Chamisa’s grandstanding much ado about nothing

By Elijah Chihota

The MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa seems to have perfected the art of making so much noise like a cricket when there is nothing proportional in terms of results. Each time Chamisa is given a microphone to address at a rally, nothing good comes out of his mouth apart from uttering some expletives or denigrating women.

While addressing a campaign rally at St Lukes in Lupane East Constituency, Chamisa uttered the most unpalatable words in his quest to be the resident of number 1 Chancellor Avenue (State House) through the back door.

“I will give him (President Emmerson Mnangagwa) a farm together with (VPs, Constantino) Chiwenga and (Kembo) Mohadi. I want to say sit and be quiet. I will give you whisky and I’ll give you women. Whatever you want I’ll give you,” he said.

In his lack of thinking or ignorance of how State power is transferred in the country, Chamisa thought it was all about farms, women and whisky. He thinks that democracy is about paying bribes to betray the collective decision of the electorate to choose President Mnangagwa ahead of him. His party has been very vocal about what it terms the security of the vote. Chamisa’s statement exposed him as the danger from which the people’s vote should be protected and not ZANU PF as he wishes the world to believe. He is a danger to democracy if he believes that he can easily reverse the people’s democratic choice by bribes or violent protests

In a bid to impress women which turned out to an insult, Chamisa added “So Prof (Welshman Ncube) uyabona ukuthi ngiyadobhadobha? (I try to speak in isiNdebele). Ngifuna ukukhombisa ngesiNdebele (I want to court women in isiNdebele)”. These utterances explain why the MDC lost the Lupane East by-election to ZANU PF because Chamisa never sold any sound policy to the electorate apart from making those silly and foul-mouthed jibes.

On 26 July, Chamisa called on his followers to take a 7-day fast, starting on 29 July after which he would take “decisive and crucial next steps”. At a time when the new dispensation is working hard to revive the country’s economy and heavily investing in infrastructural development as a way of attracting potential investors, the MDC thinks of destroying the goodwill which President Emmerson Mnangagwa is building among members of the international community. The MDC has taken a decision to stage a demonstration on 16 August.

History repeats itself. On 26 August 2016, parties under the National Electoral Reforms Agenda (NERA), a predecessor of the MDC Alliance embarked on one of the most destructive demonstrations in the country. Echoes of that demonstration are about to be repeated on 16 August. Chamisa is actually fighting tooth and nail to destroy the remaining industry and render everyone unemployed all in his quest to be in power. Woe unto those misguided elements that are supporting him.

In a typical publicity-seeking stunt meant to hoodwink the public into believing that he feels for the people, MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa visited Glen View and other high density suburbs on 2 July on one of his “Maikoro moments” trips. The visit was ostensibly meant to get first hand information on how people were coping with the ongoing economic challenges in their day to day lives. In real terms neither the Glen View folk nor his party members benefitted from Chamisa’s trip.

The MDC has 45 councillors in Harare City Council (HCC) who cover most of the city including Glen View. These councillors are the one who should brief Chamisa about the situation in their respective areas of jurisdiction. This alone shows that he either has no confidence in the councillors who represent his party or he has nothing meaningful to do on his Harvest House desk.

Owing to poor service delivery by the MDC-dominated HCC, Glen View has turned into a symbolic headquarters and breeding centre of water borne diseases such as typhoid and diarrhoea which has affected many people since the beginning of this year. In 2018, a cholera outbreak occurred again in Glen View owning to shortage of clean drinking water and the heaps of garbage which has gone uncollected for months on end.

The MDC has virtually done nothing positive for the people to earn the votes the party has been receiving for the last 19 years.

At one point during this ill-informed tour, Chamisa was seen buying a meal of sadza and beans. The real truth is that he was dying to appear a simple person who easily mixes and mingles with ordinary people and eats what they eat, but in everyday life he does not eat cheap meals from the streets. One sympathises with those who believes that the lad is sincere in his stunts. He just wants to get the sympathy of the people so that they would vote for him during the 2023 elections.  

If Chamisa was sincere in his stunt, after seeing what people are going through due to economic hardships, one would expect to see him making a donation to the Glen View community. Recently, his party got exposed when it claimed that it had it lost the recent by-election due to lack of funding. This claim was driven by the fact that ZANU PF had already received its share from Treasury in funding under the Political Parties (Finance) Act when no funds had been disbursed. Chamisa grabs 20 percent of any funding that comes into the party’s coffers. This means that when the MDC finally gets its Z$3.8 million share Chamisa will pocket a cool Z$760 000. This makes it difficult for any person to believe Chamisa’s line that he is in politics to serve the people of Zimbabwe. The only people that he serves are the Chamisas such as his family and siblings such as his brother, the Mbare legislator, Starmen.

In fact, since its formation in 1999, the MDC has received more than US$1.5 billion dollars from both Treasury and external funders there is no public record of the party making a donation to anyone, not even a single scholarship.

Since his inauguration on 26 August 2018, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said that his door was open to dialogue. Since the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) was launched, Chamisa has been snubbing its sittings opting instead to call for President Mnangagwa to have one-on-one meetings with him. If he really feels for the people, the easiest thing for him to do is to heed President Mnangagwa’s calls for dialogue which will bring about unity and oneness, a key ingredient for economic recovery.

Due to impending Glen View South constituency by-election, Chamisa most probably was getting a feel of the ground before he imposed another candidate again. This led to the imposition of Vincent Tsvangirai much to the chagrin of most MDC members who questioned why the seat is now being treated as a preserve of the Tsvangirai family. They further complained that it was tantamount to turning the constituency into a fiefdom.

Sight of Chamisa drawing water from a borehole is nothing to marvel and clap hands for. Actually he should be ashamed because the MDC, which dominates the HCC, is failing to supply water to all suburbs in Harare. In this era in urban areas a borehole should not be celebrated. Instead, people should have clean piped water to their homes. Simple.

Embarking on a nationwide tour does not pay any dividends. In 2018 after losing the Presidential race, Chamisa went on a whirlwind tour of provinces urging them to prepare for a “mother of all demonstrations.” The party has held countless protests no one has benefitted from the violent and destructive acts except Chamisa and his top lieutenants who are paid by their Western handlers to use any means to unseat ZANU PF. 

In a dangerous move, Chamisa took to the wheel of a commuter omnibus during the Glen View tour. This put the lives of passengers aboard the minibus and bystanding pedestrians in danger as Chamisa is not a licensed public service vehicle driver. In fact, he was supposed to be arrested for breaking the law.

The foregoing issues lay bare that Chamisa and the MDC are all about attention-drawing antics and nothing about substance or the people.