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Chamisa's demos were supposed to be a show of force

30 Aug 2019 at 08:01hrs | Views
MDC Alliance sought to flex their muscles through demonstrations since this mid month.   

They were supposed to be a massive show of force to bring the nation to a standstill for the world to notice.  They were meant to force Zanu-PF to the negotiating table with the opposition party outside the remit of the Political Actors' Dialogue (Polad).

If this had happened, the party would have engaged in the dialogue from a strong position to stand a chance to extract substantial concessions from Zanu-PF.

Judging from the bellicose rhetoric from the likes of MDC Alliance leader, Mr Nelson Chamisa, co-deputy chairs, Messrs Tendai Biti and Job Sikhala, it was evident that the ultimate goal of the protests was to oust the Government.   However, the grand plan has gone with a whimper. It has transpired, and we are learning this for the umpteenth time, that the party does not have any muscles to flex.  

Also, its leaders are just high sounding nothings who lack a kind of mass appeal they want everyone to believe they do. Zimbabweans totally ignored their protest calls as they went about their business across the country over the past two weeks over which the demonstrations were supposed to roll. Businesses continued to open as usual while traffic moved normally.  

Everyone, except the few in MDC Alliance, was preoccupied with working for themselves and their country towards economic recovery and growth.

Indeed, the people acknowledge that the economy is facing challenges; challenges that are essentially caused by illegal sanctions that MDC Alliance invited upon the country and whose dire impacts the party continues to gloat over but acknowledge at the same time that demonstrations are not the solution.      

As we report elsewhere in today's paper, MDC Alliance was yesterday forced to shelve their protests.     

The party's national spokesperson Mr Daniel Molokele said: "To this end, the people's party has decided to take a step back this week and call for progress review consultation meetings with the intention of boosting the already existing efforts under the Free Zimbabwe Campaign."

He added that the party's national executive council (NEC) would meet to discuss the next course of action.

"The NEC meeting will then be followed by further consultations with local party leaders and members, especially at a district level with the ultimate aim of boosting and renewing the already existing momentum that the Free Zimbabwe Campaign has clearly gained during the last two weeks," he said.  

What is Mr Chamisa's next step now after the spectacular failure of what was clearly his nuclear option? He thought that successful protests would strengthen his hand in his hoped-for dialogue with Zanu-PF but his poor credentials have been laid bare for everyone to see. He is just a small man who has no command of the masses and who cannot drag anyone outside his party to talks of any nature.

At the same time, his is just a small party which does not command the masses with only 88 seats in Parliament of 270. We have to state that there was, in the first place, no reason for dialogue between MDC Alliance and Zanu-PF beyond Polad but events of the past two weeks further assert the point into the minds of fence-sitters that there is no need for that opposition party to be granted special treatment. The only sensible step for Mr Chamisa to take now is to join all other parties in Polad if he wants to remain relevant and to be seen as keen to play a role in addressing the economic challenges facing the country.  

President Mnangagwa has always invited him to the forum. We are confident that there is still room for those interested in the dialogue table but knowing his bloated ego, Mr Chamisa is likely to continue making noises from the periphery. Whether MDC Alliance joins the Polad process or not, we foresee Mr Chamisa's leadership of his party becoming more and more vulnerable. He has dismally failed to mobilise the people against the Government, only over a year after he lost the elections.

There have been credible reports that Mr Sikhala has a very low opinion of Mr Chamisa.

Mr Biti too, is said to have a low opinion of Mr Chamisa. Messrs Sikhala and Biti have been reported as actively working to remove their boss from his position.

Both, credible inside sources have told us, have the backing of their party's key financiers, the US. This will embolden them both, or one of them, to go after the presidency. That would pose more problems in a party that only a few in the country pay attention to.

Source - chronicle
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