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Superstitious politics will never win

29 Jul 2018 at 10:18hrs | Views
Tomorrow we cast three ballots amidst a confetti of hope, despair, paranoia, suspicion, fear, confidence, hesitation and denial for some. We will either review these elections or perform a post mortem of our preparations, input and outcomes.

This still draws us back to fundamentals of thinking principles: processes versus outcomes. This elementary philosophy will be an essential prescription to dealing with post-election trauma disorder. Processes versus outcomes will be the finest remedy post tomorrow in preparing for 2023.

The discourse and dispensation we will be speaking of from next week will be on rebuilding Zimbabwe, forging ahead in re-engaging capital, creating opportunities for all and sundry, social policy analysis, reconstructing the education curriculum so forth and so on-all progressive discourses.

Most interesting in this race is how "denial" has transcended from being a political characteristic to a suggestively medical ailment.

The speeches and actions we have been treated to this past week are nothing short of an outstanding inquisition of our national intelligence: after these elections we need an enquiry into the state of intelligence of many of us who are prisoners of superstition and paranoia; those who believe in magical shifts of inks specifically from Nelson Chamisa to ED, those who claim that the elections are not free and fair only if they lose, those who mount a moral high horse of democratic electoral processes yet they were nowhere near credible in their primaries, those who proclaim that the barometer of credibility is of their preconceived result in a system they assert is not fair and those who are competing to be primitively violent if we do not vote for them (the old allegations of a very old Zanu-PF).

These are clusters in the political parts whose imaginations precede elementary reasoning and logic, publicly curating sci-fi as a response to political and legal problems. One is left wondering if such a magnitude of mistrust in national institutions is a result of trend, evidence or an excuse for stubborn religiosity in superstition.  There is an old (and corny) joke, which goes, "Q: What is 'Denial'? A: It's a river in Egypt."

To scientifically explain this, "denial" as a psychological delinquent is the problem some quarters are indisposed from. They deny that there is a party which is well organised and servicing the interests of its constituency (even if you disagree with them) and its constituency is excited to exercise its democratic right.

There is another meaning of "denial" in psychoanalytic theory, where it is a psychological defence we all use at times to reduce our anxiety when things feel particularly disturbing. Finally there is a peculiar type of "denial" we are witnessing nowadays, wherein seemingly intelligent and sane adults vehemently deny truths despite a body of irrefutable data.

This denial is akin to Stephen Colbert's "Truthiness," in that these deniers adamantly refuse to accept verified scientific facts because they get in the way of their own rigid ideas.

Truthiness is the belief or assertion that a particular statement is true based on the intuition or perceptions of some individual or individuals, without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.  Truthiness can range from ignorant assertions of falsehoods to deliberate duplicity or propaganda intended to sway opinions. Too much belief in superstition results in denial. When you're in denial, you: Will not acknowledge a difficult situation, try not to face the facts of a problem or even downplay possible consequences of the issue.

This kind of closed-mindedness is prevalent in opposition politics and all its facilities. Call it zealotry, bigotry or fanaticism, these ultra-controlling beliefs are dangerous to our civic morale. Even worse, they give a quasi-intellectual rationale for a momentum towards control, misanthropy and hate.

For Advocate-man-of-the-cloth, he alone, is refusing to acknowledge that something is wrong as a way of coping with emotional conflict, stress, painful thoughts, threatening information and anxiety. He is in denial about anything that makes him feel vulnerable or threatens sense of control. To him, this plebiscite is beyond the deliverables to the ordinary man on the street; it is about his political prospect which is in check. To him, a failed Presidency heralds a colossal inevitable possibility: His political expiry.

He discerns that his Presidency in the Alliance is very much dubious. His battle for MDC-T with Thokozani Khupe is far from ending, only a name was won, what more will Khupe easily win after these elections: control of the properties - he thinks of Harvest House, the over a million dollars he has to pay back and a striking possibility of failing to control MPs in Parliament.

When his rhetoric is pregnant with paranoia, superstition and confusion to an extent that he will not accept any result that is not his win, the man is singing for his supper which is under threat from those who do not trust him either. Professor Welshman Ncube is sure of Chamisa not acceding to his input after elections because Nelson constantly reminds him that he has brought nothing into this Alliance.

He showed it when he imposed candidates in Matabeleland North and South, he attested it when he breached the Alliance agreements on sharing constituencies.

However, Nelson knows that the witty Professor of law is not in it for the candidates but a stake in the little the party controls.

He knows that Ncube is aiding his individual political interest of finding shelter in a party with political capital. Even if he knows Ncube's weakness, the Professor's loyalty to him is very much questionable.

The Professor wants to right the 2005 wrongs which saw him losing grip of the most formidable opposition to one who had no law skill. Without the Presidency, Chamisa is vulnerable to the man who may help interpret the law to his disfavour. If the Alliance is to shudder after tomorrow, Chamisa has no party to hold on to. The enmity extends to another lawyer, Tendai Biti whose 2014 aspirations of rising in MDC-T were cut short by the party with the assistance of Chamisa. Biti's ouster in 2014 was not a pleasurable one and he had left a constituency in the party that was excited at his re-entrance.

This time there isn't a Morgan Tsvangirai to bar him, he has to deal with a young man still in his pupilage, still fighting to grasp fundamental concepts of law which Biti has set precedence on. Among the top guns, Biti is the only one running for office. Should miracles happen and Biti does find his way into the August House, it would be a blow for Chamisa who will be a nonentity relegated to an activist who may make a statement that he is retiring from active politics and focus on a law firm after tomorrow.

With Biti in Parliament and able to caucus the Alliance members in Parliament, he controls the engine of the coalition's interest. Chamisa is not ignorant of this, Biti is a huge threat to his political aspirations and the only way to control people like Biti is when you are the country's President, then you award them with ministerial posts to buy their loyalty (which is never a solution either).

The rest of the members who are in the Alliance are minions, we shall not waste space discussing them. They will go back to their normal lives, in fact they are already leading their normal lives. So you have to understand Chamisa's behaviour from this angle of positionality, it is the immediate threats in the form of his Alliance partners who will determine his political future if he loses. It is an under-resourced campaign which he is sure of that has hammered his chances of appealing to the masses, it is the daily growing support the Zanu-PF candidate has amassed both domestically and internationally.

It is the new audience Zanu-PF has attracted. It is the impending legal battle of party control Chamisa failed to deal with which he knows will haunt him after tomorrow.

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