by Daphine Zulu
As if his worsening irrelevance is not enough, Nelson Chamisa is grappling with an enormous human resources flight from his ill-fated MDC-Alliance (MDC-A) party. This comes with the latest exodus of top MDC-A personnel Blessing Chebundo and Zvishavane Senator Lillian Temvoes. Again among a whole lot of other lost loyalists was Tongai Matutu, last November.
Sadly the few remaining MDC-A loyalists have been all over social media labelling and name calling those leaving the party - ‘traitors’, ‘sell-outs’, ‘CIOs’, u name it. Instead, MDC-A should probably sit down and reflect on where they are getting it wrong and try to rectify.
Clearly long serving party members do not just leave a party for the fun of it, something is definitely wrong! More than ever, the party need self-introspection and a paradigm shift in the ways in which it conducts business, if at all it seeks to remain relevant in the Zimbabwean political arena.
MDC-A needs to locate the genesis of its problems which seem to stem from non-other than their useless leader, Nelson Chamisa. Whilst the poor guy made so much noise and raised so much dust aver President Mnangagwa’s legitimacy after the 2018 polls, he did not realise that he was actually othering others, instead legitimacy was his greatest dilemma.
Whilst most ‘elders’ from the party never accepted him as their rightful leader, which caused the first split after their founder’s death; he also does not have leadership qualities, he is just but a clueless leader. Its time MDC supporters gets the wakeup call that Chamisa has nothing to offer save for riding on the fame that Morgan Richard Tsvangirayi created for the party. Hence Chamisa clinging on to what’s left of it, the party’s name.
Chamisa benefitted from the publicity he received as Morgan Tsvangirai’s protégé. Being consistently with Tsvangirai and pledging constantly his loyalty to him, even when other MDC leaders such as Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti challenged Tsvangirai’s authority (leading to splits of the party in 2005 and 2014 respectively), endeared Chamisa to Tsvangirai and his supporters. Chamisa’s loyalty to Tsvangirai and dedication to the MDC increased his publicity, enabling him to carve his own sphere of influence amongst MDC elites and supporters. By the time Tsvangirai died, Chamisa was already acceptable to MDC supporters because Tsvangirai portrayed him as representative of the new generation which Tsvangirayi did not mind handing over the leadership baton. Yet at a personal level and judging his abilities, he has nothing to offer. Seeking to understand what it is that which he has to lead such a party, is really a big ask.
Unlike Tsvangirayi who held the people at heart, hence the 2010 Government of National Unity (GNU) the Chamisa led MDC-A has had a self-centred approach to politics, always excluding itself from negotiating foras such as POLAD, and instead hoping to be coaxed into working with others. But this is the very party which claims to be democratic (why not then listen to divergent views) and has the people at heart?
As the confusion engulfing the weakening MDC-A continues to deepen, the defecting personnel seem to have nothing positive to say about Chamisa’s leadership style or ability to stir the ship. Provoked Lillian Temvoes came out accusing the party of being retrogressive and using a confrontational and violent approach and destruction of property, at any given instance, internally and against political foes. Typical student activism, whereby one does not care or look at the reparations, as long as what they want has been meet.
She also accused Chamisa of playing back seat passenger whilst the likes of Charlton Hwende destroyed the party through abuse of funds and internal conflict especially with members of the Standing Committte at his watch. Basically she was short of saying he was a useless leader. Fingers crossed, not many are of the same view; because if so then MDC-A is surely screwed up.
The MDC-A is no longer held in high esteem, hopefully they are aware of that. As such the party needs to urgently re-strategise but again, sadly for Chamisa, he is not well known for being a strategist, but a mere orator. He should surely do something which demonstrates leadership fast before the party is written off by his dwindling local supporters for it has already been written off by the international community.
Sadly the fragmented MDC-A continues to crumble like a deck of cards, and piling more misery on Chamisa. Hopefully the young man manages to mop up what is left of it in order to maintain relevance or even make it to 2023 as an opposing power in Zimbabwean politics.