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Chamisa's rigging allegations: A case of history repeating itself

19 Jul 2018 at 06:28hrs | Views
Those who have meticulously followed developments on Zimbabwe's political landscape since President Emmerson Mnangagwa proclaimed the date of the 2018 harmonised elections will, no doubt, concur with me that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has become a political punching bag for Advocate Nelson Chamisa as he bumps along the pot-holed road of blind politics.

Sensing imminent defeat, the MDC Alliance's presidential candidate, has now turned his political guns on Zec in a vain attempt to destroy its integrity, ahead of the fast-approaching harmonised elections. This tells a sad story of a politician who is scared of facing defeat in a dignified manner and is now resorting to peddling falsehoods that Zec is rigging the harmonised polls in favour of Zanu-PF to save face.

Indeed, it presents a painful paradox to note that while peace and tranquillity prevail in the country ahead of the elections, some Zimbabweans, for all their heralded education, are being fooled into participating in senseless demonstrations that serve no other purpose other than to advance the selfish interests of power-hungry political clowns and charlatans within the leadership of the strife-torn MDC Alliance.

What offends my own moral sensibilities is that while Advocate Chamisa leads an alliance that claims to champion the cause of democracy, he is abusing and demonising the country's democratic processes by continuing to spew highly inflammable political rhetoric with apparent impunity at every campaign rally he addresses.

Addressing MDC Alliance supporters after a recent demonstration meant to compel Zec to accede to their demands for so-called electoral reforms, Advocate Chamisa accused President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF of working hand in glove with Zec and Russian cyber experts in a plot to rig the up-coming harmonised elections.

These allegations are baseless because Advocate Chamisa does not have an iota of evidence to substantiate them.

To this end, the allegations should be dismissed as the mere theatrics of a man at the end of his tether.

To add insult to injury, Advocate Chamisa also told his supporters that he will announce the results of the elections himself as he does not trust Zec, chaired by Justice Priscilla Chigumba. One striking feature about Advocate Chamisa, which sticks out like a sore thumb, is his penchant for contradicting himself each time he opens his mouth to speak.

It is pertinent to point out that Zec came into being with the full support and backing of legislators from across the political divide, including Advocate Chamisa himself, as legislator for Kuwadzana East constituency. The tragic irony is that he is now casting aspersions on the integrity of a commission that he helped set up. What a shocking paradox!

There is an ancient English adage which says history repeats itself. This saying rings true if Advocate Chamisa's allegations that Zec is rigging the elections in favour of Zanu-PF and that he will announce the election results himself are anything to go by.

It is insightful to note that the late MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai (May his departed soul rest in eternal peace) expressed similar sentiments in the run-up to the 2013 harmonised elections.

Mr Tsvangirai was so confident of victory that he threatened to announce the election results himself if Zec delayed to do so. Be that as it may, things did not turn out the way he expected them.  Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the revolutionary party then led by former president Robert Mugabe.

Tsvangirai went on to dispute the legitimacy and credibility of the elections, arguing that Zec had rigged them in favour of Zanu-PF. One of Tsvangirai's reasons for disputing the election results was the voters' roll, which he claimed was in shambles. In disputing the election results, he expected African observer missions, which were in the country to observe the elections, to support him. However, Comesa, the African Union and Sadc distanced themselves from his vote-rigging allegations and expressed unanimity of opinion that the elections were above board.

Given the foregoing as a back-drop, it is quite clear to all and sundry that Advocate Chamisa is singing from Tsvangirai's hymn-book by disputing the credibility of the forthcoming harmonised elections.

This is hardly surprising because, as I see it, these elections are a do-or-die affair for Advocate Chamisa, the self-anointed 'king' of opposition politics in Zimbabwe. He knows that his future as president of a faction of the MDC-T, and indeed as a politician, hangs in the balance if he loses this crucial plebiscite. In this sense, it can be seen that Zec is a mere scape-goat for his looming defeat.

It is the strong contention of this scribe that the people of Zimbabwe will never betray their liberators by entrusting the future of this great country to the hands of a flip-flopping political toddler like Advocate Chamisa.

If indeed the truth be told without fear or favour, Advocate Chamisa is a cunning, self-centred individual who just cannot be trusted. I say this because, as an advocate, he defended employers in the 2015 Supreme Court ruling involving Zuva Petroleum employees who were fired on three months' notice. This ruling opened the floodgates of job terminations, resulting in over 30 000 once-gainfully employed workers being dumped onto the streets without compensation.

In this contemporary economic context, Zimbabwe needs a responsible, politically mature and visionary leader to take the country forward. Since the new dispensation rolled into power following the resignation of Mr Mugabe, President Mnangagwa has proved that he has what it takes to occupy the country's highest office as president. He possesses a calculative mind and has incredible administrative skills. Over and above this, he has a wealth of energy, stamina and innovativeness.

Zimbabwe's economy has languished in the intensive care unit for decades and mending it will not be a stroll in the park. What the country needs at this moment in time are economic policies that address issues of poverty, inequality and unemployment — not bullet trains.

In my humble opinion, President Mnangagwa, a tried and tested leader, is the prescription that the doctor has recommended to set Zimbabwe's economic wheels in inexorable motion and transform the country into an economic powerhouse in the region.

Cuthbert Mavheko is a freelance journalist based in Bulawayo. He has contributed articles and short-stories to the Chronicle, Sunday News and various other publications since 1995. He can be contacted via e-mail or mobile phone 0773 963 448.

Source - chronicle
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