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CCC project exposes Chamisa's poor political pedigree

03 Feb 2022 at 05:35hrs | Views
For the past week the adherence of the MDC faction led by Nelson Chamisa, some interested distant watchers and anti-Government elements have been head over heels in excitement.

This follows Chamisa's 24 January announcement that he and his hangers-on had decided to let go of the MDC Alliance name and adopted the yellow colour used by his information and publicity secretary, Fadzai Mahere during the 2018 election season as the outfit's colour. Mahere stood as an independent candidate for the Mount Pleasant constituency and lost before joining the Chamisa factiona year down the line.

Chamisa chete chete

In addition to the new name, Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), which is based on the personality worship of "Chamisa chete chete" chants of his followers, Chamisa also announced to the world a new symbol — a fundamentalist's finger insignia. The event marked a turning point for someone who routinely uses images of himself with the former MDC founding leader, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, to build a political profile for himself on social media due to lack of meaningful leadership credentials. With no Tsvangirai and the MDC to cover up his Harare Polytechnic shameful history of urinating in food fridges for heroism anymore, the world is likely to see more of his childish antics being dispensed as political leadership.

What he lacked in leadership qualities he desperately sought to make up by invoking Tsvangirai's name and images. The late opposition leader's name, however, could not solve the political greenhorn's every challenge especially those arising from his own fears and insecurities. It is these fears that saw him pushing most founding members into the Douglas Mwonzora-led MDC-T and surrounding himself with career lawbreakers like Makomborero Haruzivishe and Promise Mkwananzi.

Sour grapes

During the launch, Chamisa spoke of the MDC name like a curse which should have been avoided like a plague as far back as 1999. He spoke so ill of the name as if he had adopted CCC out of political wisdom and choice yet the world knows that he was cornered into a new name after finding himself and company nameless.

He disdainfully described as a "dirty past" the MDC, its history and contribution to his own history as politician.

If the MDC was that bad, many would ask why did he continued to cling to it for over two decades. Sour grapes.

While Chamisa gave the impression that he was happy to leave the MDC and its history, he also lost whatever was positive about it. This is a sore loss for a leader, who in the past four years that he used the MDC name, registered no meaningful achievements except for superintending over the plunging of Zimbabwe's one-beautiful cities into dirty slums. If anything, urban Zimbabweans got the worst service delivery from MDC-dominated councils under Chamisa than his predecessor.

He cannot claim and leverage the Tsvangirai legacy and the MDC history anymore. While he benefited from the two when it was convenient, he did not like to perpetuate them as this was a demanding task for his shallow brand of opposition politics. Given his chequered record of blatant lies, childish and utopian promises and total disregard for internal democracy, he is worse off after 24 January 2022 than he was before that day.

Poor political pedigree

While Chamisa did not have much choice except to adopt a new name ahead of the 26 March 2022 by-election, his choice of a party name and colour, exposed his poor political pedigree as a leader. In September 2021, a political grouping named the Citizens Convergence for Change (CCC) notified the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of its existence as a political party in Zimbabwe and had yellow as one of its colours.

No sane person would expect a political outfit teeming with port bellied and bald-headed lawyers (suggesting a wealth of experience) to go ahead and use a name already being used by another political outfit.

True to political watchers' expectations, the September 2021 CCC party has already notified ZEC of its intention to sue both the election management body and Chamisa for using their name and the yellow colour. The party contends that Chamisa's party is likely to confuse the electorate through the use of a name that is similar to theirs in both name and abbreviation. Even a kindergarten child acting the role of an opposition leader in a play would fare better than Chamisa. Not even a student of politics would commit such a monumental blunder.

As the rudderless political outfit trudges on towards 2023, the world will witness that, with Mwonzora out of the picture, CCC does not need an external force to collapse. Chamisa is well able to do it all by himself.

Oops sorry — with Mahere.

When some discerning MDC Alliance faction members saw Chamisa was clearly losing the MDC battle to Mwonzora, they advised him to adopt a new name so that it would be out on the political market for longer ahead of the 2023 harmonised election, Mahere implicitly and impudently told them to mind their own business. She insisted that the people knew who their leaders were.

Messy internal fights

The Mwonzora battles aside, Chamisa was already steeped neck-deep in internal fights with people like his deputy chairman, Job Sikhala and one of his deputies in the old formation, Tendai Biti for favouring people like Mahere and Maureen Kademaunga with senior posts before they had served the MDC for the minimum of three years required by the party's constitution. They were not happy with how Chamisa drew Mahere very close and listened more to her than all the other remaining MDC founding members.

