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Reunification sought by Tsvangirai 5 months before he died now in tatters

19 Feb 2024 at 07:48hrs | Views
The implosion of CCC in Nelson Chamisa's hands is telling not only because it puts paid to Morgan Tsvangirai's widely publicised [see attached videos] last-ditch efforts - just five months before his death - to reunite key elements with whom he formed the MDC in 1999, especially but not only Prof Welshman Ncube, Hon Tendai Biti and Hon Job Sikhala; but also because it opens a new page of an insidious political witch-hunt - akin to the McCarthyism that targeted and demonised alleged communists in the US in the 1950s – which targets and demonises Chamisa critics in CCC as "infiltrators and traitors".

Whereas elsewhere a traitor is someone who betrays their country by seeking to overthrow a constitutional government or by merchandising a country's secrets to sell them; in Zimbabwe, a traitor is also now a CCC leader or activist who has allegedly betrayed Chamisa by not hero-worshiping him; not supporting his ‘strategic ambiguity'; not joining his CCC faction formed under a two-page constitution that worships him; not following him when he abruptly quit last month; or a CCC leader or activist who supports the original CCC launched on 24 January 2022, based on constitutionalism under a collective leadership.

While the question of who leads what political party is entirely internal to that party, it is the task of students of politics to track, analyse, and unpack how that process unfolds.

Accordingly, the propositions below are proffered to highlight and explain how Tsvangirai's quest to reunite the MDC forces in 2017, and his quest to use that reunification to grow the opposition has irretrievably come unstuck under Chamisa.

The propositions highlight and explain how Chamisa's personalised political brand - under the untested presumption that he's the 'most popular' individual politician - has unleashed a deadly McCarthyism; a type of political witch-hunt in Zimbabwean opposition ranks, whose destructive essence is that anyone who disagrees with Chamisa is by definition an infiltrator and a traitor.

1. At the launch of the MDC-A as a united platform for the opposition to contest the 2018 elections in Harare on 7 August 2017, five months before his death, Tsvangirai publicly and actively sought unity; mainly but not only between himself, Ncube, Biti and Sikhala.

2. The much touted 'Gweru Resolutions' adopted on 27 May 2019 by the ill-fated 'MDC congress' - whose election of Chamisa as MDC-T President was nullified by the Supreme Court on 31 March 2020 - were in line with Tsvangirai's legacy quest to reunite key elements of the MDC founding cohort which had split in 2005 and in 2014. Tsvangirai had wished and hoped to use that reunification to forge a broader unity platform for the opposition to contest the 2018 general election.

3. Verifiable empirical evidence shows that while Chamisa, Ncube, and Biti rejected the 31 March 2020 Supreme Court ruling that nullified Chamisa's election as MDC-T President; they did not at any time after the Supreme Court ruling rejecting the 'Gweru 2019 Resolutions", whose essence was to uphold Tsvangirai's legacy quest to reunite with Ncube, Biti and Sikhala; in the hope of using that unity to grow the opposition.

4. There's verifiable empirical evidence that - after the 31 March 2020 Supreme Court ruling - Chamisa, Ncube, Biti, and Sikhala used the 'Gweru 2019 Resolutions' to turn or transform the MDC-A electoral platform launched by Tsvangirai on 7 August 2017 to contest the 2018 elections into a political party.

It is not true that the MDC-A party was voided or nullified by the 31 March 2020 Supreme Court ruling, not least because it was formed after that ruling.

In the same vein, it is also not true that the High Court judgment of 29 May 2020 by Justice Chitapi ruled that the MDC-A - formed after the 31 March 2020 Supreme Court ruling - WAS NOT A POLITICAL PARTY.

Justice Chitapi only ruled that the MDC-A WAS NOT A LEGAL PERSON.

It is also a verifiable fact that after taking control of the MDC-T in the wake of the 31 March 2020 Supreme Court ruling, Hon Senator Douglas Mwonzora sought to blunt the MDC-A as a political party by claiming that it was not a political party, but an electoral platform owned by the MDC-T; however, his claim was not tested in any court of law. It remained, as it still does, a political opinion.

5. Between 1 April 2020 and 24 January 2022, Chamisa was President of the MDC-A, a political party, and he was deputised by Ncube, Biti, and Lynette Karenyi-Kore.

They, together with others, formed CCC as a collective on 22 January 2022 and unveiled it on 24 January 2022.

Chamisa later used 'strategic ambiguity' to pull an internal coup by unilaterally dissolving structures that had been inherited from the MDC-A, the structures that launched CCC on 24 January 2022, to turn it into a new CCC in September 2023, based on a two-page constitution submitted to ZEC on 8 November 2023.

Now, is it not a self-indulgent falsehood to claim or to believe that all those who were in the top MDC-A leadership as leaders or activists led by Chamisa [in the NC, NEC, NSC, and provinces] between 1 April 2020 and 24 January 2022 - when they unveiled CCC - are INFILTRATORS AND TRAITORS?

How could that have been? Staggering.

INFILTRATORS AND TRAITORS for not hero-worshipping Chamisa in the MDC-A; INFILTRATOR AND TRAITORS for not supporting Chamisa's 'strategic ambiguity' he used to illegally dissolve CCC structures inherited from the MDC-A; INFILTRATORS AND TRAITORS for not joining Chamisa's illegal CCC formed in September 2023 under a two-page constitution; INFILTRATORS AND TRAITORS for not following Chamisa after he ran away from his own illegal 2023 CCC; INFILTRATORS AND TRAITORS for taking responsibility as a leadership collective to return the original CCC to constitutionalism; after Chamisa ran away last month?

But, is Chamisa - who now incredulously says he feels vindicated presumably because the decision by Ncube, Biti and Karenyi-Kore not to quit the original, 22 January 2022, CCC to follow him proves that they are 'INFILTRATORS' and 'TRAITORS'.

How is anyone sure that Chamisa himself is neither an infiltrator nor a traitor? Is this a settled question?

In particular, is Chamisa not betraying Tsvangirai's last legacy wish to reunite the MDC forces, especially but not only with Ncube, Biti and Sikhala in order to grow the opposition on that basis; which he publicly sought to five months before he died? Is one who betrays another in the pursuit of a historic common cause, not a traitor?

Related to this, how does anyone – let alone Chamisa – think or believe that on the back of the CCC implosion, the ongoing political witch-hunt under which any and all Chamisa critics in opposition ranks are demonised and labelled as INFILTRATORS AND TRAITORS, can be the basis or foundation of any broad-based, diverse and progressive political movement that can be a government tomorrow?

That's the 64 million-dollar question before Chamisa and his lot. It's an important question whose discussion and debate cannot be left to the imploding CCC, a CCC which by the force of history and circumstance, happens to be occupying the opposition space; a space which cannot be and should never be monopolised by any political player or social force!

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