Demagogues are blessed with oratory skills that piece the heart and mind but on closer analysis they say nothing unique and do not even believe in their pronouncements.
By Jackson Muzivi
Honourable Advocate Pastor Nelson Chamisa MP and self-imposed Movement for Democratic Change Acting President, wants to add, His Excellency Head of State, Commander in Chief of the Defense Forces, Chancellor of Universities to his already long title.
It will surely present our news readers a tongue twister.
An orator par excellence, suave and eloquent yet a dangerously secretive and predatory opportunist with no morals and a huge ego and insatiable desire for power he is in a centre of a storm over the leadership of the main opposition party in Zimbabwe.
For him leadership of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDCT) is the ultimate political achievement of his political life.
And he can be excused for holding that because he was there when it was formed, he endured the wrath of the vicious ruling ZANU PF Party and survived a vicious life threatening attack from State Sponsored thugs at the Harare International Airport and numerous other skirmishes with Zanu PF youths and big wigs alike
The MDC stood by him and sympathised with him. Not even his disorganisation of the party leading to the 2013 disaster of a stolen election under his watch and association with rebellions in the party was enough to distance him from power within the party
He was simply loved and liked by the iconic party leader the late Morgan Richard Tsvangirai and he paid back with loyalty even when odds were stacked against his political future.
He not only feigned support for Welshman Ncube’s 2005 breakaway only to recoil and remain with Tsvangirai when we all expected he would join the rebels.
Elton Mangoma and Tendai Biti enlisted his support for the Mandel Coup having failed to learn from the youthful master of words’ last minute ditching of Welshman Ncube and company in 2005
And of course the result was the same.
He ditched them and positioned himself for ascendance to the coveted Secretary General’s position having previously elbowed Elias Mudzuri from the Organising Secretary position accusing him of having failed to organise the party for a 2008 power takeover after a landslide victory at the polls
A hallmark of the demagogue is that he/she will whip emotions and raise them to a point of no return but will be nowhere near the action when it takes off
Chamisa’s 2005, 2008 and 2014 actions are instructive. He duped Biti/Mangoma and rebels company the same way he duped Welshman and his rebellious crew of 2005. He elbowed out Mudzuri after an elections victory but instead of taking responsibility for the 2013 electoral failures he actually fooled Biti and Mangoma to leave in his place and then pounced on the vacant SG post.
Unfortunately for him the party had matured and did not feel he was ready to be rewarded for failure and despite being nominated by 11 of the 12 provinces for the cherished SG position he went on to lose to current SG Douglas Mwonzora.
Welshman Ncube and Tendai Biti have not forgotten what he did to them and are patiently waiting for his payback.
But blinded by his quest for the MDC alliance Presidency Chamisa is too engrossed to realise that he is suspended in the air by his arch enemies.
He has all but forgotten that his political carrier was salvaged by Tsvangirai after that embarrassing Mutare defeat at the hands of Mwonzvora. He wants to get back at Mwonzora and all those who crafted his defeat and for him the MDC Alliance Presidency provide him the perfect launching pad to strike his perceived enemies.
Little does he realise that the anchor of the Alliance launching pad has been cut and the pilotless naval ship is floating into a Tsunami that will end his promising political career that has been carefully revived by the person on whose grave he is now urinating.
But then that his own grave to dig or not to. Mine is simply to alert him that should he dig further the shovels are ready to bury him in it.
Generational demagoguery will not save him either. What generation is Chamisa. In Presidential elections there are basically two generations defined in our constitution. The qualified 40 plus and the unqualified 39 and under. Obviously Chamisa falls in the later and cannot convince anyone that he represents the 39 and under generational interests
The 39 and under generation can only support the aspirations of the 40 and over generation and their choice does not guarantee anything for them.
The demagoguery of endorsements is equally lethargic and does not wash. The MDC has a live Constitution that cannot be tempered with posthumously to Tsvangirai. It has to be followed in letter and spirit. The current MDC Deputy President is Dr Thokozani Khupe and she is the undisputed constitutional interim heir of the MDCT presidency. Any attempt to change that other than at Congress is an exercise in futility if you ask me.
At Congress any member in good standing can seek nomination and contest the vacant Presidency. Tat is the democratic route to succession not the endorsement route.
Clause 9(20) of the MDCT constitution is tacit and unambiguous in this regard. In the event of the absence death or resignation of the party President the Deputy President not Vice President shall take over the reins and lead the party towards a congress within 12 months.
In the current circumstance where a general election looms it would be foolhardy for the Deputy President to delay the convening of Congress prior to the election in an attempt to contest in an acting capacity.
Regardless of the challenges the party faces it is imperative that it holds and chooses a substantive President within no more than 30 days of laying its departed president to rest.
Limited campaign period need not worry the elected as he/she will ride not just on the popularity of the brand and its departed main ambassador but also on the sympathy vote of those who share in his deprivation.
The demagoguery of entitlement does not wash either. Any member can contest and win the party presidency contest regardless of rank in party structures.
Chamisa obviously believes being the top interim boss he can manipulate structures to rig elections in his favour. He is fooling himself. The structures he inherits are the same that rejected his SG bd in 2014 and he will not be allowed to temper with them.
Further to that Chamisa appears to be in a hurry to cover up numerous accusations of divided loyalty, petulance and immature approach to politics among which are:-
1. Yet to be explained links to the Zanu PF Junta/Dynasty and now Lacoste regimes. Many believe he is severely compromised by his dealings with Gushungo dairies, secretive closeness to Lacoste where he has been offered the Prime Minister’s position after 2018 elections as long as he leads the opposition to a repeat 2013 annihilation of the party by whatever means.
2. Open and shameless lies about his anointment to lead the party through non-existent and fraudulent pronouncements of his lapdog and Presidential spokesman Luke Tamborenyoka. The lies are particularly nauseating as they include him claiming not just false anointment but also international relations gaffes and involvement in events where he was never with the late President as well as conniving with the late President of the MDCT’s wife to delay his external visit for medication. The events around the Diplomatic passport are a case in point. Add to that, allegations that the wife has been living separately from the deceased and entertaining the Chamisa brigade to deny him treatment
3. The allegations of dishonesty and daylight witchcraft in denying a patient treatment and then attempting to visit him on his deathbed and claims of successful covet conversations with hospital staff by his accomplices like Luke Tamberinyoka and Chalton Hwende do not make matters any better for Chamisa. And for Chamisa to then lead an unconstitutional National Council meeting into a meeting to endorse him as the substantive leader within hours of the death of his former boss is just insensitive and totally out of sync with custom and practice. Custodians of culture will be excused to refuse to be associated with a politician who trashes their core beliefs in the name of generational power play.
4. How does Chamisa and his coterie explain allegations that the late President’s wife paid him a visit while the sick husband was literally on his last breath. How does he explain his clashes with Mbuya Tsvangirai?
5. Why does Chamisa accept a position when he grandstands that the alliance is not about positions but rather sevice.
After all has been said and done the MDCT has a lot to answer to the electorate at large about the conduct of its generational fighter and his embarrassing acts ever since Tsvangirai fell ill until his death and burial.