Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

When the West, opposition believe their own propaganda

12 Apr 2022 at 06:27hrs | Views
Following the March 26, 2022, by-elections, the Western media and the opposition have been very childishly excited by the performance of the Nelson Chamisa-led CCC.

In the process, the West and the CCC have also taken to shamelessly creating false narratives and selling them to the world all in an effort to market Chamisa and his shaky outfit ahead of next year's polls.

One Western media house, which took things a bit too far in its bid to prop up Chamisa and the CCC, is the London-based Africa Confidential.

The Patrick Smith-edited publication's April 1, 2022, edition, like the CCC at home, sought to continue to push the tired and false narrative that President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF are behind the splits in the MDC, which saw Chamisa being forced to abandon the use of the MDC Alliance as a political party name and forming the CCC.

In an article misleadingly headlined: "The Change Campaign Changes Hands," the publication claimed that "the ruling party's strategy of dividing the opposition has run aground and President Mnangagwa's authority over the party will diminish further because of its poor showing".

However, nothing is further from the truth. The whole world knows that the split between Chamisa and his political nemesis, Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC-T, is as a result of the fact that the former blatantly disregarded the March 31 2020 Supreme Court ruling.

The judgment ruled that his unorthodox takeover of the MDC Alliance in February 2018 following his predecessor, the late Morgan Tsvangirai's death, was "unconstitutional and therefore null and void".

One wonders how President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF come in an opposition matter involving a young and excitable opposition leader and his opponents from within his party.

President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF have always made it clear that they do not have any links with Mwonzora and his MDC-T party.

The publication glowingly claimed that the main winner of the by-election was CCC, which it claimed was "launched less than two months ago".

Everyone knows that Chamisa did not come up with CCC out of choice, political wisdom or strategy.

He was cornered by Mwonzora to drop the use of the name MDC Alliance since it was the name of an MDC-T led coalition of opposition parties which came together in 2017 as a strategy to face Zanu-PF during the 2018 elections.

Mwonzora's move was perfectly in line with the Supreme Court ruling. The CCC is, therefore, just a renamed MDC Alliance in a new colour, symbol and slogan.

For a publication such as Africa Confidential to claim that CCC is a new party should be the height of journalistic dishonesty.

If the party is new, the question that arises is: whose political structures did it use to organise and roll out its campaigns except those of the party, whose name it was forced to abandon?

The publication revelled in the CCC's win of 19 National Assembly seats to Zanu-PF's 9 and its 76 local authority seat haul over Zanu-PF's 46.

It is very naïve of Chamisa, CCC and its Western cheerleaders such as Africa Confidential, to bring out drums to celebrate a 22-year old opposition political party's retention of seats not because it made inroads in Zanu-PF's traditional turf, but just because it won under a new name.

In any, case most of the by-elections were held in the opposition strongholds because they were occasioned by intra-opposition infighting.

Contrary to the publication's claim that Chamisa and the CCC were "the big winner," Zanu-PF emerged the victor because it wrestled two National Assembly seats of Epworth and Mutasa South.

Zanu-PF gained ground in the two opposition strongholds, which included an urban constituency.

To crown Zanu-PF's poll success, the revolutionary party seized 14 wards from the opposition in addition to retaining all the wards that it won in 2018.

Zanu-PF's new wards included those from the opposition's traditional urban strongholds in cities and towns, which include Chinhoyi, Chegutu, Harare, Hwange and Victoria Falls.

Contrary to Africa Confidential's impression of the CCC as an overnight popular opposition party, Zanu-PF emerged the winner as it retained all its seats and gained more in the opposition's stronghold constituencies and wards.

Perhaps the lowest point and source of embarrassment in the publication's article on Zimbabwe's recent by-elections is the shameless lie that the CCC "made inroads by winning two other seats once held by Zanu-PF, Kwekwe Central and Marondera East".

For the record, the Kwekwe Central seat was won by the late Masango Matambanadzo of the National Patriotic Front (NPF) in 2018.

The CCC did not win the Marondera East seat during the by-elections.

Zanu-PF's Jeremiah Chiwetu trounced CCC candidate Samuel Machekanyanga by 9 295 votes to 1 893.

So much for a Western publication positioning and touting itself as an expert on the affairs of Africa.

As if the brazen lies about the CCC winning the Marondera East constituency, where it lost, were not enough, the publication played his-master's-voice by amplifying the usual lies about the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) from the usual suspects such as the Election Resource Centre (ERC) and others.

It said that activist group, Team Pachedu, had "claimed that there was widespread rigging by ZEC prior to the election".

To its credit, Africa Confidential rightly pointed out that evidence of rigging was "thin on the ground - given the fact that CCC won the majority of the seats contested".

Put differently, the publication silently put it to the likes of Team Pachedu that all the noise about ZEC and the litanies of accusations against the elections management body were not supported by the reality on the ground.

After the by-elections, they have been conspicuous by their silence as they cannot come out and claim that ZEC rigged in favour of the CCC.

Even anti-Zanu-PF activist and correspondent, Thandekile Moyo, who was an observer during the by-elections, posted a Twitter thread after the poll praising ZEC's professional officials and transparent processes.

If Africa Confidential thought that it redeemed its biased reporting on the by-elections by exposing those who are sworn to hating ZEC, it failed itself by projecting that Government would "deploy its usual tactics to obstruct the new party".

It used the term "regime" to refer to Government to perpetuate its own propaganda false narrative that President Mnangagwa's administration is allegedly repressive towards the opposition.

If Chamisa was an honest politician, he would tell the world that he has addressed more rallies between February 2018 and March this year than did Tsvangirai in the 19 years that he led the opposition party.

This move is meant to build a case of a non-existent uneven ground ahead of next year's polls, which the opposition will then use as an excuse for its obvious loss.

Chamisa admitted on February 20 2022 in Highfield that his party had neither a strategy nor ideology and his electoral loss in 2023 is, therefore, certain.

The fact that his party squandered the electorate's confidence and goodwill by running down the urban areas, where his party's councillors enjoyed some form of autonomy, militates against his bid for power.

The online dictionary, defines the term "regime" as "a particular government or a system or method of government," but in Zimbabwe it has been used given negative connotations when referring to Government.

The use of the word was, therefore, calculated to push the negative narrative against Government by juxtaposing it with Chamisa and the CCC to draw the attention, sympathy and support of the world towards the opposition ahead of the 2023 elections.

The opposition and the West created their own lies and propaganda against President Mnangagwa, Zanu-PF and Government over the years.

 Unfortunately, they end up believing every word of them and making fools of themselves by spreading them around. What they should know is that State power is earned from the electorate in the ballot booth on the basis of one's track record as a politician or political party.

They should know that no amount of changing names, colours and symbols will earn power for a Western-backed political outfit that supports the sanctioning of innocent Zimbabweans.

Until Chamisa calls for the removal of the evil and illegal sanctions against Zimbabweans, he may as well perish the thought of ever running this great country and nation.

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.