The Herald (Harare)

30 May 2014

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Must Look in the Mirror

editorial

We take exception to the pot-shots thrown at us by MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai through his spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, who accuses us of having an agenda against his boss simply because we reported that he fled before settling his bill at Trauma Centre and Hospital where he was admitted after failing to address two consecutive scheduled rallies in Harare.

Being economical with the truth has become the stock-in-trade of Mr Tsvangirai and those around him who do not even see the irony of the contradictory statements they issue in desperate attempts at damage control.

On one hand Tamborinyoka claimed Mr Tsvangirai was not admitted in hospital, but was resting at home on the recommendation of his doctor, then in the next breath he says Mr Tsvangirai had settled his hospital bill.

How a man recuperating at home settles a hospital bill is, just like the proverbial emperors clothes, only evident to sages like Tsvangirai and his team. To all other thinking people, it is an inveterate irony that exposes the nakedness of the emperor. We wonder what is in Mr Tsvangirai's bonnet? We reported that he left hospital without paying his bill which was only settled after a police report was made, so we wonder what Mr Tamborinyoka was fulminating about when he said, "for the record, president Tsvangirai left hospital around 1100hrs and his bill was paid about an hour later at 1200hrs in line with the agreement reached with hospital authorities."

Maybe Tamborinyoka would care to explain where the docket CR240 that was opened at Avondale Police Station came from if, as he claims, there had been "an agreement with the hospital authorities."

Would the poor nurse, who helped Mr Tsvangirai sneak out, have been suspended if there had been any such "agreement"?

It is obvious that the truth and what has been issuing forth from Harvest House are two different things. A case in point being the recent misrepresentation of the resolutions of the MDC-T's own Guardian Council where Mrs Sekai Holland was forced to read a doctored statement as Mr Tsvangirai's hoodlums waited to pounce the moment she strayed from the script. Suffice to say Mrs Holland only managed to tell the nation the truth when she was far from the violent hoodlums who hang around Harvest House like a bad smell.

We do not fear any such hoodlums, and tell it as it happens. More so it is not our business to do public relations for Mr Tsvangirai.

As the man's spokesperson, Tamborinyoka may believe that is his job, but it does not extend to our newsroom. It is not our brief to put lipstick on a frog. It is a fact that Mr Tsvangirai was ill, was admitted into hospital and clandestinely sneaked out of the institution without settling his bill as his team negotiated with the authorities.

A police report was made to that effect at Avondale Police Station, docket number CR240, after which Mr Tsvangirai and his team ran around to put together the US$2 600 that was owing.

These are indisputable facts and we dare Mr Tsvangirai to sue for defamation if this did not happen. In the court all requisite documents will be thrown in the public domain and all witnesses will take the stand. The public will then get to see for themselves the chasm between the truth and Tamborinyoka's musings.

Be that as it may, we urge Mr Tsvangirai to look in the mirror and see if he likes what he sees. We certainly do not like the picture of a man keen to blame everybody else but himself for his gaffes.

A man with a disturbing record of utter contempt for Zimbabwean institutions that he has now extended to an innocent private hospital that believed it was dealing with an honourable individual. All Tsvangirai needed to do was settle his bill and there would have been no drama.

Now if he, at 61, still behaves like a pre-pubescent youth who flees from his responsibilities and still expect to escape scrutiny, then he has another think coming.

His gaffes not only interest the public but are also in the public interest since he aspires for the country's highest office. Mr Tsvangirai definitely needs to re-look at how he conducts his affairs as his behaviour leaves a lot to be desired.

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