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Chamisa exhibits traits of a megalomaniac dictator

04 Jan 2024 at 06:00hrs | Views
ADVOCATE Nelson Chamisa and his loyalists in the strife-torn Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) have been left in a quagmire as they contemplate what to do to stop the opposition party from tumbling into political oblivion in the wake of the recalling of many legislators and councillors by Sengezo Tshabangu.

Since October, Tshabangu, who claims to be the opposition party's interim secretary general, has recalled scores of CCC Members of Parliament and councillors across the country, claiming they were imposed on the people in the run-up to the August 2023 elections. These seemingly impromptu recalls have left the CCC in the throes of a devastating internal crisis.

The way Tshabangu is decimating the CCC by randomly recalling its legislators and councillors makes one wonder if the party really has an executive structure and constitution. How can someone emerge out of the blue and destroy a party like that?

Critics opine that Chamisa collapsed the structures of the CCC to concentrate power on himself, resulting in a fall-out with high-profile party members, who include Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube.

Chamisa's obsession with power exposes him as a ruthless individual, who would be difficult to remove from office if elected president of the country. His breath-taking naivety, incompetence and blundering have shattered his personal integrity and credibility to shreds and made it virtually impossible for any fair-minded person to support him. It is the considered opinion of this scribe that Chamisa must now relinquish his position as leader of the CCC and surrender the reins to someone else.

The way Chamisa assumed the leadership of the MDC-T, following the death of the MDC's founding father, Morgan Tsvangirai — who succumbed to colon cancer in February 2018 — proved beyond a shadow of doubt that he is not only obsessed with power for its own sake, but that he has all the dangerous traits of a megalomaniac dictator.

Fungai Chiposi, who was an independent National Assembly candidate for Southerton Constituency in the July 30, 2018 harmonised elections, said: "The manner in which Nelson Chamisa took over the leadership of the MDC-T rang alarm bells in me.

"I engaged with him and highlighted that this was not the correct way to assume leadership. As a lawyer, he understood the MDC-T's constitution and was duty-bound to uphold it. As a responsible citizen, I could not bring myself to support a leader who could not stand with his constitution. What guarantee would I have that he would uphold the constitution of the country if elected president?"

Sober, analytical and discerning observers will, no doubt, concur with me that since Chamisa pitched his tent in Zimbabwe's volatile political camp, he has shown time and again that he lacks leadership qualities and should not be given any executive power. For with great power, comes great responsibility. Abraham Lincoln once said: "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

In an article titled: Weak Zim opposition not good for democracy (NewsDay February 16, 2023), the chairman of Alpha Media Holdings, Trevor Ncube said: "Chamisa has given hope for change to millions of people, has a vocal and combative youth following, which has turned him into a demigod, but the electorate is beginning to see his dark side..."

When we take an objective look at what Chamisa has done with the limited power that he has since he anointed himself "king" of opposition politics in Zimbabwe, we find that he has abused the power. To give an apt analogy, it was Chamisa who, as a presidential candidate for the MDC-Alliance in the 2018 harmonised elections, orchestrated the violent demonstrations that rocked the Harare CBD soon after the July 30 elections.

To add salt to injury, he also orchestrated the three-day destructive protests, targeting cities, which rocked the country in January 2019, and culminated in the destruction of property worth millions of dollars. Economists say the destructive, countrywide demonstrations had a ripple effect on Zimbabwe's ailing economy.

Hindsight shows that the Zimbabwean economy last registered growth in the mid-1990s and since then, has been on a steady decline that has culminated in company closures, rising unemployment, mounting poverty and a general decline in social services.

Some analysts attribute this to poor economic management, underlined by rampant corruption, which has reduced state-owned enterprises into feeding troughs for the elites and their proxies, while the boulders of poverty are crushing the generality of the country's citizenry.

The question that is boiling in the minds of many people today is this: Why is the opposition failing so dismally to unseat Zanu-PF in national elections? Some people argue that this is because Zanu-PF rigs national elections. While I have no quibble with that, l think it would be naive in the extreme to neglect to mention that opposition parties are also to blame. They seem not to be really serious about governing this country.

Whenever the election season comes, opposition parties usually voice their dissatisfaction with the electoral field, saying it is tilted in favour of Zanu-PF. What boggles my mind is that they go on to participate in the flawed elections, only to cry foul when the election results are announced.

Opposition parties must stop being blind to reality. They need to understand that if they are to enhance their chances of winning future general elections, they should cast their political differences aside, merge into one political outfit and choose a competent leadership composed of men and women who are honest, reliable and truly committed to building a healthy and functioning democracy.

Once united under one political umbrella, the opposition should participate in future general elections, only after necessary democratic reforms have been put in place to level the electoral playing field. This, in my view, will make their performance in the next general elections a more meaningful and powerful one.

Cuthbert Mavheko is a freelance journalist and theologian based in Bulawayo. He can be contacted on 0773 963 448 or He writes here in his personal capacity.

Source - newsday
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