Time to just ignore Chamisa?

Published: 28 November 2018
MDC Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa is a childish political clown with an inflated ego. We think he takes himself too seriously yet he is a nonentity. He sees himself as an intelligent, eloquent speaker but serious people know that he is only a redundant speaker, who speaks as many used to do during high school debates, deploying cheap rhymes and big words where simple ones would have communicated a message more effectively. In his opinion, he has the country under his feet; it is only he who has a mind.

We saw this during his campaign for the July 30 presidential elections which he lost convincingly. He promised many impossibles, issued huge threats including that he would make the country ungovernable if he lost the elections. He was defeated but instead of conceding, he approached the Constitutional Court.

Armed with absolutely no primary evidence to back his claim of vote rigging but a loud mouth, Mr Chamisa predictably lost the case. This has not deterred him as he is continuing on the adversarial path.

On Thursday, his MPs - fortunately they are a mere handful - attempted to cause chaos in Parliament by refusing to acknowledge the presence of President Mnangagwa. They were promptly flushed out and the business of Parliament continued.

Mr Chamisa renewed his unfounded election victory allegation on Monday when speaking at the Motlanthe Commission of Inquiry into the August 1 violence that he triggered through his incendiary rhetoric. Furthermore, his party plans to stage a demonstration tomorrow to demand negotiations for what he says is a "transitional authority" to "move the country forward," yet on July 30, millions of Zimbabweans voted for Zanu-PF.

Just how would Zanu-PF forge a national consensus with an opposition party that behaves like this? It is clear that Mr Chamisa is still trapped in the old politics of simply fighting for the sake of fighting.

He is spurning President Mnangagwa's consistent calls for national unity regardless of political differences. The President has introduced a new brand of politics that seeks a consensus to the running of government, tolerance and oneness. It is for this reason that he has proposed to create the office of the leader of the opposition.

President Mnangagwa is so serious about creating the office that he has openly spoken about it, even during his meetings with world leaders such as the one he held with United Kingdom Minister of State for Africa Harriett Baldwin at the UN headquarters in September.

Of course, that office is not meant for Mr Chamisa per se, but any political leader whose party happens to be the biggest opposition party in the country. It can be Mr Chamisa occupying the office; it can be Mr Douglas Mwonzora or Mr Egypt Dzinemunhenzwa. However, if that office is created today, the MDC leader would occupy it.

In his quest to ease tensions, President Mnangagwa's administration has opened up the democratic space that has seen more people speaking their minds and MDC Alliance demonstrating multiple times with no police interference. In the old dispensation provocative demonstrations such as the one planned for tomorrow would have been banned or, if they happened, would have been crushed.

We are watching with keen interest how the Government would proceed in operationalising the leader of the opposition proposal but we don't think it would be too wrong, seeing the kind of leader of the opposition we have now, to delay setting up the office for a while. We don't think there is anyone who deserves that honour yet.

Also, Zimbabwe cannot be railroaded by an election loser, just because he talks too much and is good at issuing threats. Mr Chamisa doesn't have the numbers in the House to stop the running of Government anyway. He does not have the strength even outside Parliament to force Zanu-PF into any settlement.

In any case, if indeed, it was true that the Zanu-PF Government is illegitimate, why does Mr Chamisa think it makes sense for him to demand talks with an illegitimate authority? Our advice to him is that before he gets the office he craves so much but pretends not to like, Mr Chamisa has to respect the will of the people as expressed in the democratic July 30 election and endorsed by the ConCourt on August 24.

A member of the Motlanthe Commission, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, told him exactly that on Monday.

"You would agree that the harmony in any country depends on acceptance and respect of the separation of powers between the executive, legislature and judiciary," said Chief Anyaoku.

"The country works best when that separation of power is respected. In that context, I would have thought that you agree that the pronouncement of the highest court should be accepted and respected by everyone. The point you made about dialogue can take place and should take place but all within the context of the accepted ConCourt pronouncement."

Mr Chamisa is incapable of seeing the wisdom in these remarks.

Be that as it may, the time may have come for him to be shown who actually is in charge. And to simply ignore him.
- the herald
Tags: Chamisa,


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