Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

MDC Alliance's fake victimhood, internal ructions and sanctions

15 Nov 2021 at 05:21hrs | Views
Over the years, the MDC Alliance (MDC-A) faction has perfected the art of creating stunts to attract the West's attention in the vain and ill-placed hope of besmirching President Mnangagwa and to wring non-existent political capital from them.

This started with that faction's leader, Nelson Chamisa, claiming in November 2018 that he had survived an attempt by State agents to kidnap him in Mabvuku, Harare, on his way from Marondera.

A video of the claimed kidnapping attempt embarrassed Chamisa as it exposed the claim as just that - mere a claim.

Who would forget the faction's series of self-abductions, which they claimed to have been executed by faceless and nameless State agents?

Who would forget Cecilia Chimbiri, Joanna Mamombe and Netsai Marova's shameless claims of abduction in May 2020 after they staged a protest in Warren Park in Harare despite tight lockdown measures that were in place at the time?

If anyone doubted that they abducted themselves, they need to watch a video recorded by a Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation news crew near the Harare Magistrates Courts premises in July last year.

The video clip featured the three political drama queens in a motor vehicle on their way from the courts claiming that they had been assaulted by the police details manning the courts precincts.

This was proved false by eye witnesses who testified that the excitable and young political activists had waved their red berets at the police in provocation.

When the police flagged them down to establish whether or not they had the necessary documents permitting them to move around during the lockdown, one of them broke down and falsely claimed that they had been assaulted by the police.

The witnesses pointed out that the activists were never assaulted.

In view of this background, one is not surprised that on Tuesday last week, the MDC-A faction claimed that one of Chamisa's deputies, Tendai Biti, had been assaulted and abducted from his home the previous night by five unidentified men driving a white Isuzu motor vehicle.

The faction's secretary general, Chalton Hwende, reportedly confirmed the incident to some online publications which ran with the story.

Realising the grave nature of the claims which the faction had made against the State, the faction's spokesperson, Fadzai Mahere dismissed the story as "fake news" and distanced Hwende from the story.

Those who are familiar with the MDC-A faction's ways were not satisfied by Mahere's description of the story as a fake one.

They know that such stunts and stories are not random or accidental.

They occur when the party wishes to draw the world's attention and to tarnish President Mnangagwa's name during a major global events or ahead of one.

It became clear that the alleged Biti abduction was meant to draw the attention of the world to Zimbabwe and create the false impression that the faction was allegedly operating under repression from the State.

This was calculated to draw the attention of the world ahead of US President, Joe Biden's first of the two Summits for Democracy, which is pencilled to run from 9 to 10 December 2021.

Zimbabwe was not invited to the event which is set to be held virtually.

The faction's Biti stunt was, therefore, meant to baselessly tarnish Zimbabwe's democracy record and justify its non-invitation.

Interestingly, on Wednesday last week the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) issued a brief statement to the effect that it checked with all its police stations and no report of the alleged abduction or kidnapping of Biti had been received.

Apart from justifying Zimbabwe's non-invitation, the MDC-A's Biti stunt was also aimed getting Zimbabwe on the agenda of Biden's Summit.

The way that anti-Zimbabwe and self-hating Zimbabweans such as the United Kingdom-based Simba Chikanza readily took up the false Biti story and devoted a full hour on his social media channel to discuss the abduction that never took place betrays the fact that this was a well-choreographed plan to fight President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF on a global platform.

The US is set to review its illegal and hurtful sanctions against innocent Zimbabweans early next year.

Biti and the MDC-A's political stunts are, therefore, calculated to add to a body of accusations of alleged human rights abuses on the part of Government, which will be used by the Biden administration to justify extending the punitive measures by another year.

No one was more suitable for the assignment than Zimbabwe's foremost proponent of the sanctions - Biti.

Over the past three weeks, the faction used claims of allegations of Chamisa being attacked in Masvingo, Mutare and Nyanga to tarnish President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF's images ahead of the ongoing COP26 climate change, which the President attended.

The stunts, over which the faction refused to co-operate with the police in its investigations, were also meant to draw the attention of the United Nations Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, Professor Alena Douhan, who was in the country from 17 to 28 October 2021, on a mission to establish the impact of sanctions on Zimbabweans.

The stunt, itself an American brainchild, was meant to create the impression that the local opposition was failing to enjoy its democratic right to gather not because of sanctions, but due to an allegedly repressive Government.

The ructions in the faction pitting Biti and Job Sikhala on one side and Chamisa and his coterie of hangers-on the other was also at play in the choice of who would play the abductee this time around. Chamisa was still smarting from the embarrassing stunt where he claimed that one of his convoy motor vehicles had been shot at in Mutare, resulting in it "shaking" from the wheezing bullet, when no such thing happened.

He had to push his nemesis, Biti, to take his turn of the faction's embarrassing and hare-brained stunts this time around.

The two no longer see eye to eye since Biti is breathing down Chamisa's neck over the control of the teetering faction.

Biti, the former People's Democratic Party (PDP) leader, cannot wait for his turn to run the opposition outfit.

Last month, Chamisa check-mated Sikhala by appointing Sasel Zvidzai as the faction's deputy chairperson, while Sikhala was still in the post.

The student activism-minded Sikhala was obviously miffed by Chamisa's politics of docility and ended up being linked to a political formation named Patriotic Zimbabweans.

To buttress the fake abduction, on Tuesday afternoon last week, Biti's side kick, Sikhala tweeted that: "We know all your plots and for the record, Simbanegavi and Gakanje we know you are trailing our vice president, Tendai Biti."

He did not explain who Simbanegavi and Gakanje were.

Just after mid-day on the same day, Biti had tweeted assuring his friends that he was safe, but not without his usual exaggerated-but-unnecessary political drama.

He tweeted an "appeal" to President Mnangagwa "to stop your shenanigans" as a way of desperately selling to the world the abduction that never was.

It is interesting to note that the MDC-A faction has perfected and weaponised non-existent political victimhood against President Mnangagwa, Zanu-PF and Government.

What the world should know about these opposition sideshows is that if anyone is a political victim in Zimbabwe, it is the sanctions-wearied innocent Zimbabweans who bear the painful brunt of the punitive measures invited by Chamisa's predecessor, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, and maintained by Chamisa and his faction's executive.

It is sad that Zimbabwean citizens like MDC- A faction members are being used to create sideshows to distract the world's attention from the suffering of the real victims of Western political powers. As Zimbabweans, especially the youth, are running around to register as voters in preparation for 2023, it is important for them to know who the enemy of Zimbabweans is.

As they prepare for the ballot booth they should know that those who invited sanctions and continue to ask for their retention are their worst and foremost enemies.

They are the ones who are responsible for the jobs and decent lives that the youth yearn for, but cannot get due to the illegal sanctions.

Source - The Herald
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.