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Zimbabweans be wary of Chamisa and Mnangagwa the two lawyers

13 Feb 2019 at 12:49hrs | Views
I write this article with great sadness aiming to draw to your attention some alarming political posturing behavioural trends that I have deduced from analysing the rise, sustenance of political power and posturing used by our current political leaders Pres Mnangagwa and Pres Chamisa.

The two leaders are both highly capable qualified lawyers. The other major similarity is the point at which both joined the political world, which was relatively at a youthful age. These characteristics make these two leaders possess political skills that are highly calculative and blameless in their conduct.

Law professionals in their calculated posturing and conduct will not be found on the wrong side or at crime scene of any adverse, destructive or catastrophic event as they are immensely capable of using the law to their advantage.

Let me start by analysing President Mnangagwa's rise to power, posturing attributes and sustenance of political power.

The rise of President Mnangagwa was through calculated political manoeuvring that was done strategically with no plotting blame being assigned directly to him over the entire planning and execution period. The only attempts to expose the secret project at the planning stages were made by his main rivalry Jonathan Moyo and at its peak by the former first lady Grace Mugabe. The interesting part was that the then Vice President continued on attending all political party events and executing his duties as normal without any signs of disloyalty.

When the plan was now being finally executed, Mnangagwa the then fired former Vice President at that time was not the face of the coup against former President Mugabe. Rather command duties against Mugabe were executed by General Chiwenga who was then commander of the defence forces. This is one of the greatest attributes possessed by Mnangagwa for when tough calls that damage his credibility, he won't be found to be the face of these unconstitutional and catastrophic actions. When all the dirty work had been done we then saw Mnangagwa coming back from South Africa to be sworn in as the President of the country.

The other scenario that highlights Pres Mnangagwa's ability to distance self from catastrophic events is the military deployment and killings on the 1st of August 2018. Following these events attempts were made to shift deployment responsibilities to the Defence Ministry which was then lead by Vice President Chiwenga citing the use of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

The deployment under the POSA act was however not in line with deployment guideline set forth by the constitution of Zimbabwe that reigns supreme. Again Pres Mnangagwa had managed to distance himself from these fatal events by establishing a commission of inquiry thus exonerating the presidency from the adverse events. To me these moves highlight how our President the capable lawyer has managed to use the national army to attain and defend his political power without him being directly implicated in any of these deployments.

A number of foreign governments seeking re-engagement with Zimbabwe most notably the United States through its congress using the ZIDERA sanctions Act cite the inconsistent use of all prior laws requiring urgent alignment with the constitution of 2013. These alignment calls have all gone un-actioned since the POSA Act currently provides the opportunity for the current President to transfer deployment responsibility to lower levels of government thereby exonerating the presidency from wrongs committed by the national army.

Pres Mnangagwa's posturing was further reiterated this January on the demonstration and fuel crisis. Following the turn of the year the country experienced a fuel crisis which saw limited supply of this vital import that lead to long motor vehicle queues at most filling stations. In trying to solve the crisis the President returned from his annual leave to then raise the price of all petroleum products by over 125% as he left for Eurasian for state visits the day following this announcement.

I am now convinced that the President's actions regarding the fuel crisis were well planned and calculated. He knew very well that the population's reaction to the announcement were likely to result in violent protests henceforth the President went on to leave the county assigning command duties to his deputies. The President knew very well that his deputies were going to use military force to crush any acrimony and opposition in ways he himself desired but could not be directly implicated for. These actions all show how calculative and strategic the President is in all his political posturing.

I will now jump on to analyse President Chamisa the leader of the MDC Alliance taking into account his rise, posturing attributes and sustenance of political influence.

The rise of Chamisa was mainly through the stage created by the illness and burial ceremony of late former MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Pres Chamisa managed to outshine the other party deputies Thokozani Kupe and Ellias Mudzuri in the early stages of the campaign and most importantly at the burial ceremony of the founding leader. Chamisa displayed his well polished oratory skills distant in other deputies thereby re-energising the mourning party with that, cementing his leadership bid. I would like to first commend Pres Chamisa's election showing and result in the 30th of July election. Considering the limited time he had to organise a formidable campaign whilst also dealing with internal leadership battles the opposition leader ran a stupendous race.

