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Damning appraisal of 'out of depth' Chamisa

by Staff reporter
11 May 2018 at 07:17hrs | Views
A RESPECTED University of Liverpool professor yesterday issued a lengthy, damning appraisal of MDC Alliance president Mr Nelson Chamisa, who was on a visit to the United Kingdom, describing him as excitable, out of depth and prone to dumb utterances.

Writing on the microblogging site Twitter, Professor Diana Jeater - who attended Mr Chamisa's presentation at Chatham House on Wednesday - said she was left unimpressed and discouraged by his lack of depth on crucial issues and over-excitement at the mere prospect of potentially being voted into power.

Prof Jeater is a scholar of African History with a special interest on Zimbabwe and her candid, public appraisal of Mr Chamisa flew in the face of the MDC Alliance leader's lieutenants who tried to paint a rosy picture of his showing at Chatham House.

"Overall, #Chamisa came across as out of his depth, over-excited about the idea of winning an election but failing to recognise the seriousness of what happens after the counting is finished,'' Prof Jeater said.

"I had heard great things about Chamisa as an orator. So I arrived expecting to be impressed and encouraged. Alas, I left unimpressed and discouraged," she said.

Turning to Mr Chamisa's penchant for shoving his size seven feet into his mouth, a development that has seen him make some Cloud cuckoo land pledges at rallies, Prof Jeater was scathing.

Click here to see Prof Jeater's timeline

‘‘And he said some really dumb things: ‘Most of the people working in the NHS (National Health Service) are Zimbabwean'. The independent parties registering to contest the election are mostly surrogate Zanu-PF fronts. ‘We will not be sidetracked by gender-violence issues'. And dumbest of all …

‘‘ . . . the day when president Chamisa enters Zimbabwe House and begins to reign'. Govern is the word he was looking for. Govern. I really hope, for Zimbabwe's sake, that he knows the difference,'' Prof Jeater said.

Much of Mr Chamisa's programmes, Prof Jeater said, appeared reactive and retrogressive simply designed to oppose Zanu-PF making it difficult to identify the MDC's distinctiveness.

"More importantly, though, some things just didn't add up. A call for big ideas is not in itself a big idea. Chamisa's only big idea seems to be changing the government. There were a lot of technocratic fixes, but most of them are in Zanu-PF's programme as well."

Professor Jeater pointed out value-addition as one of the sensible proposals highlighted by Mr Chamisa.
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She was, however, quick to point out that it had been a Zanu-PF programme for years.

"Yes, it makes sense. Don't export raw, but process. Mining, specifically. But this has been Zanu (PF) policy for a decade! And Zanu's 2011 ban on chrome ore exports was lifted in 2015 because there wasn't processing capacity and the sector collapsed.

"That doesn't mean that the policy is wrong-headed. But it's wrong-headed to present it as your big idea, rather than as an already-existing difficult problem to be resolved. What is MDC's solution to the lack of processing capacity in the chrome industry? That's the issue."

(See page 3 for Prof Jeater's full appraisal)

Prof Jeater's sentiments were echoed by other keen observers, among them Alpha Media Holdings boss, Mr Trevor Ncube and one Melusi Nkomo to mention just a few.

Mr Ncube said the more Mr Chamisa speaks, the more he exposes himself. "Another take on Nelson Chamisa's speech this time from Melusi Nkomo. The more Chamisa talks the more people realize he is not the change we want. If he wants to be our president then he better get used to this scrutiny and learn."

Mr Melusi Nkomo described Mr Chamisa as a ‘weird chimera' (illusion) with Barack Obama's energy, Julius Malema's loudness and Donald Trumps' lies in one person.

We let him speak, ‘‘I finally watched Nelson Chamisa's much-hyped Chatham House presentation. I'm not impressed at all, and this is not out of malice…There's a weird populist concoction that puts weight on telling us what Zanu-PF has done wrong without giving much attention to the practicalities of his own intentions/promises. Then comes the rashness, the playing-to-the-gallery – we have already seen this during his rallies at home. He's a weird chimera; Barack Obama's energy, Julius Malema's loudness and Donald Trumps' lies in one person. But this poses its own problems – many people already see through the exaggerations, but, critically, he lacks the robust mobilizational and organizational capabilities of Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters.

‘'Already many Zimbabweans are calling him "pwere" ("childish"), something which can't be ignored in a society that puts emphasis on generational hierarchy. In the rashness, however, his rallies are just one-off events, like those "people's road shows" which used to advertise Nestle and Lever Brothers products in the township. People enjoy the music and Chamisa's dramatic performances, and that's about it, leaving no structures on the ground.

‘‘In the meantime, the ruling Zanu-PF – its "evil" past notwithstanding – permeates people's everyday lives, for good or for bad. Violence is Zanu-PF, mock (primary) elections are Zanu-PF, the police are Zanu-PF, soldiers are Zanu-PF, campaign largesse, (so-called "vote buying"), is Zanu-PF…'' he said.

Source - the herald