Opinion / Columnist
Chamisa is managing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory
13 Jun 2018 at 18:04hrs | Views
"Snatch defeat from the jaws of victory," is an ironic reversal of a well-known idiom that sort of sums up MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa's election campaign so far.
He came into the position in a great position. He was considered the heir to the legendary leader Morgan Tsvangirai. He was young and charismatic, and seemed just right for a new Zimbabwe. Many thought that finally the MDC would win an election and take the presidency.
However, from the very beginning he courted controversy. A courageous and effective leader would have ensured that all of his adversaries from within the party would be placated. He should have found a way to keep Thokozani Khupe within the fold. They could have made a dynamic duo, rather than the constantly sniping enemies they have become.
Chamisa should have united the MDC-T. Instead it has never been more divided.
His foreign jaunts have courted controversy with lies and boasts. Chamisa claimed to have met President Donald Trump in the U.S., who he claimed had offered him $15 billion.
Neither statement was true.
When Chamisa traveled to the UK to try and bolster his international credentials and drum up support among a significant Diaspora community, he fell flat with both. Largely ignored by British leaders who barely acknowledged his presence, he was caught lying on HARDtalk on a number of occasions and was described as "out of his depth" by people who came to hear his vision for Zimbabwe.
Back home Chamisa's campaign has been rife with unrealistic promises, lies and attacks on women and ethnic minorities.
Chamisa has made many promises that could well earn him a place in the international pantheon of unrealistic and impossible campaign pledges. He has said he will build a bullet train that would travel from Harare to Bulawayo, a distance of 446 km, in 35 minutes, making them twice as fast as the current speediest trains in the world.
He has said that he will create a $100 billion economy within a decade, which is grossly outlandish for an economy like Zimbabwe's. Perhaps it is just as likely as Chamisa's promise that he will bring the World Cup to Zimbabwe during his term even though the next World Cups have already been designated, even if the idea itself is appealing yet laughable.
Chamisa's fantastical promises are matched by his ongoing lies, like the time he claimed he was given late MDC-T Vice-President Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo's knobkerrie or when he claimed that he assisted Rwandan President Paul Kagame to craft his nation's ICT policy.
Finally, there have been his constant attacks on women.
Firstly, he offered his sister in a wager to the president, then he embarrassed his wife in public by telling her that she will serve at home and not to public work if he should become president, and most disturbingly, when he proudly boasted to a rally that he could impregnate any woman he chooses.
These and other incidents have alienated much of the 52% of the female voting population.
Month by month, week by week, day by day, Chamisa's popularity is shrinking.
While many gave him the benefit of the doubt early on, perpetuating the same mistakes, being caught out frequently for lying and having very little to say of substance or of a vision for the country has made him a losing proposition.
Moreover, it appears that he is now blowing the MDC Alliance into pieces by allowing MDC-T candidates to run in every part of the country, going against a deal he made with his partners. This comes on the heels of perhaps his worst sin of all, allowing the Mugabe's a seat at the MDC table.
That the leader of the MDC would welcome Bob and Grace Mugabe to the movement is indicative of how far Chamisa has fallen from the Tsvangirai tree.
Chamisa was blamed by many in the MDC for losing the 2013 elections because of his ego, self-interest and impulsiveness. It is clear that the 2018 Chamisa is even worse now he doesn't have those like Tsvangirai around to curb his worst impulses.
While he promised much, it seems like Chamisa is demonstrating how possible it is to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Source - Jealousy Dutiro
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