Following the election we then saw Chamisa displaying a great deal of political manoeuvring in an attempt to attain ultimate political power by reaching the highest office in the land. Whilst displaying these attributes the MDC Alliance leader is also casting an eye on maintaining his party's top leadership post for an elective congress scheduled this year that is expected to settle the party leadership issue through a delegate vote.

During the campaign period various expressed statements were made by the MDC Alliance leader and other senior party officials on the insistence that supporters should defend their vote following the election. The most notable statement was made by the party's chief organiser Amos Chibaya during a election rally in Norton on the 25th of July were he said to the crowd "You are not supposed to go home after voting. You have to wait for the results to what you have voted for, the results are to be displayed outside the polling station thus wait and celebrate there."

All these statements during the campaign period and others which are no longer important at the moment managed to raise political tensions when the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) delayed announcing crucial results. The delay by ZEC was not logical in the sense that results from remote parts of the country were the being declared first as opposed to results from the well connected urban areas. This delay situation led to demonstrations in the Harare city centre that were then met by the deployment of the national army leading to the fatal events I have eluded earlier.

The situation that saddened me the most are attempts by the opposition leader to distance himself and his party from these post election demonstrations whilst appearing at the post election violence commission of inquiry. Before Chamisa's appearance he went to label those who had demonstrated in his name before the declaration of the presidential election result as being stupid contrary to statements the party had made to the insistence of defending the vote during the campaign.

This scenario is just a light pointer at how law professionals react and exonerate themselves when confronted with responsibility. They will never take responsibility for any fatal adverse event and these great political tacticians will never be found on the crime scenes or wrong side of the law as they know how to use the law to their advantage.

The second scenario that highlights Chamisa's political posturing and blameless manoeuvring are the January stay away/demonstration actions that resulted in the loss of 17 fellow countryman, imprisonment of more than 600 youths and damage to property. The face of the stay away/ demonstration was the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) with no call to action being directly traced to the MDC Alliance.

These actions were despite expressed statements made by the MDC Alliance leader on the 29th of November were statements like 'sand in sadza' or 'kudira jecha' ran supreme. The Winky D song Jecha was also the feature song of the MDC Alliance November rally.

To me what worries me the most is the political relevance attained by Chamisa after these fatal events as he plays victim to the world whereby he goes round making hospital visits to the affected victim. The notable platform created for Chamisa following these tragic events are the burial ceremonies of victims. At these burial ceremonies the opposition leader displays his well polished oratory skills for his rise to prominence was also linked to a burial ceremony.

Why then have I titled the article Zimbabweans be careful of these two leaders? It is very clear that we are the ones as ordinary Zimbabweans who are going to continue suffering falling victim to these two influential leaders' political manoeuvring antics.

With the countries current deteriorating political environment and dire economic situation, dissent and confrontational scenes greater than those experienced in January will be inevitable in the not so distant future.

If a solution is not found urgently, dissent and confrontations will like before not be directly linked to the MDC Alliance and its leader Chamisa. These uprisings like before will be met by military deployments that will also not be directly linked or authorised by Pres Mnangagwa. This is so for both Chamisa and Mnangagwa will continue wanting to maintain their credibility to the public, regional and international community were the first will says "my hands are clean" with the other responding "I am as soft as wool" respectively.

The blame tossing cycle locally, regionally and internationally will continuously go on and on at the expense of human life and the economic wellbeing of the country.

I have proven to you in my earlier arguments that these two leaders will continue to have convincing arguments that won't place then on the wrong side legally and at any crime scene of adverse events since both are highly capable lawyers who know the right way to influence events.

I have always believed and expressed that national dialogue that seeks at changing our governance structure and systems, is vital for progressing our massively divided political terrain and country. Zimbabwe's political terrain has always been massively divided and how this divide is structured is also important for the countries major political parties acknowledge this divide too.

Zanu Pf as alluded to by its secretary for administration Dr Obert Mpofu expressed these sentiments whilst appearing before the post election violence commission of inquiry to the limited support the party has in urban areas.

The MDC Alliance in turn also acknowledges its limited support base in the rural areas. Tendai Biti in his submission at the post election violence commission of inquiry alluded to this handicap highlighting that the party's campaign had made significant in-roaders towards gaining support in the rural areas political terrain. Biti went on to say that the party had managed to hold well attended election rallies in areas were in past it couldn't just have simply held such events. It was however rather difficult for Biti to quantify how these attendance figures had translated into actual votes for he simply correlated rally attendance to electoral votes.

