he is aggrieved, he should take proper channels to have his concerns addressed.
But he chose a tactic that exposed him as a political charlatan who happens to hold a high office, courtesy of an invitation extended to him by Ncube in 2005.
Mutambara might have acquitted himself well in leading the late 80s student anti-government protests, but he needs to be reminded that such skills are no longer applicable when he is holding a high office as the country's deputy prime minister.
Engaging in verbal spats with South African officials who shunned him at the Rainbow Towers and taking Zuma head-on in Maputo, signifies political immaturity on his part. He is fast becoming a misfit as the nation endeavours to regain its prestige as one of the peaceful countries on the continent.
The deputy PM has lodged a legal challenge in the Supreme Court and the reasonable thing for him to do is to patiently wait for the outcome.