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Despotism is Chamisa’s Achilles heel
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Despotism is Chamisa’s Achilles heel

Nelson Chamisa

Zim Now writer

Did Douglas Mwonzora outfox Nelson Chamisa when he seized control MDC Alliance, or did he hoodwink him?

This is a critical question, considering the fact that Chamisa continues to be outwitted by his rivals through the same tactics. His Achilles heel is his frequent disregard of democratic processes and principles, which are supposed to be the maxim of alternative politics in Zimbabwe.

The fact of the matter is that the MDC Alliance did not go to Congress, and Chamisa’s appointment as president was unconstitutional and illegal, hence the court order, which confirmed that he was usurping power. The aggrieved Thokozani Khupe was the elected vice president of the MDC Alliance when Morgan Tsvangirai died, and henceforth was entitled to be the acting president of the pary.

The shenanigans and conflicts within the MDC may be closed chapters. However, the current Citizens Coalition for Change fissures and infightings are reminiscent of the previous MDC fights.

What is now apparent is that the CCC, which was masquerading as a new political outfit, is the same old MDC plagued with undemocratic practices, selfish interests and lack of political acumen to lead the people.

Since its formation in January 2022, CCC did not institute any leadership structure. Chamisa centralised all the power unto himself through what he termed the “strategic ambiguity”. Through this strategy, he sidelined senior opposition officials like Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube and Thokozani Khupe, who retaliated by creating Sengezo Tshabangu.

Arguing that his plan was to resolve the internal problems that arose in the chaotic nomination process before the 2023 harmonised general elections, Tshabangu successfully undermined Chamisa’s power, claiming he was the interim secretary-general of the party before he recalled more than 70 party MPs and over 60 councillors.

While Chamisa and his factions are still challenging Tshabangu’s actions, claiming he is an imposter, the damage has already been done. The first batch of by-elections was held in December last year, while the second will be conducted on February 3 next month.

‘Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice can’t put the blame on you,’ as Chamisa flaunts formation for new political party

With Chamisa hinting on the formation of a new party, the Democratic Alternative in Zimbabwe, with blue colours, the fear is that this is likely to be the change of colours without changes in values and principles which he failed to implement during his time in the MDC.

What is the point of changing names without changing behaviour and character?

Chamisa is like a chameleon pretending to be a rainbow. He is still using the same template, a cold-blooded system where power is centered on one person, Chamisa.

It seems like he is comfortable being an opposition leader.

Unfortunately, the opposition does not have the stomach or political will to increase democratic consciousness within the society.

Opposition politicians are more focused on getting citizens' validation as the authentic alternative without doing the necessary procedures and processes that demonstrate or prove they are.

There is a need to continue increasing democratic consciousness in society, particularly inculcating and nurturing a culture of demanding and enforcing accountability in opposition political parties just as they do with the ruling party and government.

The Job Sikhala issue

Job Sikhala has now clocked more than a year-and-a-half incarcerated at Chikurubi Maximum Prison for what he claims to be politically-motivated allegations. He is accused, among other charges, of inciting people to demonstrate against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.

He is literally a political prisoner. The longer he stays in prison, the more forgotten he becomes. His situation needs to be attended to politically.

While Chamisa is comfortable to dialogue with Mnangagwa on the issue of power, the opposition leader is seemingly not ready to engage authorities on Sikhala matter.

He hardly talks about the former legislator, and neither does he condemn his detention.

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