Analysing the divide in the political terrain presents a challenge on how the county can be effectively ran using the current centralised governance setup that allows the winner of an election to assume all governmental responsibilities over the entire political terrain.

The same proposition also gives an opportunity for cooperation whereby we recognise this demographic narrative to the political landscape thus apply a decentralised governance structure based on the devolution principals that are already outlined in the constitution.

One attribute I am proud of as I conduct my analytic works is my independent mindset. I too like many Zimbabweans at a certain point tried joining a political party and for that time I was leaning towards joining the MDC. I however in the end decided joining one citing the guided, limited and partisan thinking nature with which one by being a political party member thinks. Every often and particularly in Zimbabwean politics the issue is often we against them without actually dealing with the underlining political issues and guiding principles on decisions or actions to be made.

Our democracy is remarkably different to the original Athenian democratic setup that was not based upon political parties. All legal citizens had rights to choose through an elective vote what actions the civilisation was to proceed with on a particular issue. The Athenians will have made this choice after hearing arguments from conflicting courses of actions with these arguments being open to being made by any citizen.

In our current governance setup we literary leave all aspects of our livelihoods to be decided upon by those we elect as representatives. This setup is quite dangerous for communities need to retain certain levels of control and say on decision regarding their own day to day basic needs. This can be achieved through devolution of our current central governance structure which has failed to deliver community basics for a long time.

To generalise the current national dialogue dilemma between Pres Mnangagwa and his Zanu Pf party versus Pres Chamisa and his MDC Alliance party is the Mandela chicken story that was narrated by current South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Whilst Mandela (Madiba) was conducting his chieftaincy duties at his home village Ramaphosa narrates: A woman came to Madiba, claiming her neighbour stole her chicken. So Madiba summoned the accused and informed him of the allegations against him. The man admitted he had stolen the chicken. "Where is the chicken,' Madiba asked.

"I've eaten it," the man replied. But the woman was insistent: "I want my chicken."

Madiba then asked the offender if he was willing to compensate for his transgression. The man offered to pay R25. "No I want my chicken," the woman responded.

The problem of the Madiba chicken story according to Ramaphosa was that he never got to hear the end since they had been interrupted during the story.

Linking the chicken story to the current political impasse in our country key issues and questions can be drawn from the scenario that confronted Mandela.

Issues and Questions raised by the chicken story linking it to the Zimbabwean national dialogue are:
1) Who will act as the independent and credible moderator to summon both the accuser and accused?2) Will the accused admit to stealing accuser's chicken and if not will the accuser prove his case?3) If the accuser proves his case to the mediator will the accused accept the verdict and agree to compensation terms?4) Will the accuser insist on the original chicken as opposed to the compensation terms?

The sad part is that Madiba did not offer any conflict resolution guidelines since the story he told Pres Ramaphosa had no ending.

In conclusion I believe the current Zimbabwean crisis' solutions will not be found anywhere else but within ourselves. The idea of believing that foreign actors from somewhere will come to mediate the dialogue process is pure fantasy. We saw that after the killings on the 1st of August 2018 this idea of using a commission of inquiry that was constituted by foreigners was adopted. Barely a month after releasing its findings a similar incident accrued for no foreign actor understands the Zimbabwean problem other than us Zimbabweans.

To end the article I will use the words delivered by Rev Nhiwatiwa at the national dialogue prayer breakfast he said before the benediction. "Good morning good people, you are good people. When I was asked to give the benediction words, I was also given some little time to give some insights. The insight I will say is that we have to begin to be a positive and optimistic nation. It will not help anyone to keep on fingers pointing and hating each other. Other countries are doing their own business and they will not care about this country. I am telling you this they won't care, of course talking to you they will say oh yes we are concerned about Zimbabwe, but giving your back to each other they are busy with their own things. In fact in the present the fall of another nation is the rise of others. Other nations will rise and fly because there those who are benefiting from our problems here. You don't have to articulate that for you can analyse a problem and go on analysing a problem, it won't go away until you focus on the solution. Let us pray."

Stay blessed

Terence Simbi                                  

Source - Terence Simbi
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