Hopewell Chin’ono Blames Chamisa for Electoral Defeat: A Dissected Perspective

Chamisa and Hopewell Chin'ono
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Hopewell Chin’ono, erstwhile ally to CCC leader Nelson Chamisa, asserts that Zimbabwe’s claim to democracy is a complete fraud, positing expectation of fair elections as folly. Taunting Chamisa’s rhetorical penchant, he reminds readers of the claimed possession of a crocodile-rated anti-rigging vice grip. By overlooking the opposition’s local councils dominance—an outcome born of democracy—the assessment confines itself to hyperbole.

via Kukurigo Editorials

Indeed, such a stringent democratic criterion would yield surprising exclusions, banishing even the United States whose FBI conspired to manipulate media coverage during the 2020 elections.

Chin’ono’s stance that the opposition shares a measure of accountability for electoral results is both counterintuitive and insightful. It marks a refreshing move towards more nuanced political discourse. Inflammatory barbs, which threaten incumbents with jail, certainly contribute to the existing intolerant political climate. Such rhetoric has distorted democracy, transmogrifying it from a procedural convention to a dangerous high-stakes existential battle.

On electoral readiness, Chin’ono reproaches Chamisa for dishonest assurances, particularly on election agents—similar claims to 2018 which also emerged false. It takes little imagination to picture the extent of mischief enjoyed without hindrance thanks to such negligence. Chin’ono’s disservice is in limiting his observations to electoral affairs.

It’s perplexing that Chamisa, who professes ICT mastery, has not introduced e-procurement systems to enhance fiscal efficiency in local authorities. What we witness here are administrative shortcomings extending beyond electoral matters. The alternative notion—that he is inept at local governance but miraculously proficient at running a central government—is utterly preposterous.

Chin’ono’s grim panorama of Zimbabwe’s socio-economic malaise astutely notes that these issues reach beyond electoral politics. However, he glaringly omits two pivotal cultural elements exacerbating Zimbabwe’s inertia: ‘shaisano,’ a spiteful brand of politics, and an innate tilt towards authoritarianism. These aren’t idiosyncratic of any specific political faction; rather, they are ingrained cultural quandaries that warrant earnest scrutiny.

The opposition’s oscillating stance on sanctions—vehemently calling for their repeal during their tenure in the GNU government, only to later trivialise their effects—is a vivid illustration of ‘shaisano.’ Chamisa’s invocation of the perilous notion “kudira jecha musadza” after his 2018 electoral loss epitomises this. It signifies a willingness to endanger public welfare for political gain, sowing discord to secure protest votes.

The startling exchange rate fluctuations as the election loomed seem to epitomise “kudira jecha,” ostensibly designed to agitate and sway public sentiment. Indeed, no other economic indicator experienced such a dramatic surge, only to mysteriously recede. Likely sparked by a sudden infusion into the parallel market at charitable rates to generate artificial demand, such manoeuvres spotlight the ethical boundaries politicians are prepared to breach in their quest for power, frequently to the detriment of the very populace they profess to represent.

Chin’ono lambasts Chamisa’s governance of the CCC via an opaque nexus of associates, having jettisoned the original leadership structure. The influence wielded by Fadzayi Mahere over his choices—convincing him to even adopt the yellow hue from her ill-fated 2018 independent run—is bewildering. Chamisa’s reluctance to establish transparent leadership and party constitution, and his eschewal of primary elections in favour of an easily manipulated ill-defined procedure, reveal a mindset that regards democracy as more a hindrance than a virtue. Alarmingly, this stance is endorsed by a populace that claims to yearn for democratic governance.

The murky currents of this cultural affliction are indiscriminate of race. David Coltart secured the nomination despite a woeful showing, landing as the least favoured contender. Questioned by a probing journalist, Coltart haughtily branded him a fool. A glaring contradiction emerges: why is it deemed an injustice when Chamisa is snookered by Zanu PF, yet considered fair game when he and Coltart elbow out the rightful victor of a local authority election? The incongruity reveals an insincere application of principles.

Chin’ono’s critique ultimately falls short of the nuance demanded by a complex predicament. Our greatest challenge is systemic, rooted in ingrained negative cultural norms expressing themselves variously. The pivotal question for all Zimbabweans is not just “What comes next?” but “How do we confront the deeper issues that have led us to this juncture?”