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The day Nelson Chamisa 'won' Zambian elections

17 Aug 2021 at 07:15hrs | Views
Yesterday the world woke up to the news of the confirmation of Zambia's 12, August 2021 elections results. Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader, Hakainde Hichilema had beaten the ruling party, the Patriotic Front (PF)'s Edgar Chagwa Lungu by 2 810 777 to 1 814 201 votes.  

Those Zimbabweans, who do not support President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF, such as the MDC Alliance faction and the self-exiled G40 kingpin, Professor Jonathan Moyo brought out celebration drums as if it was their faction's leader, Nelson Chamisa, who had won the Zambian poll.  

The source of their joy was the fact that an opposition party unseated a ruling party. In their minds they were seeing Chamisa emulating a Hichilema feat on President Mnangagwa in 2023. Some Twitter users ended up congratulating MDC Alliance and its supporters for Chamisa's "win" in Zambia.

In her excitement, the MDC Alliance faction's secretary for international relations, Gladys Hlatywayo, who was in Zambia to "observe" the polls, took to Twitter to praise Hichilema for increasing his vote tally by 40 percent from 1 760 347 in 2016 to 2 810 757, this time around.  She and others are already envisioning Chamisa increasing his votes by 60 percent to beat President Mnangagwa. She even quickly penned an equally excited congratulatory message to Hichilema and his party. She used the opportunity to indulge her faction's penchant for blaming Government even for Chamisa's cluelessness and gross leadership deficit. She described Hichilema's victory as a "triumph for democracy in the light of the growing authoritarian consolidation we have witnessed in countries such as Zimbabwe and Swaziland (eSwatini)."  

The anti-Zanu-PF members in their misplaced excitement even invoked the irrelevant and incongruous federation connection that existed among Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe over 50 years ago to force a connection between the win by opposition in Malawi and Zambia and their wish for a similar outcome of Zimbabwe's 2023 election.  When consuming works of fiction, readers or film watchers engage in a concept called wilful suspension of disbelief to accept certain aspects of the plot which defy reality.

Even people, who have been trained in political science and should know better, such as Prof Moyo also reduced themselves to the level of the grassroots MDC Alliance faction members.  

"After Malawi did it in 2020, Zambia did it in 2021 let Zimbabwe did it in 2023," he tweeted with relish.

Prof Moyo's childish joy is understandable in the context of Operation Restore Legacy of November 2017, which frustrated his plan to land State power through the former First Lady, Grace Mugabe, after using her to remove former Vice President, Joice Mujuru and President Mnangagwa through strange and unproven accusations of witchcraft as well as Politburo presentations.  It is strange that the same Chamisa that Prof Moyo is already frustrated with after he (Chamisa) failed to unseat President Mnangagwa in 2018, despite being resourced with funding and political counsel by the Prof Moyo and other G40 elements like Patrick Zhuwawo, is expected to beat the President during the 2023 polls.  

Prof Moyo's excitement betrayed his bitterness and frustration that he cannot get back at President Mnangagwa for getting the Presidency post in November 2017, which he (Prof) Moyo thought he already had in the bag the same way he had Grace Mugabe under his direction and control.  He is bitter that in his life, he will never beat President Mnangagwa at anything except baseless bitterness.

Prof Moyo knows very well that despite sharing the Southern Rhodesian federation, which ran from 1953 to 1963, with Malawi and Zambia, Zimbabwe is a different kettle of fish politically.  He knows the disappointment that awaits him in 2023 given the poor candidature of the person he is placing his hopes on.  

Like Prof Moyo, MDC Alliance faction members should know that Hichilema did not win the Zambian presidency on the basis of their leaders' student activism kind of opposition politics which centres on the leaders instead of the people.  He did not win on the basis of the "Patakasangana naTrump?" lies or hare-brained "train pamba pako?" manifesto. He had solid plans.

For example, Hichilema knew that Zambia is facing economic challenges and urgently requires a bail out and he is prepared for that.  According to Bloomberg, Zambia became Africa's first pandemic-era sovereign defaulter in November when it stopped paying interest on its Eurobonds and other loans.  

Instead of lying that foreign aid would come in truckloads as MDC Alliance faction co-vice president, Tendai Biti would put it, Hichilema does not have illusions about the task that awaits him. He has solid plans instead.  

That is why he won the poll. Chamisa, on the other hand, has no plans to dealing with the ructions in his faction, the poor service delivery in cities and towns under his councillors or the officeless nature of the MDC Alliance faction.  The MDC Alliance faction leaders and supporters are forgetting that Hichilema did not contest the Zambian Presidency once, lost and sulked the rest of his life as does Chamisa.

He won on his fifth attempt. This speaks to his person and candidature. This shows that Zambia is not Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe is not Malawi as Prof Moyo would put it during his Cabinet minister days.  While Chamisa and his supporters are already in 2023 and winning the poll by copy and paste and wishing a Hichilema upon themselves, their opponents, President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF are working hard on the ground by solving the electorate's various concerns and earning their votes.
 
The MDC Alliance should know that the electorate rewards solutions and not its sense of entitlement that it should win just because it wishes so.  Zambia may be Zimbabwe's neighbour, but the two are different countries. One Twitter user, Tadisa Zhou, summed it up most aptly when she said that, "Democracy is not like Coca-Cola which tastes the same in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Each country has got its unique history which determines its future".  

After years of backing Chamisa most people are getting disgruntled with him. One such people is former Sunday Mail editor and a Prof Moyo ally, Edmund Kudzayi.  After seeing that Chamisa's faction has failed the urban electorate among other glaring examples of gross failure on Chamisa and his faction's part, Kudzayi had no option except to admit that Zanu-PF is better led and stands better chances of winning the 2023 polls.

He recently tweeted, "Zanu-PF has a plan. Whether or not those plans are good or evil is unimportant. They deliver results. 2023 will not be an exception." So to Chamisa and his faction, one can only avoid bursting their bubble, which would force them to crash painfully to mother earth, by congratulating them on his "win" in Zambia.  

One of the great traits of Africa tradition is the spirit and practice of sharing. In her congratulatory message, Hlatywayo described the UPND as "our sister party" so the victory is perfectly theirs. Only an evil person (such as the one who invites sanctions on his innocent people) would wish to dispossess the faction of its "victory".  

The faction is in both Zambia and Zimbabwe. If it fails in Zimbabwe it can always contest and win in Zambia where it does not need to use the anti-rigging system which Chamisa told his supporters in 2018 that his faction had acquired.  That said, most progressive Zimbabweans will continue to work for their country and people, while awaiting to meet the faction, which is basing its poll victory hopes on the long-gone federation, in the polling booth in 2023.

Source - chronicle
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