Harare - "If Morgan Tsvangirai is your hero then you don't belong to a new transformative Zimbabwe."
SA-based Zimbabwean publisher Trevor Ncube torched a storm this weekend with this tweet, stirring up old loyalties, new fears and a whole hornet's nest of 16 years of bitterly-fought Zimbabwean politics.
What Ncube said wasn't new though.
It's been a growing whisper since the days of the 2009-2013 coalition government, when Tsvangirai's messy love life and apparent willingness to accept the perks that came with his position as prime minister disappointed critics.
(Let's just say here that it wasn't the MDC leader's fault his wife Susan died in a car crash in 2009, and that his Zanu-PF colleagues all gladly accepted their perks.)
Currently fighting cancer, former trade unionist Tsvangirai is still leader of the party he helped found in 1999. He won the first round of polling in presidential elections in 2008.
In fact, given the five-week delay in the announcement of results, many believe he won the elections outright. He pulled out of the second round citing violence against his supporters (nearly 200 died.) He lost the 2013 polls.
All indications are that Tsvangirai will stand again in the 2018 elections. But he does not seem keen so far to form a coalition - and many feel that this is the only way Mugabe will be defeated.
Here are some snaps of the Twitter battle:
Perhaps the most divisive tweet ever. I am loving this. Have your say ???? https://t.co/LKlzgoeYd9— Trevor Ncube (@TrevorNcube) December 10, 2016
One of the worst tweets I've seen all year tbh https://t.co/HYEq34VFuf— KinddeshöchstnGottes (@wadziefadzie) December 10, 2016
If Morgan Tsvangirai is your hero then you don't belong to a new transformative Zimbabwe. #NoToMediocrity— Trevor Ncube (@TrevorNcube) December 10, 2016
@trevorncube How much more damage does he have to do to Zim opposition politics before people wake up to the fact he's a failure ?— ZimBrief (@Mzithemba) December 11, 2016
@TrevorNcube you've really encouraged critical thinking ?? nice one— Makomborero Blessing (@MajomeM) December 10, 2016