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Election losers turn to campaign at Dr Dabengwa's funeral

05 Jun 2019 at 10:52hrs | Views
The passing on of one of Zimbabwe's liberation war icons, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa on 23 May 2019, saw all people from all walks of life from far and near coming to pay their condolences in respect of the late national hero's contribution towards the liberation of his motherland.

It was at this funeral that the MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa chose to make the most foolish speech of his political life. One cannot tell what really took hold of Chamisa to say the unthinkable in front of that multitude of people.

The foul-mouthed Chamisa started by stating that he would finish what Dr Dabengwa had started. To begin with Dr Dabengwa was a freedom fighter who liberated the country from the jaws of colonial rule. For Chamisa to put himself in the place of a liberator is the highest level of being misguided.

Chamisa vowed to return ZAPU properties to ZAPU. The Unity Accord Agreement which was signed between ZANU and PF-ZAPU did not make any reference to anything to do with the properties. These two parties merged to form ZANU PF effective 22 December 1987. What this means is that the original ZAPU is now part and parcel of ZANU PF. It also means that what the two parties previously owned separately became property of the new entity. It is therefore nauseating for Chamisa to claim that he would restore the properties of which he knows nothing about.  His promise, which was obviously triggered by the need to please the ZAPU constituency at the funeral, cannot be fulfilled least of all by an opposition party leader who has very slim chances of ever landing state power.

The MDC leader pledged to work on devolution. Government is already working on it. Zimbabwe is a unitary State as enshrined in Section 1of the Constitution which states that "Zimbabwe is a unitary, democratic and sovereign republic". Recently, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in charge of Implementation and Monitoring, Dr Jorum Gumbo shared the guidelines for devolution. The guidelines entail decentralisation where Provincial Councils and local authorities will be in charge of spearheading economic activities in their respective areas of jurisdiction. In the 2019 National Budget, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube allocated $310 million towards devolution.

Devolution does not translate to Federal Government. More often than not we have seen how Chamisa has shown keen interest in preaching about devolution. He however falls awfully short in that he gives the impression that devolution would transform Zimbabwe into a federal state which is not factual. The falsehood is meant to appeal to secessionists such as those who believe in and have been pushing for the separation of the Matabeleland region and parts of the Midlands Province into a separate state named Mthwakazi.

Chamisa in his foolishness tried to endear himself with the Southern Provinces by saying things he knows nothing about. He called on Government to make an apology on Gukurahundi forgetting that his mentor Robert Mugabe once foolishly dismissed it as 'a moment of madness". Chamisa is forgetting that President Mnangagwa has done a lot to bring closure to this issue by setting up the National Reconciliation and Peace Commission (NPRC) to work on a framework and finalise the issue. He has engaged the Matabeleland Collective and this has added another front to Government's bid to solve legacy issues and foster unity in the country. This move by President Mnangagwa did not please some malcontents who have been drawing financial benefits from the issue by exploiting people's emotions over the Gukurahundi issue.

Lack of respect for the departed hero is something that epitomised Chamisa's speech. Chamisa was seen continuously pointing at the casket bearing the body of the late hero Dr Dabengwa. This is unAfrican. He was supposed to show some respect by just referring to the good deeds of the late hero.

No matter what the level of acrobatics he wants to play, one of his deputies, Prof Welshman Ncube is also determined to pull the political rug under Chamisa's feet and establish himself as the regional political guru.

Chamisa who is not well versed with protocol issues failed to realise that when someone is declared a national hero and his or her family chooses to bury their relative elsewhere other than the National Heroes Acre, there will be no need for the President and the Vice Presidents to attend. He therefore railed against President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice President Kembo Mohadi for not attending the funeral. The so called absence was meant to give the family room to direct how they want the burial to be conducted without any State interference.

Despite insisting that President Mnangagwa did not win the presidential election last year and refusing to recognise him as the President of the country, Chamisa paradoxically indicated that he knew that President Mnangagwa was the President of Zimbabwe by asking why he was not around. Chamisa has even claimed that he won the election and is, therefore, the President of Zimbabwe, he acknowledged that he is no president contradicting his public stunts which are driven the desperate desire to appease the restive youths in his party who he had promised plump jobs and position if he won.

Chamisa thought he was going to capitalise on was the presence of top African National Congress (ANC) leaders as well as former South African Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma who had been billed to attend the funeral, to embarrass President Mnangagwa. Unfortunately, Zuma and Mbeki did not turn up and Chamisa had no one to rub shoulders with and ended up cutting a lonely figure. It was a double embarrassment for him. His ill-thought out speech and the non-attendance of the South African delegation left him with egg on his face.

Source - Elijah Chihota
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