Usually the quiet and seemingly contended one, Chamisa's other deputy, Professor Welshman Ncube was so incensed with how he (Chamisa) and Mahere dominated the issue of the name change that two days before the launch he had to take to his Twitter handle to complain in isiNdebele of how senior members like him were being made to sit on hot embers in the land of their own forefathers by some people that he did not disclose.

Even after the new name had been adopted, the recent nomination court proceedings for the by-elections brought the old MDC Alliance faction ways to the fore as double CCC candidates were nominated in some constituencies.

This was despite the adoption of a so-called community candidate nomination process, which is itself a contentious issue as it is scheme meant to ring-fence constituencies such as Mount Pleasant for cronies like Mahere and to impose Chamisa's preferred candidates elsewhere.

Prof Ncube was embarrassed as a senior CCC member in Bulawayo when nomination papers for two candidates sailed through giving the impression that he had signed both when the other been signed in Harare by you know who.

Given the strong anti-Mahere sentiment within the political outfit, no politically sane leader would touch Mahere's yellow former campaign colour — not even with a long pole — let alone adopt it as a new "party" colour. In view of the fact that Mahere had already done enough to strain relations within the outfit, a mature political leader would look for a colour which would touch many on a raw nerve and affect other member's emotions.

In the excitement of a new name Chamisa seemed to forget that his outfit remains very fractious with people like Biti and Sikhala waiting on the wings to pounce on its topmost position should he snooze. He seemed to forget that in the unorthodox way that he seized the MDC-T from Dr Thokozani Khupe while Tsvagirai's body still lay in a South African funeral parlour in February 2018, he could also lose the opposition outfit. This further demonstrated that, despite leading an opposition faction for four years, he remains at the deep end when it comes to making sound leadership decisions.

While still on the divisive Mahere matter, barely a week after showing his fellow senior members the middle finger by appearing to be led by the nose by the spokeswoman in the party renaming process, Gambakwe Media reported that Chamisa travelled with her to Tanzania over the weekend leaving his wife behind.

This time around he thumped his nose at not only party honchos, but his wife as well. The development was a gesture to any party offended to move out of the party or marriage.

He has been dying to prune the likes of the Biti and Sikhala and in the run up to the renaming, he has never minced his words about it. As for his wife, many remember how he embarrassed her by grabbing a microphone from her while still addressing before global media cameras.

Extremists' finger symbol

If anything exposed to the world Chamisa's leadership quality deficit, it was hischoice of the party symbol. Upon seeing it many social media users readily pointed out how it resembled someone showing a middle finger gesture. Yet others pointed to him and his followers how the new symbol was used by terrorist and extremist group members across the globe. Not even the "iron lady" who heads the organisation's communications bureau cared to carry out a simple desk research on the symbol and test it with a few friends before using it.

The whole bunch of lawyers all lapped up the symbol with alacrity oblivious of its potential shortcomings in terms of negative associations or possible intellectual property infringement. Their main preoccupation seemed to prove to Mwonzora that they were number one and had outsmarted him, but the results on the ground showed that it was them who had been outscored.

The choice of the party name foregrounded Chamisa's narcissistic tendencies as a politician. One of the results of the interaction between the MDC Alliance and G40 elements, who funded Chamisa's campaign in 2018, was the adoption of the "VaMugabe Chete Chete!" slogan and which was adapted to "Chamisa Chete Chete!" Last year in his New Year message an attempt was made to anglicise the slogan hence, "Citizens' Convergence for Change."

 It was also an attempt at wooing civil society organisations and other anti-Government elements to join its ranks in efforts to unseat Zanu-PF after even the G40 assistance failed to win the hearts of the electorate. So when pressed for a name change, Chamisa and his coterie simply dusted off CCC with the word "convergence" replaced with "coalition."

No serious thought was put into the matter. For as long as it was a name that sang his praises and invited other players to his outfit, Chamisa okayed it, irrespective of the potential negative consequences.

When emptiness and a poor track record converge

As meaningless as the name is so was the launch of the name, colour and symbol without any meaningful changes to the outfit's brand of politics.

Political power is earned from the electorate through track record. For as long as the outfit is led by the same lying Chamisa its electoral fortunes will not change because of a change in name and colour.  The same Chamisa whose track record in cities and towns is chequered will not suddenly become impressive because he has replaced the colour red with yellow.

The group of people who called for sanctions against innocent Zimbabweans as a weapon against Zanu-PF will not suddenly become good hearted because they were cornered to rename by Mwonzora.

Similarly, as the 26 March by-elections and next year's elections approach, those who have been attracted and excited by the "new" party will be disappointed because with nothing solid and meaningful to offer the electorate except yellow regalia, Chamisa and his group are certain to go through another electoral drubbing by Zanu-PF.

 Disappointment awaits those who invest emotionally into individuals and organisations that cannot even run their own affairs.

Source - The Herald
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