Maybe we’re too busy laughing to see it. Perhaps it’s the jokes and names that Nelson Chamisa generates in abundance, the gift that keeps on giving, that blinds us to a chilling fact that we’d rather not face. Put simply, the leader of the opposition Chamisa is behaving like an authoritarian dictator, one who threatens democracy in his own party and far beyond.
MDC A is at the verge of dividing itself as Chamisa uses unscrupulous methods to control the party and elbow those who are his seniors. The need to control the party has shown Chamisa’s dictatorial tendencies.
In Short Chamisa has turned to be an authoritarian as to induce fear to the future of democracy in Zimbabwe.
Authoritarianism, principle of blind submission to authority, as opposed to individual freedom of thought and action. In a party and government. authoritarianism denotes any political system that concentrates power in the hands of a leader or a small elite that is not constitutionally responsible to the body of the people. Authoritarian leaders often exercise power arbitrarily and without regard to existing bodies of law, and they usually cannot be replaced by members choosing freely among various competitors in elections. The freedom to create or develop leaders or other alternative political avenues with which to compete for power with the ruling group is either limited or nonexistent in authoritarian regimes. Chamisa has behaved in a way which now threatens the very existence of MDC A. When Chamisa tok over power through NEC which he has turned to be an elite club vested with all dirty tricks. People believed that there will be more fresh air of democracy and correct Tsvangirai’s mistakes. But Chamisa adopted Tsvangirai’s treachery adding it to his authoritarian culture to create a corrupt power hungry outfit.
Once one dictator leaves power the one who takes over will find ways of gaining more powers to surpass his predecessor. The elite infighting can lead to violent repression typically jockey for more power. What keeps political ambitions in check during periods of transition is transparency but this was never used by Chamisa. No clear rules of succession in place that keep leadership changed orderly are beneficially for current and future dictators.
Authoritarianism, principle of blind submission to authority, as opposed to individual freedom of thought and action. authoritarianism denotes any political system that concentrates power in the hands of a leader or a small elite that is not constitutionally responsible to the body of the people. Authoritarian leaders often exercise power arbitrarily and without regard to existing bodies of law, and they usually cannot be replaced by citizens choosing freely among various competitors in elections. The freedom to hold a different view or other alternative political groupings with which to compete for power within MDC is either limited or nonexistent. Chamisa has made strange appointments to surround himself with his bootlickers.
Chamisa took Advocate Mahere from outside the structures of the party. He sprung her to the elite National Executive Council disregarding standing orders within the MDC. MAHERE has a serious problem of superiority complex and she will pose a great danger to the MDC very soon. The appointment of Mahere has made a number of those who had some respect of Chamisa to doubt him.
Chamisa has made NEC to be an elite club which decides who enters the elevated status or not. He has further used the NEC to be his tool to discipline silence and literally to eliminate any one who poses a threat to his ill gotten power.
Chamisa’s Authoritarianism thus stands in fundamental contrast to democracy. It also differs from totalitarianism, however, since authoritarian leadership usually have no highly developed guiding ideology, tolerate some pluralism in social organization, lack the power to mobilize the entire party membership in pursuit of democratic goals, and exercise power within relatively predictable limits. Chamisa has transformed MDC from a Democratic Party to a monster self centred outfit.
MDC has clashed with every councillor summarily firing any who dared challenge Chamisa. He fired Mayors for performing their civic duties and crushed any descending voice.
Chamisa orchestrated a plan to retire fire or force all old guards so that he will not have any opposition within his ranks. He was so scared of Douglas Mwonzora who is far more senior than him such that he organised gangs of thugs to intimidate assault and maliciously damage Mwonzora’s property to force him into submission. Mwonzora received several death threats and intimidating letters from Hwende and Komichi , fortunately for Mwonzora he remained cool.
In his agenda to throw away senior members like Engineer Mudzuri , Chamisa made the ground hostile for all senior members to force them to resign. He made the situation conducive for a constructive dismissal case.
Old timers like Warship Dumba Orbert Gutu Misihairabwi and many more where chased out of MDC simply because they had a different opinion from that of Chamisa and his puppets.
Chamisa brought back Biti Job Sikhala and all those who had been chased away by Tsvangirai. He tried to create a fence around him and appealing to the youth he disregarded what the party stood for.
The admonishing of Vincent Tsvangirai threatening him with a suspension lifted Chamisa’s dictatorship to another level. He has shown no regard to women and he reduced his wife in front of the nation by snatching the microphone from her and asking her to keep quite.
Chamisa displayed in front of the nation that he suffers from low self esteem hence his war against his senior Mwonzora and Mudzuri. There are four kinds of democratic evaluation criteria (i) Structuring competition and engagement. The party system should provide members with a framework for simplifying and organising political ideas and discourses, providing coherent packages of policy proposals, so as to sustain vigorous and effective electoral competition between rival teams. People must be heard and not used.
Chamisa has failed to provide enduring brands, able to sustain the engagement and trust of most of his members over long periods. Because they endure through time, a party should behave responsibly, knowing that members can hold them effectively to account in future. Chamisa should help to recruit, socialise, select and promote talented individuals into elected public office, ranging from local council to national government levels. He must not be firing those councillors who are doing their work. He has never called any one to a hearing he simply fired them without due process.
Party groups inside elected legislatures (such as MPs or councillors), and elites and members in the party’s extra-parliamentary organisation, should help to sustain viable and accountable leadership teams. They should also be important channels for the scrutiny of public policies and the elected leadership’s conduct in office and behaviour in the public interest. They must not be intimidated gaged or indeed suspended for their views in Parliament.
The party system should be reasonably inclusive, covering a broad range of interests and views in civil society. Parties should not exclude or discriminate against people on the basis of gender, ethnicity or other characteristics. Members should be able to form and grow new ideas easily, without encountering onerous or artificial official barriers privileging existing, established or incumbent leadership. Chamisa has failed democracy and is firing warning shots that if he becomes President God forbid the nation will suffer three fold.
Party activities should be regulated independently by impartial officials and agencies, so as to prevent self-serving protection of existing incumbents.
MDC has destroyed Internal party democracy and transparency. Chamisa has inevitably accumulated discretionary political power in the exercise of his functions. This has created some members dependencies upon them and always has ‘oligopolistic’ effects in restricting political competition Leadership selection and the setting of main policies should operate democratically and transparently to members and other groupings inside the party. But MDC is Chamisa’s way or no way. Independent regulation should ensure that parties stick both to their rule books and to public interest practices. But in Chamisa’s world it’s always Chamisa and Chamisa only everybody else has no say in the party. Chamisa’s grip on MDC is viewed as brutal and ruthless where power is highly concentrated in the hands of a single individual.
When Chamisa took over the MDC albeit by force people hoped the shake-up in the old ways of doing business opens the door for shifts away from the status quo, and consequently creates possibilities for pro-democracy political reforms. But no it actually created a monster out of Chamisa.
Though some of his colleagues were willing to accept the slow pace of reform in they grew impatient and a rift soon developed between young reformers and the old guard wary of big changes. This divide set the stage for Chamisa taking over the party and dumping the Tsvangirai’s loyalists. He even removed Tsvangirayi’s portraits from Harvest House. This explains why Chamisa is finding ways of removing Vincent Tsvangirai. Granted that new elites recruited for the party will not always be more reform-oriented than the individuals they replaced, the disruption of traditional elite networks at least generates this opportunity.
MDC now is so engrossed in the internal fights and neglecting the real purpose of their formation. While they are busy consolidating power for Chamisa each and every bye election is lost to ZANU PF. CHAMISA’s greediness has costed MDC big time