Chamisa's  crumbling empire: Time for self-introspection

by Ben Mberikwazvo

The world has been plunged into one of the most trying times in recent history, with the outbreak of COVID-19 in December 2019 in China. Leaders worldwide have put their political differences aside to contain the marauding virus which has ravaged the socio-political-economic fabric like never before. Coming back home, defining events have been unfolding in the political arena to the extent of upstaging, at the local level, the deadly pandemic for the limelight.

Four members of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) were recalled from both Parliament and Senate, this week. This follows a Supreme Court judgement on the 31 of March 2020, which declared Nelson Chamisa, an illegitimate leader of MDC, thereby conferring Thokozani Khupe as the acting leader until an extra ordinary congress can be convened in three months’ time.

Douglass Mwonzora and Morgan Komichi wasted no time in embracing the opportune lifeline and hailed the judgment, after being relegated to the periphery of the MDC structures by a panicky Nelson Chamisa. The duo were labelled as sell-outs by the MDC Chamisa faction.

On Tuesday 5 May 2020, Mwonzora delivered a sucker punch to Chamisa's leadership through the recalling of four MDC legislators, among them the most vocal Charlton Hwende. Through this move, there was clear pandemonium in the corridors of the MDC Chamisa faction hence, the raging debate on social media platforms of what next for Chamisa and his MDC loyalists.

Chamisa and his motley crew are never short of enemies to point fingers at. In ZANU PF, Chamisa has found an enemy which is capable and responsible for everything that goes wrong in the MDC, including engineering internal fights. Ironically, nobody has bothered to tell Chamisa, the simple naked truth that he should self-introspect as the problems currently bedevilling the MDC are emanating from his egocentric and childish behaviour.

There is great need for introspection within the rank and file of the MDC starting with the greenhorn young pastor as many blunders have been committed to the detriment of the flagging party. The neutrals in this whole drama are able to honestly pin point MDC blunders without being emotional as has been the case with Chamisa’s sympathisers, who believe the naked lie that ZANU PF had a hand in the unfolding events in the embattled party.

 The case of MDC can be best summarised by the metaphor of brothers fighting each other to death and then goes to blame a neighbour for all their woes. Should ZANU PF be blamed for enjoying the spoils of such a fight - your answer is as good as mine dear reader. In light of the above, what Chamisa and the MDC are lacking is sober, mature and strategic advice. One may be tempted to ask; how do you engage the reverse gear and still expect to move forward. Just like the missed opportunity to be Head of Opposition in Parliament which could easily have kept ZANU PF in check, the recent Supreme Court Judgement offered Chamisa an opportunity to return to Constitutionalism. Again the opportunity was missed and dismissed as “Covid Judgement” by some 'so-called experts' at law. Then enter “Covid” recalls and it's again ZANU PF at work and the reckless party has declaring “war”. Declaring war on whom, one may wonder. Assuming it's true, Is Biti and Hwende not admitting that ZANU PF is better at politics than them. Others are now suggesting that the remaining MDC MPs should boycott Parliament- What bad advice.

It's high time that Chamisa seeks good legal advisors and political strategists, not these bloggers masquerading as legal pundits. Chamisa is currently surrounded by third class lawyers who masquerades as law experts. Every advice that Chamisa has heeded from these people has been disastrous.

It should be noted that the recalling of the quartet had, no influence of a third force. It is simple, Chamisa lacks strategy, organising skills and often exhibit crass ignorance on fundamental issues that has a bearing on the party; the flouting of the party constitution being a case in point.

The panic in Chamisa’s camp is there for everyone to see and it simply confirms the obvious lack of plan B and gross ineptitude to counter purported internal political manoeuvring. They never saw it coming. For their lack of political clout in traversing the Zimbabwe political jungle, Chamisa and company underestimated Mwonzora's organising capacity. History is the best teacher and those who disregard lessons from the past are bound to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. In 2014, Chamisa lost the MDC Secretary General post to Mwonzora, who was considered a dark horse by many then. Chamisa managed 1 762 votes for the secretary general’s post against Mwonzora’s 2 464 at the party’s 4th congress held at the City Sports Centre in Harare. Chamisa went on to blame the late MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai for  manipulating the election results in favour of Mwonzora. Maybe we can clearly now see why Chamisa desperately avoided congress after Tsvangirai's death -  the burden of bad memories, you can't  blame the young pastor.

Now Mwonzora is back in full force again with the same modus operandi, “appear as weak when you are strong” from San Tzu’s the Art of War. The only difference is that the stakes are high now, it's the winner takes all situation.

They say political currency lays in the number of  supporters .Time will tell who has and who lacks  the currency between Chamisa and Khupe. The battle lines will be drawn and the dice has been cast between a divided MDC. And your guess is good as mine, the  rigging hymn would be upon us very soon.

By the way, as a trained pastor, self-introspection should not be that difficult to the man of cloth. He should carry on his cross and stop blaming others as the former Nokia C.E.O  summed it up: We never did anything wrong, we just failed.