Self-hate, bane of Zim politics

Trevor Shiri

Zimbabwe’s opposition politics is full of absurdities. It defies logic. In a normal polity, which has a vibrant democracy, where opposition political parties are allowed to practice politics freely, there is logic to political rivalry with incumbent governments.

In Zimbabwe, however, there is a brand of opposition politics that takes opposition a tard too far. Democracy ought to be a contest of ideas and ideologies. A contest to woo the electorate. A rivalry to outsmart opponents in democratic camaraderie.

Zimbabwe’s democracy is no different, as there is a solid Constitution that laid the foundation to safeguard the country’s nascent democracy. In addition, the New Dispensation has shown tremendous appetite to nurture democracy and ensure the enjoyment of the full spectrum of rights enshrined in the Supreme Law, albeit with the derogations contained therein.

However, Zimbabwe’s opposition, principally the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC Alliance, together with the various minions that support that party, have exhibited a penchant to oppose for the sake of it. This anachronistic thinking finds expression in that party’s 2021 vision, whose core message is resistance. Resistance to government. Resistance to policies. Resistance to national programmes. Resistance to progress. That party never takes stock of the benefits, nor necessity of Government policies, but simply has a default setting to oppose.

Examples are abound to show the paucity of thought leadership in the MDC-A. When President Emmerson Mnangagwa showed magnanimity in victory in 2018, and set up the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD), itself a democratic platform to include losing presidential candidates in the governance of Zimbabwe, Chamisa rebuffed that novel opportunity.

If he were smarter, he would have taken up the opportunity to influence policy and challenge government on the trajectory the country was taking. He could have used the platform to influence reforms which that party clamours for. But alas, he chose to grandstand, and come 2023, he will be crying foul after yet another chastening defeat.

Government announced and encouraged people to get vaccinated against Covid-19, itself a pandemic that has decimated economies across the world, through closure of borders, as well as restrictions in movement locally. Shockingly, Chamisa and his MDC-A rubbished the pro-active stance taken by government to vaccinate Zimbabweans, including opposition members. At a time the whole world effected lockdowns to tame the spread of the Coronavirus, the MDC-A stunningly politicised the lockdowns as a sign of repression. Honestly, who thinks like that?

Ironically, the MDC-A leadership, including Chamisa, were clandestinely vaccinated at the US embassy, while simultaneously discouraging Zimbabweans from taking the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines, claiming the discredited Astra-Zeneca, which has been banned in some European countries, was a better option. The more sensible MDC-A leaders, such as Health Secretary, Dr Henry Madzorera, and the outspoken Deputy Chairman, Job Sikhala, took the vaccines publicly, albeit having previously castigated the Chinese vaccines.

Such irresponsible leadership discourages MDC-A supporters from taking the vaccines, and in the process, endangering themselves, their loved ones and Zimbabweans at large. It slows Zimbabwe’s pace in achieving herd immunity, paving the way for the full opening of Zimbabwe’s economy and all spheres in the country. There are no winners in the misleading posturing by that party. It is disingenuous politics. It’s a dangerous opposition.

On another note, Team Pachedu activist and career opposer of government, Freeman Chari, labelled Zimbabwe as a country living of handouts, citing the construction of the new Parliament in Mt Hampden by the Chinese and the donation of some vaccines by China and India.

Nothing could be further from the truth. At a time the New Dispensation has done tremendous work on various capital projects, using local resources, the opposition inexplicably choses to pay a blind eye to the sanctions-busting manoeuvres by government to progress Zimbabwe. Key projects and programmes such as the Harare-Beitbridge Road, Tugwi Mukorsi, Hwange 7 and 8, Kariba South, mass bus transport system, Smart Agriculture, Pfumvudza, innovation hubs, and even procurement of vaccines, which includes the recently delivered 1 million Sinovac vaccines, all attest to a Government doing a lot under the albatross of punitive illegal sanctions.

The opposition, through its army of cashvists, was even angry at hearing the success of the 2020/21 agricultural season, where Zimbabwe is expected to hit 3 million tonnes of maize, itself a monumental milestone in the post-land reform period. The opposition even insulted the heavens for opening up to complement Smart Agriculture and Pfumvudza.

It is as if they do not eat sadza. Their politics thrives on crisis. It is not pinnacled on anything tangible, hence, the self-defeating opposition default setting to criticise successes that help all Zimbabweans. The MDC-A thrives on people’s suffering, be it through sanctions, drought-induced hunger, or any other natural calamity such as floods.

The foregoing opposition default setting is symptomatic of a people consumed by self-hate. A devious lot that lives off people’s suffering. Anything good for the Zimbabwean people is automatically bad for the survival of the white-men’s poodle party. Its oxygen and life blood is negativity, anger, hunger, suffering and problems.