“Never target a tribe or victimise a region twice” – Nelson Chamisa, responding to the High Court decision the at nullified his 12 parliamentary candidates in Bulawayo.
By Prof. Jonathan Moyo
Good gracious. The following needs to be said plainly and bluntly.
It’s outrageous, insensitive, irresponsible, unacceptable and objectionable in the extreme for Advocate Nelson Chamisa and his CCC to recklessly and opportunistically respond to yesterday’s High Court nullification of the nomination of 12 CCC parliamentary candidates in Bulawayo province by using Matabeleland as cannon fodder to compensate for or cover up their lack of a constitution, lack of structures, lack of a bank account, contempt of the local community in Bulawayo where from Harare they arrogantly imposed candidates who either are not from the community or who lost or who did not even participate in the “community selection caucuses”.
From the court record and the High Court judgment – as well as the abundant evidence in the public domain – it is clear that the Advocate Chamisa and his cohort in charge of CCC deliberately and illegally got their 12 candidates to submit their nomination papers in the dead of night, well after the Nomination Court had closed at 4pm, as a desperate and misguided strategy of seeking to prevent or block double and triple nomination of candidates by disgruntled CCC members who had fallen victim to Advocate Chamisa’s ‘strategic ambiguity” approach to the (mis)management of CCC affairs.
CCC is not Matabeleland, and Matabeleland is not CCC. There’s nothing ambiguous about what or who Matabeleland is, history is very clear about that.
It is an open secret to CCC members in Bulawayo that if CCC had a constitution, disgruntled members who felt cheated in the “Bereka Mwana” selection process by the imposition of candidates, would have had recourse to remedy their grievances; that if CCC had local structures those structures would have better handled the candidate nomination exercise on Nomination Court day as MDC structures used to do before; and that if CCC had a bank account the transfer and payment of nomination fees would not have required runners from Harare or sidekicks in Bulawayo, who delayed with the money and kept candidates waiting to no end.
An as-yet-to-be-launched political party with no constitution, no structures, no office bearers, and no bank account cannot operate efficiently anywhere on earth. The sooner CCC and its well-wishers grip this fundamental, the better for them.
There’s one thing that Advocate Chamisa should understand and it is that, if you’re a political leader and you’re quiet and you let your base celebrate the nullification of 87 candidates belonging to another opposition party for not paying nomination fees on time or through the means preferred by ZEC, you have no moral leg to stand on upon which to threaten disorder and trouble over the nullification of the nomination of 12 of your own candidates for submitting their nomination papers not only at night after the Nomination Court had closed at 4 pm, but also including on the following day, which was not a nomination day.
It is not a credible defence to say but ZEC confirms that the nomination papers were submitted on time, as if suddenly Advocate Chamisa and CCC believe that what ZEC says is the gospel truth to be believed by all sundry without proof or verification of the truth. The idea that for CCC, ZEC is right only if or when it supports CCC or its position and wrong if or when it supports political opponents of CCC, or their position is downright primitive and ridiculous.
Finally, and this is very important, the fact that the High Court in Bulawayo has nullified the nomination of 12 CCC candidates doe does not mean there will be no parliamentary election contest in Bulawayo on 23 August 2023. Quite the contrary, 10 political parties and independents will slug it out in the province, and this means that serious local parties rooted in the local community, such as Zapu and UZA, who took the Nomination Court seriously have a real chance to make their mark and to win some seats in nine constituencies because only three out of the province’s 12 constituencies will go uncontested, as a result of the High Court decision.
It is utterly wrong for Advocate Chamisa and his constitutionless, structureless, policyless political party which believes in ‘strategic ambiguity’ as the best approach to political communication inside and outside its ranks, to either hold everyone else to ransom or to expect to be rewarded for its self-evident incompetence and manifest disorganisation in its handling of the nomination papers for its candidates in Bulawayo.
It’s just wrong.
The naked truth is that CCC had a clear advantage in Bulawayo’s 12 constituencies, those constituencies were there for CCC’s taking.
And, like other contesting political parties, CCC had 10 days from 11 June 2023 to 21 June 2023 to submit its nomination papers for its candidates.
But, alas, CCC decided not to submit its nomination papers until the midnight hour on the last day of nomination, 21 June 2023; because of Advocate Chamisa’s ‘strategic ambiguity’ – whose main purpose is to purge CCC of Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC old guard and the likes of Tendai Biti and Prof Welshman Ncube, along with their unwanted associates across the country.
The ‘strategic ambiguity’ idea of blocking triple or double candidate nomination by waiting till late to submit the nomination papers of the 12 CCC candidates for Bulawayo simply did not work, not least because their nomination papers done in Harare were fatally defective, this was discovered late in the day, and the defective flaws needed to be corrected from Harare, as Bulawayo structures were not involved at all.
Someone at ZEC tried to play goodie goodie by getting the Nomination Court to accept the fresh but late and thus illegal nomination papers that had been corrected late by Harare, well after the Court had closed.
The decision by the Bulawayo High Court to nullify the nomination of the 12 CCC candidates has exposed the damaging cracks in Advocate Chamisa’s ‘strategic ambiguity” approach, which has badly boomeranged on him, on CCC and on ZEC. Now the chickens are coming home to roost and the only responsible thing for Advocate Chamisa and CCC to do is to lie on the bed that they made for themselves, without recklessly and irresponsibly using Matabeleland as cannon fodder for a fight that has absolutely nothing to do with the region!