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The year Chamisa was exposed

04 Jan 2021 at 07:17hrs | Views
If there were still any pockets of MDC Alliance supporters who were convinced that Nelson Chamisa was the most suitable replacement for the late Morgan Tsvangirai, the events of the year 2020 must have proved to them that they were wrong.

The events proved to those who still stubbornly clung to the Chamisa so-called leadership were like the Igbo (of Nigeria) proverbial fly, which clings to a corpse and is likely to be buried with it, to its demise.

The Supreme Court judgement of March 31, 2020, which ruled that his rise to the apex of the MDC Alliance in February 2018 was irregular, was the first salvo to expose him for who he really is.

It laid bare the fact that despite claiming to champion democracy, he gave in to his power hunger instincts instead of respecting the party's internal constitution. This would have seen Dr Thokozani Khupe taking over the leadership of the party on an interim basis until an elective congress was held.

The ruling opened doors to other defining events which followed.

For example, despite claiming to be very popular, he lost the party's national headquarters, the Richard Tsvangirai House, to Dr Khupe's faction in June in line with the ruling. The building is an integral part of the history of the party.

Nothing speaks of failure than leading an MDC Alliance, which squats at Tendai Biti's Milton Park offices.

The fact that the ruling recognised Dr Khupe as the legitimate successor to Tsvangirai and interim leader of the party, the funds, which were due to the MDC  Alliance under the Political Parties (Finances) Act under the 2020 financial year, were handed to Dr Khupe in line with the ruling. The funds, Z$7,4 million, were distributed in July.

This came at a time that the party badly needed every cent it could get as its Western owners and handlers turned off financial assistance after its disastrous 2013 poll showing.

They realised that for over a decade they were pouring millions into a dead project fronted by an equally dead leadership.

Another consequence of the far-reaching Supreme Court ruling was the recalling of the party's councillors, legislators and some senators from councils, Parliament and the Senate respectively by the Khupe camp.

Some people in Chamisa's camp, who believe their own propaganda, as usual blamed this on ZANU-PF. Those who were honest with themselves admitted that their  party's woes were traceable squarely on Chamisa's February 2018 ascendance indiscretion.

They also blamed Tsvangirai's appointment of Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri, as additional vice presidents in 2016 against provisions of the party's constitution.

Despite making the right noises on issues such as corruption, Chamisa acquitted himself very badly.

In October 2019, he appointed his friend and lawyer, Thabani Mpofu to probe corruption in the 28 urban local authorities dominated by councillors from his party. Over a year later, the nation is yet to hear from both Mpofu and Chamisa.

Instead, what Zimbabweans heard and saw were the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) discharging their constitutional mandate by arresting some Harare councillors such as  Jacob Mafume and Herbert Gomba as well as municipal executives like Hosiah Chisango for corruption. Instead of fighting corruption, Chamisa has been shielding it.

Given this background, on what legs shall Chamisa stand to accuse President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Government of corruption when he only pays lip service to the anti-corruption crusade? Where shall he find the mouth with which to criticise Government when he has demonstrated to the world that he is winning and dinning with corrupt council officials on his table?

Even those Zimbabweans who were sympathetic to him such as the G40 kingpin, Professor Jonathan Moyo, are also realising that they placed their support in the wrong person.

Zimbabweans will remember that Prof Moyo revealed sometime this year that he and other fellow G40 members like Patrick Zhuwao  contributed financially towards the MDC Alliance's 2018 elections effort. He was also reported to have played Chamisa's advisor, but at some point in midDecember, he locked horns with Chamisa's spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere after he had said that some uncomfortable home truths about the opposition party.

Prof Moyo said that "the political opposition in Zimbabwe, particularly the MDC, is stuck in the middle: between making news headlines and making reform headways," which he said had been the bane of opposition politics in Zimbabwe.

The statement betrayed the self-exiled former Cabinet minister's frustration with Chamisa. Prof Moyo had invested support in Chamisa in the far-fetched hope that the youthful and equally inexperienced opposition leader would beat President  Mnangagwa for him during the 2018 elections.

Prof Moyo is not the only one who was frustrated by Chamisa's lack of the requisite mettle to lead the MDC Alliance. The poor leadership of the MDC Alliance by Chamisa also drew the attention of the University of London world politics Professor, Stephen Chan.

In October, Chan described Chamisa as having run out of ideas. He was also quoted in some media reports as having commented that "weak Chamisa is not going to manage in the coming 2023 elections."

The fact that this was not coming from ZANU-PF is very telling. Even other anti-Government activists such as Hopewell Chin'ono have also come out guns blazing against Chamisa and his party.

Recently Chin'ono aroused the ire of some MDC Alliance members when he told the truth that the party had no known strategy and was affected by reckless decisions. He also pointed out that the party was bound to fail given that its members specialised in singing the praises of Chamisa instead of demanding answers for his bad decisions.

Realising that with Chamisa's continued leadership, the MDC Alliance was headed for nowhere, Chin'ono attempted to play kingmaker in the opposition outfit by suggesting that one of its co-Vice Presidents, Tendai Biti should head the MDC Alliance's foreign affairs portfolio.

Those who are familiar with the relations between the West and the MDC Alliance know that the former is already disillusioned with Chamisa as it did with Tsvangirai after the 2013 polls dismal performance.

The West now wants Biti at the helm of the MDC Alliance and  Chin'ono overtures were, therefore, not an isolated or unrelated initiative. The die has already been cast.

Chamisa's time is over. He has failed to answer questions on issues such as his dogged attempt to unseat President Mnangagwa through accusations of illegitimacy. He has also failed to pronounce himself clearly on the issues of double standards displayed by his party. When some of his legislators were recalled he cried foul.

He effectively complained that through the recalls, Dr Khupe was preventing his legislators from working under Government, an institution which he continued to refuse to recognise.

Chamisa and his colleagues have been calling for what they term reforms. It is interesting that they are requesting for reforms from a Government which they insist is not legitimate.

In view of such open  confusion, would one blame political observers who have already named President Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF the winners of the 2023 elections?

In just 12 months, Chamisa was put in his place and the world saw him for who he really is. He has been shown that perceived popularity whispered into one's ears by members of one's inner circle does not constitute a political strategy.

The events of 2020 demonstrated to Chamisa how much of a square peg in a round hole he is on Zimbabwe's political landscape.

Source - the herald
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