By Elijah Chihota
When people vote for a political party or politician they expect so much from that act including respect. However, the MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa chose to discard that template and poured scorn on his supporters and those who voted for him.
During the wee hours of 31 July, Chamisa gave his supporters false hope when he tweeted “Winning resoundingly...we have results from the majority of the over 10 000 polling stations. We’ve done exceedingly well. Awaiting ZEC to perform their constitutional duty to officially announce the people’s election results and we are ready to form the next Government.” After realising that he had celebrated too early, Chamisa deleted the tweet.
The 1st August skirmishes saw scores of MDC supporters converging at Harvest House now called the Richard Morgan Tsvangirai House where they received instructions to carry out violent demonstrations in the city centre destroying anything in sight and on site. Their destination was the Rainbow Towers which hosted the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) National Elections Command Centre to demand the immediate release of Presidential election results. The demonstration left a trail of destruction including burning of cars and looting of shops.
As if the damage done by his supporters was not enough, Chamisa had the audacity of denying that these people were his supporters or those who voted for him. During a press conference on 15 November Chamisa blurted out that “It was very stupid, even, for people who demonstrated… it was stupid, because they then opened themselves for attacks and manipulation. I think whoever demonstrated - it was their right, but I feel it was not called for.”
One is left wondering how and when he became aware that protest which he had been calling for was a stupid act by his supporters who he mobilised to “defend your vote at all costs” during campaigns These voters were simply following his instructions. “You are talking about an election that has not been declared. And why would I even react because I do not know the results that will be announced?” added Chamisa further rubbing salt into the open wound.
Makomborero Haruzivishe, a well-known MDC member was captured in a 263 Chat video at Harvest House in the company of demonstrators yet he denied he being at the building and his boss Chamisa denied that the protestors were not MDC members. Apart from the MDC, no other opposition had the capacity to mobilise such a high number of demonstrators.
Commenting on his Twitter handle @mrtatendazuze expressed his displeasure at Chamisa’s utterances.
“What pains me the most is that, most of the people that protested were MDC supporters and the people that got shot and beaten up were ordinary civilians. For him to say that it was “stupid” for them to demand presidential election results which resulted in innocent blood being spilled shows he is a sell out”.
Other voters did not take lightly to such insults. They took to various social media platforms calling on the young politician to apologise for his uncalled for utterances with one commenting that “Rather work with the devil I know. Chamisa is losing it. Do you really think Mudzuri can say that to the people of Zimbabwe? A leader should never say stupid to someone.”
Netizen, Nacido Rico had no kind words for Chamisa saying “I love MDC direction but I hate Chamisa. He called all the previous protesters idiots. How can a person with 5 senses go on and protest after being labeled stupid?”
After his rude comment, Chamisa snubbed the Mutoko rally after hearing that only 50 people had turned up – a clear sign that the voters were angry at him. This sent a strong signal to the opposition leader that if you scorn voters they have a way of getting back to you. The MDC is going to lose the Mutoko North by-election to ZANU PF on 24 November.
While addressing the Marondera rally, Chamisa dismissed the Commission of Inquiry citing that it visited Bulawayo, Gweru and Mutare despite the incident having occurred in Harare. Information is that the MDC wanted to carry out spontaneous attacks, hence the visits because there were some disturbances there. The voters that he scorned will seal his fate as they are showing signs that they had been backing the wrong horse (Chamisa) and are ready to jump ship.
Presidential Spokesperson, George Charamba added his voice “Yes, it’s about lives that have been lost, but more critically, it’s about lives that are still endangered by future elections. The Vanguard is mentioned in the Commission. There is a counter narrative to say we have disbanded it, meanwhile Chamisa is certificating them for their superb violence which draws fatalities”.
To show Chamisa’s further arrogance, he is now abandoning the voters and seeking other avenues of getting the attention of President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He also wants to embark on a diplomatic offensive and rope in the Presidents of South Africa and Botswana, Cyril Ramaphosa and Mokgweetsi Masisi, respectively. Charamba noted “Essentially, that is what he is saying, to say ‘your voting is useless, I have my own ways which is above the ballot and which is above the people’.
Chamisa’s history of dumping people after using them and achieving what he wants was summarised by one analyst. The analyst said “When you look at the leadership of Chamisa as a whole, it is littered with several anecdotes of sacrificing dependable foot soldiers when it suits him. When there was that altercation with Ms Thokozani Khupe in Buhera, he sacrificed the Vanguard, when Charlton Hwende clashed with Shakespeare Mukoyi in Kuwadzana East constituency, he sacrificed Mukoyi, in Harare West he sacrificed Jessie Majome the same way he sacrificed another long serving member of the party Lynette Karenyi in Chikanga/Dangamvura constituency.”
In future elections the electorate now know where to place their vote after receiving insults from egomaniac Chamisa.