By Elijah Chihota
After losing the 2018 Presidential race, MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa vowed to embark on nationwide demonstrations until he was declared the winner of that plebiscite. The MDC wants to use this tool to tarnish the image of the country and force the international community to put Zimbabwe on its various agendas for discussion.
The bottom-line line is that the MDC desperately wants another form of Government of National Unity (GNU) which will enable them to feast at the “king’s table.” MDC members who served in the GNU such as Chamisa and one of his deputies, Tendai Biti now miss the 2009 to 2013 GNU where they had resources at their disposal. It has become an undeniable reality to the MDC leadership that the only way that it could ever enjoy State power is through a GNU.
While campaigning in Glen View South Constituency over the weekend, Chamisa borrowed a leaf from MDC Deputy National Chairperson, Job Sikhala and threatened to unseat President Emmerson Mnangagwa. In a clear sign and open utterance which shows that the MDC will not hesitate to unleash violence, Chamisa said, “The fact that we are not carrying guns does not mean we cannot. It is just a choice that we do not, because Tsvangirai taught us to be peaceful. If I’m given a gun, I can use it. I may be overpowered in the process, but I can use it. We can use guns, but we just don’t want to cause unnecessary bloodshed. The police cannot take away the right to demonstrate”.
Chamisa’s utterances are so reckless and border on provoking authorities to take action against him which he, in turn, intends to use as a reason to attract the attention of the international community. It is such utterances which leave one wondering if the MDC is not responsible for the shootings during past demonstrations given that Chamisa talks about the use of firearms without any qualms. It also lends credence to the news last year that the party was training militia in the region to fight the Government of President Mnangagwa.
After realising that no one was going to listen to their lost and baseless cause, the MDC decided to take the confrontational route by way of demonstrations. Realising that President Mnangagwa was going to attend a number of regional and international gatherings, the MDC intends to doorstep and embarrass him in the process.
Fortunately, the Government of South Africa, knowing how much of a pesky political nuisance the MDC’s yobs can be, is prepared to deal with them. It will deport those MDC members who are staying illegally in that country so that in future they will concentrate on looking for work in South Africa.
January 2019 demonstrations
President Mnangagwa embarked on a visit to Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in January 2019 and the MDC and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and their appendages in the Civil Society Organisations (CSO) fraternity embarked on one of the most destructive demonstrations in the history of the country. The aim of the demonstration was to discredit the visit by the President and try to give the impression that Zimbabwe is a country which is on the verge of collapse.
Harare and other cities
When President Mnangagwa was scheduled to travel to Tanzania for the 39th SADC Summit and subsequently take over the Chairmanship of the SADC Organ on Politics Defence and Security, the MDC plotted a double edged sword attack. The MDC then informed the Police that they intended to carry out a “peaceful” demonstration in Harare on 16 August, but was turned down by the Police after the MDC was observed to be shunting weapons into Harare city centre ahead of the demonstrations. Similar demonstrations which had been pencilled for Bulawayo, Gweru, Masvingo and Mutare were also prohibited.
Growth Point and rural areas
As a means of trying to penetrate and dilute ZANU PF’s stranglehold on rural constituencies, the MDC attempted to take their demonstrations there, but they failed to attract any takers. The constituents were focusing on their daily bread and butter issues and had no time for the childish antics of the opposition which lacks a firm grounding in any meaningful ideology. The MDC is still suffering from social and political amnesia. It is the same party that brought untold suffering on the people through requesting for the imposition of illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe by the US and the European Union.
At the when the MDC Harare demonstration was being organised, MDC Co-Vice President, Professor Welshman Ncube under the banner of the shadowy organisation, the Southern African People’s Solidarity Network (SAPSN) sneaked into Tanzania to lead a demonstration to embarrass President Mnangagwa in front of his SADC colleagues. SAPSN is an MDC-linked and western-sponsored group. The demonstration, however, failed to take off owing to the vigilance by the Tanzanian security and Prof Ncube and his team remained holed in their hotel. The failure of that demonstration left the MDC with egg on their face.
Having dismally failed in its plot in Tanzania, the MDC has decided to rope in Zimbabweans living and plying their trade in South Africa to door step President Mnangagwa there. President Mnangagwa is attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Cape Town, South Africa from 4 to 6 September. The planned demonstration, like the previous one in December 2017, is also likely to fail on two fronts. The first is that Zimbabweans across the Limpopo are there to work and earn a living, hence, they would not waste time toy-toying in streets just to stroke the MDC’s warped ego. Secondly, many Zimbabweans in South Africa are border jumpers who have no requisite papers and would not want to brush shoulders with that country’s law enforcement agencies and immigration authorities lest they be deported.
With the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa, Zimbabweans in South Africa should stay away from the demonstration. Zimbabweans should not lose both life and limb by exposing themselves to harm through taking part in the demonstrations because they would be easily identified and dealt with later.
United Nations General Assembly
As has become the norm of the MDC hoodlums, this year, they are planning to take their demonstration to the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly which will be running from 24 to 30 September in New York. By taking the demonstration to UNGA, the MDC is trying by all means to put Zimbabwe on the international community agenda.
What the opposition is failing to understand is that the new dispensation is very accommodative and has a clear agenda of rebuilding the country’s economy so that it becomes an upper middle income one by 2030. The MDC is also forgetting that most of the progressive world has accepted President Mnangagwa’s victory and administration are tired of the MDC’s childish issues and are prepared to move forward with Zimbabweans.