by Elijah Chihota
Politics is not for the faint-hearted as it needs someone who has the requisite stamina to captivate the electorate without insulting anyone. It is a game for the politically-astute and shrewd strategists. If MDC Alliance presidential candidate, Nelson Chamisa, was to be put to the political litmus test, he would obviously fail. For some people, whatever they touch turns to gold, but for Chamisa, he is starring at an electoral defeat. An analysis of the way he has handled politics since his days as the MDC-T organising secretary, gives an indication of his deficient political mettle and, by extension, how he is likely to fare on 30 July.
Although Chamisa won the elections from 2003 to represent Kuwadzana constituency he did not bring meaningful development to residents. Erratic water supplies, blocked sewer pipes, overflowing sewerage and uncollected refuse are some of the daily huddles that Kuwadzana residents have been enduring under Chamisa as their legislator. When he inherited the seat after the death of Learnmore Jongwe, there was a library which had been constructed by the ZANU PF administration and needed touch ups to make it operational, but alas 15 years down the line the library is not yet functional.
When Chamisa was the MDC-T National Organising Secretary between 2011 and 2013 he failed to orchestrate MDC-T victory during the 2013 harmonised elections. He thought he was smart and went on to introduce what he termed the “scientific organising approach.” The MDC-T failed to make any electoral impact and dismally lost to ZANU PF and garnered only 49 seats with the rest going to ZANU PF. For someone who wants to be preside over the country, to fail to properly organise a party is a sign that one has failed to make the grade.
As if that was not enough, in 2014 during the party’s congress, Chamisa was beaten left, right and centre by Douglas Mwonzora for the Secretary General’s post. He once received overwhelming endorsements by the majority of provinces only to be subjected to an election which proved that he was not cut for the job. He fell with a thud and it only took the late MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s intervention to create an obscure position for him as National Secretary for Policy Co-ordination.
After the death of Tsvangirai he knew that he was going to lose to fellow vice presidents, Dr Thokozani Khupe or Elias Mudzuri and decided to grab power by hook or crook. Before the body of Tsvangirai was brought from South Africa for burial, Chamisa, acutely aware that he was going to lose again decided to do the unthinkable, convened a National Council meeting which he railroaded to endorse him as the party leader disregarding the MDC-T constitution. This left the world astounded with the brutal tactics that he used to grab power and self-anoint himself as the MDC Alliance Presidential candidate.
As if that was not enough, Chamisa failed to court other presidential hopefuls such as the National People’s Party (NPP) leader, Dr Joice Mujuru, National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leader, Professor Lovemore Madhuku and the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ), leader, Elton Mangoma, among others resulting in a record 23 presidential hopefuls filing their papers. If he was the political strategist that he claims to be, he should have been able to lure them to his Alliance. Such failure shows that he lacks political clout and cannot outclass his rivals. The 30th of July election is set to show Chamisa that he is a small fish swimming in a big pond when he loses to President Emmerson Mnangagwa as many surveys have already indicated.
When the court wrangle over who is entitled to use the MDC-T name and logo, Chamisa thought Dr Khupe was a push over and he learnt the hard way when the Supreme Court case was referred and back to the High Court. By the time of going to the Nomination Court Chamisa was in panic mode as the issue of party name was not yet resolved. As a last minute face-saving gimmick he decided to aggressively market the MDC Alliance name and urging his dwindling support base to note the difference. He was outsmarted by Dr Khupe and, despite all the claims of popularity, he has no political party save for a rag tag and shaky political outfit termed, the MDC Alliance.