By Prosperity Mzila
Outgoing United States (US) president, Donald Trump and Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa both refused to concede defeat, in their separate elections. The world is surprised by Trump who has revealed his dictatorial tendencies and trying to force people to accept him as the winner of the just ended election in the United States of America.
A self-proclaimed election police had defied and denied all democratic electoral processes, choosing to see only what suits his selfish ends. Trump, like Chamisa called for the ballot counting to be stopped, citing electoral rigging and both failed to prove their claims. Trump does not make it a secret that he blames the mail-in ballots which he has repeatedly condemned without evidence, as susceptible to gross fraud.
Asked by a reporter why his people were rioting, Trump replied, “Get rid of the ballots and you will have a very peaceful …. There won’t be a transfer; frankly a continuation there will be there.”
Trump has been evasive since realising that he was fast losing the election to the now US president elect Joe Biden. He has quickly jumped into an evasive mode meant to delegitimise the much hyped USA “democratic electoral process.” This looks and sounds a lot like Chamisa just after Zimbabwe’s 2018 harmonised elections. Chamisa, as Trump’s, did exactly what his mentor is doing now in the USA, “kudira jecha mu sadza,” pouring sand in the porridge in the spirit of ‘if I can’t have it, no one else will.
Trump has proved to be a dictator as he is currently in the process of consolidating his power by firing senior members in the military, as a way of angling for an offensive. He is rubbishing and trampling on democratic processes.
Chamisa did the same within his party as he fired provincial chairpersons who were opposed to this stance while appointing those loyal to him. The difference between Trump and Chamisa is that the other was a sitting head of state and still had a hold on national state apparatus while the latter is at party level. However, the idea still remains the same, power consolidation. Their actions have been detrimental to the livelihoods of the people of the two nations. Currently more than 1 000 Americans are hospitalised per day due to increasing Covid 19 infections because Trump is more focused on consolidation of his power than the welfare of people.
In Zimbabwe, the urban voters died in their numbers because of water borne diseases as Chamisa concentrated on replacing Mayors and Councillors with his loyalists, not taking into account the institutional memory and operations of those councils. Similar to the situation in the US currently, where scores of people are dying due to Covid 19, Chamisa also led the slaughter of many through Cholera and Typhoid as he meddled with Councillors and Mayors resulting in poor service delivery.
Long before the election results were announced, Trump took to his twitter handle @realDonaldTrump, spreading falsehoods, baselessly claiming he hasd won the election, when, in fact, that determination was yet to be made. He declared he had won the “popular vote”, telling his followers that “no amount of results manipulation will alter your will.” This is exactly what Chamisa did seemingly reading from the Trump instruction manual on ‘how to delegitimise an election’.
On the night after the casting of ballots, Chamisa mobilised people to demonstrate against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) claiming that the results had been delayed, hence it would mean that ZANU PF was rigging. Writing on his Twitter handle, Chamisa said, “Victory is ours! Long winding queues in most parts of Harare.” While his Chairperson Morgan Komichi made an impromptu televised statement at the ZEC, where the election results were being announced, claiming that the results were being rigged and the counting should stop.
Meanwhile, in the USA, Trump has threatened to take the issue to court claiming a rigged election. Trump has been described by members of his close family as a person who is not a respecter of democracy, a person who will drag everyone down with him if he feels his power is being challenged. His own niece, Mary Trump was quoted saying, “Between now and the inauguration, I worry about what Donald is going to do in that time to lash out. It wasn’t long after Mary had said that Trump started to prematurely withdraw the military from conflict zones such as Afghanistan, Iran and Libya. He has ignored the cost of such action, which is the instability in the Middle East and the effect the withdrawal will have on the American Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mary continued to explain that Trump will go as far as he can to delegitimize the new administration.” And this is exactly what Chamisa did in Zimbabwe, running with a legitimacy agenda to try and delegitimise President Mnangagwa’s presidency.
President Mnangagwa won 2.46 million votes in comparison to Chamisa who won 2.15 million. Meanwhile, in the USA, when the race was called, Biden had won more than 74 million votes across the country, the most votes cast for any presidential candidate in the history of that country, leading to a Florida Republican and member of the House of Representatives, Francis Rooney urging Trump and his party to accept the results of the election and “get on with the programme. This comes as Trump continues to insist the election has been influenced by fraudulent voting. The same happened here when in 2018; Chamisa declared himself winner but raised concerns surrounding the fairness of the process.
The voting pattern in the US was similar to the one that occurred in 2018 in Zimbabwe, where most MDC A supporters voted for their party’s Member of Parliament, but did not vote for Chamisa, instead casting a vote for President Mnangagwa.
This irked both Trump and Chamisa who thought the crowds at their rallies meant a vote in their ballot. The elections are not popularity votes but real ballots determine who becomes president that is the democracy that the opposition and their handlers always scream about. It does not matter that Trump’s rallies were always packed; those people chose not to vote for him.
Mary broke it all down when she said, “It means that people were voting against Donald Trump in this election, but not necessarily against this party, that added so much salt to his narcissistic wounds,” she wrote.
Speaking to The Guardian, Mary added that, “This is what Donald’s going to do; he’s not going to concede, although who cares. What’s worse is he’s not going to engage in the normal activities that guarantee a peaceful transition.”
This reminds me of Chamisa when he refused to concede that he had lost an election even when he lost in the Constitutional Court. President Mnangagwa, offered an olive branch to him to join the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) that would help Government meet the people’s expectations. Other political parties did join but he wanted to make this country ungovernable as much as possible hence he decided to hold out on offering advice and working with Government.
The US elections have exposed their modus operandi in the manipulation of election results and then when they lose, they claim they were rigged, delegitimising the electoral result and trying to undermine the people’s will.
Trump though being slightly younger than Biden lost an election, yet the US trump card in Africa is that Africa should empower young politicians as old politicians are like dead wood. Old wood continues to reign in the oval office in Washington District of Columbia (DC), yet not good enough for Africa. This has totally exposed the US’s machinations towards their regime change agenda. Old people hold dear the norms and values, ideologies and sacrifices done by the forbearers and they honour them and pass them to the next generation, as a way of grooming future leaders. Young men like Chamisa are impressionable, born free and have no principles, it is easy for them to throw away the ideals of this country for financial gain, this is why and how the west intended to recolonize Africa using proxy leaders such as the new crop of opposition politicians, who are more interested in pop-culture, than in building a lasting nation.