By Charles Motsi
Yesterday, 2 February, the chete chete brigade went into a frenzy wishing happy birthday to their leader Nelson Chamisa who turns 43, but the big question is, is there really anything to celebrate and are they not just making noise over a lifetime of failure and deception?
It is not debatable that Chamisa has managed to be a force on the political landscape of this country since his days at college and as prodigy to the late Movement for Democratic Change founding leader, Morgan Tsvangirai. However, the boy-wonder has been nothing, but a bundle of disappointment and disillusionment when it comes to real life action as a proper opposition leader.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has always acknowledged the important role that opposition political parties have to play in the development and progression of this country. The President, being the statesman that he is, has never been averse to being opposed and he made it clear that opposition movements have to compliment the actions of Government. If Government is wrong, a progressive opposition should call it out and should also give positive criticism that will enhance the overall vision of the country and bring about a better life for all in Zimbabwe.
Chamisa’s policy of kudira jecha has been contrary to the vision of the Head of State. He has managed to take opposition politics of this country 20 years back as he has become a force for opposing just for the sake of opposing.
At least Tsvangirai, despite his shorthcomings was a leader who had the foresight to see that all political parties needed to come together and work for the people of Zimbabwe and this was exemplified by the positive role he played as Prime Minister in the Government of National Unity from 2009 to 2013.
One would assume that the writing was on the wall when Chamisa lost the party’s secretary general’s post to Douglas Mwonzora in 2014. This was a clear testament that the young man’s student politics had no place in the world of real politics with the big boys. This loss came on the backdrop of manoeuvring as the MP for Kuwadzana, where Chamisa was not even able to complete a community library that he had promised his constituency, the library project was never completed during his tenure.
As luck would have it for the failed MP, he got a second bite of the cherry when he was unconstitutionally appointed as MDC’s co- vice president in a move that would prove to be costly to Tsvangirai’s legacy. This precedent of unconstitutionality was one lesson that Chamisa took to heart as he grabbed power before the late MDC stalwart was even cold in his grave.
Chamisa’s ascension to power was chaotic, violent and was the beginning of the end for a progressive MDC as left by Tsvangirai. The youthful leader disregarded his own party constitution and placed individual greed and ego above all else. Even the Supreme Court had no option, but to rule against him as the rightful leader of the now crumpling opposition outfit.
When it comes to playing around with the truth Chamisa seems to be a master. The man has been caught in a lie at least twice and on both accounts he denied the obvious even when presented with video evidence he remained defiant. In 2018, he claimed to have met former USA president Donald Trump and was promised billions of dollars of aid, only to have the US State department, through the US embassy in Harare, deny that such a meeting ever took place.
Chamisa also claimed that he was responsible for the Rwanda’s Information Technologies (IT) success after he claimed he met the Rwandan president and gave him some pointers on how to improve his country’s IT policy. This too was denied by the Rwandan embassy as nothing more than childish dreams of a desperate and delusional politician.
The lying is most definitely one of the main reasons his MDC formation has disintegrated under his watch. In the short time Chamisa has led the MDC his faction has lost its headquarters at Morgan Tsvangirai House; they have lost their name and have lost case after case in court.
The loss of their name, home and integrity has not been due to any master plan to thwart opposition politics in the country, but it has all been because of poor leadership from an overly ambitious, but clueless leader. Jonathan Moyo may have been in Chamisa’s corner recently, but even he was not hesitant to describe Chamisa as having ‘shocking ostrich behaviour.’
It is always troubling when even your allies start to notice and publicly proclaim your lack of leadership acumen.
Zimbabwe needs and deserves an opposition that is focused and ready to serve its people, unfortunately these are qualities that Chamisa has not been able to instil in his party let alone in himself.
As we say happy birthday to the youthful leader it is important to make his followers know that the troubles that Chamisa faces in his political life are of his own making because he refuses to mature to a statesman and prefers to remain a loudmouthed student politician.