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MDC demos: Time youths refused to be used

12 Nov 2018 at 14:13hrs | Views
The MDC Alliance (MDC A), leader, Nelson Chamisa was defeated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa during the 30 July both in the ballot booth and at the Constitutional Court on 24 August. Instead of gracefully accepting defeat like the true democrat that he wishes the world to believe he is, Chamisa continues to live in denial. In place of using his so-called "thank you" rallies to help his supporters to accept the painful reality of the defeat and encourage them to move on, he is hiding behind the gatherings to incite them into violent demonstrations against President Mnangagwa as a way of venting his anger and getting back at the President for his own electoral loss.

Frustrated loser
After a battle loss a veritable leader gathers and re-groups with his troops to evaluate how they lost and re-strategise for the subsequent battles. Not so with Chamisa who is reducing himself to a frustrated one-election wonder by giving the world the impression that he was supposed to win the election on his first attempt. He seems to have learnt nothing from his predecessor, the late Morgan Tsvangirai who contested for the country's presidency three times and bade this country farewell before winning not even a National Assembly seat. His strange behaviour is not surprising though. It is born of his strange understanding of the concept of democracy which only views elections as free and fair if he wins – a point which he constantly and consistently emphasised in his campaign addresses.

An analysis of Chamisa's predicament, however, provides an informative window into his dilemma. After wresting the leadership of the then party from the then rightful heiress, Thokozani Khupe, most members of the faction expected him to perform miracles by unseating ZANU PF. He hoped to silence those who criticised his unorthodox rise to power in February this year by winning the election. Failing to achieve this would place him in Tsvangirai's unenviable perennial losers' class where aspiring fellow senior members would always be breathing down his neck. Tsvangirai felt this heat early in 2014 from the likes of Tendai Biti and Elton Mangoma and he is no exception especially in view of the beckoning elective congress next year. Chamisa had hoped that he would enhance his chances of retaining the leadership of the faction by winning the election and consolidating his stranglehold thereon by placing his cronies on influential positions such as that of the secretary general and the treasurer general.

Shameless lies

If Chamisa was going through the painful process of accepting his defeat all by himself behind the closed doors of his house Zimbabweans would not lose sleep. Everyone would take it as very natural to pine and sulk after such an incident. What worries most progressive Zimbabweans and global citizens are his shameless lies that the election was stolen. This is calculated to attract the sympathy of the world to his falsehood-coated fabrications in the hope that some global players would force President Mnangagwa into some arrangement under which he (Chamisa) would be accommodated into Government.

Concerned stakeholders are also worried about Chamisa's spirited lies about the way the elections were conducted so that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in particular and the country's democracy would be cast in bad light despite holding elections and running them professionally when they are due. It is also disturbing that Chamisa is using his series of rallies to incite his members by using the lie that the elections were stolen so that they can buy into his planned protests scheme. He is taking unfair advantage of excitable, impressionable and idle youths who he can easily bribe using free beer and a few dollars each to play his foot soldiers.

Time youths refused to be used
As Chamisa goes out to incite people in the name of "thank you" rallies, it is time that the youths of this country realised that it is them who suffer arrests, detention and possible jail terms for carrying out criminal activities in his name. They should ask the 29 MDC-T activists who were arrested for the murder of the late former Borrowdale Police Station officer in charge, Inspector Petros Mutedza in 2011 who were remanded in custody for years on end as investigations into the matter progressed.

They should ask Last Maengahama and Tungamirai Madzokere who are serving time for the crime at Chikurubi Maximum Prison. They should know that it is them who lose their freedom and whose life stagnates while they serve time for crimes committed in the name of the faction. Chamisa will continue with his life.

As the youths eagerly await the so-called protests against President Mnangagwa, they should know that there is no heroism in being used by selfish and narrow-minded politicians to destroy their own country, economy and future. The shops which they vandalised during violent protests in Harare on 24 August 2016 and 1 August 2018 do not belong to President Mnangagwa. They belong to Zimbabweans like them. They are sources of jobs for their fathers, mothers and siblings.

Many Zimbabweans are agreed that the past two decades have been characterised by economic regression and stagnation. Some have described the period as a wasted generation. Many more are also agreed that the new dispensation presents a golden opportunity to redeem the generation by applying our shoulders to the wheel as Zimbabweans to turn around the economic fortunes of our great country. Those among us who think that being in opposition means opposing everything which the ruling party and Government does risk being stuck behind in protests while others of the same generation as them claim their stake on the national cake by using their talents not only to sustain their lives but to create jobs for others too.

As the faction youths look forward to the free beer and a few dirty coins which come with its protests, they should know that the responsibility for their lives and future is their own and not Chamisa's as he only uses them to advance his selfish and unbridled political ambitions. Chamisa is already pursuing his career as a lawyer and ambition as a politician using their emotions as stepping stones and door mats.

As Chamisa attempts to justify, sanitise and rubber-stamp his planned intention to unseat a constitutionally-elected Government using protests, the people, who stand ready to carry out the hatchet job, should remember that it is them, and not Chamisa and his executive who will face the grim consequences of the crimes so committed. While protesting is a constitutionally-guaranteed right, they should understand the gravity of attempting to depose a constitutionally-elected Government and the consequences thereof.

Time to move forward as one nation
The opposition needs to understand that the country can only move forward if people across the political divide come together and approach our economic challenges as a people not because Chamisa has landed power. If he had the economic magical wand his faction would not be wallowing in poverty to the extent of failing to pay his election petition bills. The country can only move forward if the opposition respects national institutions such as ZEC and results of democratic principles and processes such as elections irrespective of who wins.

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