Tsvangirai setting terrible example

WHAT the hell does Morgan Tsvangirai think he is doing, changing women like a lustful 18-year old? He is not a teenager any more. He is an adult, a 60-year-old man who happens to be the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. His actions must be well beyond reproach.

National leaders are not just called upon to defend the country’s independence and sovereignty (a task Tsvangirai has failed dismally to live up to). They are also expected to defend our nation’s moral fibre, to present themselves as staunch upholders of our ethical standards.

Regrettably, our dishonourable Prime Minister seems to think that his love for sex (hereafter euphemistically referred to as cup-cake) is deserving of a special exemption. This cannot be right and there is only one word to describe such behaviour: disgraceful.

Ever since he ascended to the throne as Prime Minister in 2009, Morgan Tsvangirai has been linked to almost ten women. And this is just the official figure, the actual number, I’m told, is well in excess of 20. He has sired children with a handful of them, but for the greater majority, it’s been a case of Tsvangirai tapping the cup-cake and hitting the road.

Now it seems he has finally decided to settle permanently with one of the women. If true, this will surely be a huge relief to scores of his bewildered supporters and a major boost to the moral reputation of our country. Yet at this rate, there is nothing at all stopping our Prime Minister from becoming Tiger Woods number 2.

So far we have had two of his girlfriends – Locardia Karimatsenga and Nosipho Regina Shilubane – coming out to try and stop his marriage. There could be more before Saturday.

Of course, all of this could be an attempt by the Prime Minister’s detractors to embarrass him, yet that does not excuse his erotic and unacceptable behaviour. At the end of the day, being a leader is about one thing: leading by example.

It wouldn’t at all be surprising to learn that attitudes towards women have changed drastically for the worse among young males. Or to hear that ever since Tsvangirai became Prime Minister, we have recorded more cases of rape in this country than at any other time in the history of our great nation. Indeed, it would come as no surprise to discover that our AIDS infection rate, despite commendable government efforts to bring it down, has remained stubbornly high because of the influence the Prime Minister’s actions have had on our young people. And we shouldn’t rush to blame these youngsters, it is the terrible example Tsvangirai has set.

Already, more and more young males are getting accustomed to the idea of treating women as sex objects. They no longer value the importance of marriage. Some will say that we were always like this. I disagree. There was a time, not too distant, when our nation was renowned for the value it placed on the sanctity of marriage.

Our youngsters were known for their honesty, faithfulness and respect for the girl child. Yet, suddenly, we have become a nation of loose cannons, Casanovas and very horny prostitutes. What is so sad is that our own Prime Minister has become, and I’m sorry there is no polite way of putting this, the horniest of those prostitutes.

It doesn’t have to be like this. One of the most important tasks of a Prime Minister is to set the tone for the entire nation and Tsvangirai has a chance to do this by settling down after his marriage. Failure to utilise this golden opportunity will reinforce growing perceptions that our Prime Minister regards morality in our political system not as a compulsory value, but an optional extra.

There are some who will argue that the Prime Minister’s sex life is his own business which should be of concern only to the Premier himself. They will point out that he lost a wife of many years in very tragic circumstances and that, rather than condemn his latest behaviour, we should in fact sympathise with him. They will say that there is absolutely nothing untoward in Tsvangirai’s behaviour because almost every man would have acted similarly if they were in his position.

All of this is perfectly understandable, but totally beside the point. The Prime Minister is no ordinary man, or a celebrity, or a porn star. He is a leader. The entire nation looks up to him to show the way and to be a good example in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Indulging in deep sexy games with a dozen women all without condoms and leaving some of them to endure the post traumatic disorders that come with miscarriages and heartbreaks is a monumental betrayal of that expectation. It reflects poorly on him as a leader and makes us wonder whether the call by MDC-T’s Thabitha Khumalo to legalise prostitution was not made with the Premier’s deeds in mind.

Psychology Maziwisa is a New Zimbabwe.com columnist

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