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MDC Alliance: An opposition effort built on a foundation of lies

20 Jan 2021 at 06:45hrs | Views
Last week some of the issues making rounds on both the mainstream and social media included the arrest of MDC-Alliance deputy chairperson, Job Sikhala, MDC-Alliance spokesperson, Fadzayi Mahere and activist, Hopewell Chin'ono for using the social media, especially the Twitter platform to propagate falsehoods.

This emanated from claims accompanying a video on social media featuring a woman holding a baby in one hand and dragging a policeman by the collar by the other.

The video carried no narrator's voice explaining what had happened so people speculated that the policeman at the centre of the video had accidentally killed the woman's baby using his truncheon at the Bindura hiking spot along Sam Nujoma Street in Harare's Avenues area on January 4, while trying to disperse hikers.

People like Chin'ono, Mahere and Sikhala, who would not let even a small excuse to criticise Government pass, latched onto the speculation as a reason to criticise the police for allegedly being heavy handed.

It was only when the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) issued a statement on January 6 explaining that no child had been killed that the world got the correct position. The ZRP explained that the fracas started when the policeman hit the windscreen of a commuter omnibus, while trying to prevent crews from picking up passengers at the undesignated point resulting in some broken glass landing on the baby.

The baby and the mother were safe. The two later appeared on ZBC main news with the mother dispelling the falsehood.

The opposition and other detractors' readiness to run with an unverified story just to "fix" Government should not come as a surprise to many. Blatant falsehoods are standard fare in the opposition especially since the rise of Nelson Chamisa to the leader's position at the MDC Alliance in February 2018, while his predecessor, the late Morgan Tsvangirai's body still laid in a South African funeral parlour.

The MDC-Alliance is not grounded in any sound ideology.

It started off as a workers' party having been born out of the economic hardships brought about by the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) of the 1990s.

Barely a year later following the land reform programme in 2000, the party changed into a pro-capital outfit which stood on the side of the white former farmers instead of their workers.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the MDC-Alliance currently has no known ideology. It naively thinks that perceived popularity and lies are an ideology and political strategy. It is this ideological bankruptcy that the party's leadership ends up filling with blatant lies to make up for their glaring shortcomings.

During the 2018 harmonised election season, Chamisa ended up making the shameless claim that during a visit to the United States in December 2017, he and his delegation had met with the President of that country, Donald Trump whom he said had promised his party a US$15 billion bailout for Zimbabwe if the MDC-Alliance won the election. While ZANU-PF's Presidential candidate, President Mnangagwa was speaking of his party's achievement, Chamisa had none.

In the absence of a sound political ideology no meaningful achievements can be made. This is why Chamisa, apart from blatant lies, ended up making utopian and irrelevant promises to the electorate. He ended up promising "airport pamba pako" for each rural homestead at the time that the people in most rural constituencies needed clinics, roads, schools and dip tanks in their areas.

Given the foregoing, Mahere's behaviour is not surprising. She is an executive of a party which has nothing to show for its 21-year history on the local political scene. Nothing from the party's 20-year control over the majority of Zimbabwe's urban local authorities can be pointed as an achievement as its successive councillors have majored in corruption and self-enrichment at the expense of basic service delivery. It is this background of nothingness which sees senior opposition personalities like Mahere clutching at any narrative against Government whether it is true or not.

Mahere's tweet about "the killing of this baby by a policeman" when no baby had been  harmed let alone killed betrays an executive who is prepared to do anything including committing a crime to please her appointing authority. It exposed an insecure Mahere who always has to act and sound more chinja (MDC-Alliance) than others to ward off complaints from other members who have labelled her a johnny-come-lately.

Chamisa appointed her spokesperson despite having not served the party for three years as required by party statutes. This background keeps her on the edge of her chair despite being a lawyer who is supposed to know and act better.

If there is one MDC-Alliance executive who is miffed by every minute that President Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF are in power, it is that party's co-Vice President Tendai Biti.

President Mnangagwa's stay in power gets him under the skin to the extent of creating shameless falsehoods to discredit the President. When the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's foreign currency auction system started in June last year, he lied that the system was being rigged. When he realised that the initiative was becoming a success as it stabilised the exchange rate and basic commodity prices, he upped his lies.

Biti claimed that the success of the auction system was not because of market forces, but the subsidisation of the initiative by the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank). No concrete proof was provided thereby reducing the claims to utter lies as usual.

Job Sikhala People like Sikhala are attention seekers who have failed to outgrow the militant activism of their student days. Over the years, like their party, they have not achieved anything both politically and in terms of their careers.

To make up for this, they resort to any opportunity to fight President Mnangagwa, ZANU-PF and Government even if it means using an unproven rumour that a policeman has killed a child. Sikhala is aware of Biti's ambition to take over the MDC-Alliance leadership and the latter's frustration with Chamisa's approach in fighting ZANU-PF.

Sikhala's penchant for fighting Government should therefore be seen in the context of trying to please Biti and earn popularity in the party so that when Biti takes over he (Sikhala) would be well-placed for a senior and plump post.

Apart from the MDC-Alliance seniors members' reliance on falsehoods and fake news, lying has become the party's hallmark. When Tsvangirai died of colon cancer in February 2018, they accused ZANU-PF of poisoning him during the Government of National Unity.

They said the same of its member, the late activist Patson Dzamara who died in August last year. In both cases no evidence was provided.

Some of the party's members such as Cecila Chimbiri, Joana Mamombe and Netsai Marowa even faked their own abduction in May last year with the assistance of their usual Western backers to besmirch the President and Government and sustain their baseless negative narrative that Government does not respect human rights.

Fortunately, the electorate is not made up of brainwashed MDC-Alliance supporters only, whom their leader Chamisa aptly labelled "stupid".

This is why the electorate has consigned the party to the periphery of the local political landscape for the past 20 years. That is where political parties which are built on lies and take people for granted belong.

Source - the herald
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