MDC-T Secretary-General Douglas Mwonzora has been labelled as an opportunist by MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa’s supporters on Whatsapp, Twitter and Facebook platforms but nobody has ever tried to define or explain what is meant by the word opportunist.
In this article I will define and explain what is meant by the word opportunist and expose who the real opportunistic politician is between Chamisa and Mwonzora.
An internet definition of the word opportunist is “a person who takes advantage of the opportunities as and when they arise, regardless of planning or principles.” For example, we can say “most burglaries are committed by casual opportunists.”
Now let’s see if Mwonzora fits into the above definitions and descriptions. Mwonzora did not bend any rule or principle in order for him to be the current Secretary General of the MDC party.
He was elected at the 2014 Congress and after the disagreements which happened soon after the death of Tsvangirai ,the Supreme Court ruled that Chamisa was illegitimately promoted to the helm of the MDC party and ordered the party to revert to the 2014 structures.
Mwonzora instead of being described as an opportunist is infact the opposite. He is a law abiding man, respects the rules of his party and respect the national laws and abides by court rulings. He is not an opportunist.
One of the arguments given by the Nerorist camp for refusal to comply with the Supreme Court ruling is ‘Chamisa is loved by the majority and therefore he is our best foot forward’ . Whether this is true or not I don’t like to get into it today but even if it’s true we would have placed expediency above principle.
According to the MDC Constitution, Thokozani Khupe was supposed to be the Acting President soon after the death of Tsvangirai but Chamisa and those surrounding him used the opportunity to grab power through unethical means. They exploited the opportunity to achieve their selfish ends.
Even if Chamisa will be able to meintain his so called popularity and goes on to win elections in 2023, the methods which he used to gain the presidency of the party created a negative image for himself. Because of the illegitimate methods which he used to ascend to his current post, people now view him as insensitive, unkind, ruthless, harsh, inhuman,callous, brutal, cruel, cold-blooded, merciless, uncaring, cold-hearted ,hard ,hard-boiled, obdurate, pitiless, savage, thick-skinned and unemotional.
Engineer Mudzuri once said the Supreme Court gave the MDC family an opportunity to unite. Remember, the MDC had two factions. One led by Chamisa and another led by Khupe. The Supreme Court ruled that both factions must revert to 2014 structures and go for an extra ordinary Congress to elect a single leader.
It was an opportunity to unite both Chamisa and Khupe supporters to form a single formidable MDC party but Chamisa due to his selfshness saw that the Supreme Court ruling reduced him to a mere Officer for policy and research, refused the unity and chose to escalate the divisions within the MDC in order to satisfy his own selfish egos. He is not for the people but he is after his own advantages and opportunities.
Chamisa made a mistake of being swayed by praises from his ignorant supporters. They told him that he was a brand. They told him that he was much popular than his party the MDC .
They told him that even if he forms a new party they will follow him and continue to support him and therefore, even though he knew that it was good to respect the MDC Constitution and the courts he was swayed by his seemingly popular support and forgot that he was doomed in the end if he disregards principles.
Today I was reading The Big Saturday read by the learned scholar Alex Magaisa in which he is advising Chamisa to find a new name for his party and discard the name MDC Alliance completely.
My learned scholar suggested that reasons for discarding the name MDC Alliance was that the name MDC is now tainted and that it’s nolonger a good brand.
I agree that Chamisa must find a new name for his new party because he no longer represents the principles of the MDC party which was formed in 1999 and that he has tainted the image of the MDC party by his opportunistic tendencies which has further divided the party.
I would like to partially agree that Chamisa had grown bigger than his institution that his departure from the MDC is a good riddance which was long overdue.
- Etiwel Mutero is a political analyst, an author and an archivist.