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Opinion / Columnist

Lifting the lid on Chamisa's dark past

12 Jul 2018 at 09:22hrs | Views
Throughout this election campaign we have heard a lot of discussion about ED's past. And rightly so. He has been an integral figure in our national history, for better or worse, and it is only proper that as he stands before us, the voters, and asks for our support, that we consider his past, as well as his vision for the future, when casting our vote.

But it seems that when it comes to his main opponent, Nelson Chamisa, the rules are different. Across the private and social media, people seem determined to do anything to avoid discussing his past. Surely if he wants to be our president, then we have the right to know, and to evaluate, his past as well as ED's. Anything else is a double standard.

And one thing is for sure. Chamisa has a past. A dark past.

I should know – my father was one of his victims.

My father worked for ten years at the Meikles hotel in Harare before a Supreme Court ruling caused him to be fired. The case went to court, and a young advocate by the name of Nelson Chamisa was a central figure in the case.

As a proud and ambitious MDC member, the party of the workers lest we forget, you might have thought that Chamisa would represent the workers fighting for their rights and livelihoods.

But you would be wrong. For it seems that this ambitious young advocate's motives were not as pure as he would have us believe. He had the choice between money and justice, the strong and the weak, the rich and the poor.

And guess which side Chamisa chose - the side of those seeking to fire the workers on the cheap. And due to his skill as a lawyer, they won, and my father and over 30,000 other workers were fired. He still hasn't found a new job.

Over the past few months, as the campaign has heated up, I have waited patiently for someone to bring up this issue. Not because I believe that this automatically disqualifies Chamisa from being president, but because voters should know all the facts before making their choice. Zimbabwean workers have historically voted for the MDC as they have believed the MDC would fight for them, and they should know how the new MDC leader treats the workers.

The case of my father and tens of thousands like him raise serious questions about the motives and character of Nelson Chamisa, and it should be out in the open.

But for months I have waited patiently, and nobody wants to talk about it. Instead there seems to be a code of silence in the media and online, with outlets deciding that this information doesn't suit their interests, and so they will keep it out of the public eye. People who jump on any labour dispute to attack the government, politicising the legitimate grievances of doctors, nurses, teachers and others, are strangely silent when it comes to wrongdoing by their golden boy.

And so I was delighted to see that a new organisation has been formed, the Zimbabwean Workers for Justice. They want to highlight the plight of my father and thousands like him, and fight for justice. They want to tell the stories of those that have suffered, and break this media omerta around Chamisa's role in one of the worst rulings in our history. Because people have a right to know.

For some people, learning about Chamisa's role in destroying tens of thousands of families like mine will not change their mind about their hero. For others perhaps it will. But all I ask is that people are honest about what happened, and open to hearing the truth.

On July 30th we will choose between two flawed candidates, both of which have a past. Let's at least acknowledge that much.


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Source - Precious Kwaramba
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
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