By Brutally Honest
MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has said he can now “smell” the State House, indicating that he believes he has come very far and is now close to taking over power from Zanu-PF’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“Our final destination is the State House and the State House is within our reach. We will get there because we have been in the struggle for too long,” he told supporters mourning a fallen party MP.
It’s hard to tell whether the utterances were calculated to scare ED or to restore the faltering hope of many MDC Alliance cadres who have sacrificed everything from careers to resources for the democratic cause. Whatever Chamisa’s desired goal with that statement, he has once more exposed himself as a terribly bad commander who worries only about his personal dream and cares little about everyone else around him.
On the night Chamisa dreamt of the State House, his rivals Thokozani Khupe and Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC-T were recalling eleven MDC Alliance Councillors from the City of Harare. This immediately leaves Chamisa without control of his biggest and most influential local authority. Chamisa’s State House dream also came as his most vocal and potent ally, Job Sikhala, struggled to get bailed out of serious charges at the courts. The High Court reserved judgement on the bail matter, leaving Sikhala in prison and Chamisa without a key ally. But to Chamisa, all that is little stuff compared to his dream…
Under Chamisa’s short and shortsighted leadership, the MDC Alliance has lost several by-elections to Zanu-PF. He has lost party headquarters and party assets and continues losing elected MPs and Councillors to Khupe and Mwonzora who they continue to underrate.
Party cadres who have chosen to side with Chamisa in the opposition factional battles continue to sacrifice their political careers, sources of income and personal safety for the party, but Chamisa’s eyes are too busy eyeing the State House to care.
A good commander does not leave any of his cadres behind, injured or dead. Yet Chamisa openly dissociated his political project from the late Morgan Tsvangirai, and ignores the plight of his living allies: Sikhala and the recalled officials who are sacrificing for him and the party. But are we surprised?
It has always been Chamisa’s character to focus on himself and his dream and render everybody else an expendable accessory. During the 2018 presidential elections petition hearing, Chamisa openly said he was contesting the presidential results only and was accepting that his colleagues lost to Zanu-PF in the parliamentary and local ward elections. Such logic is, to say the least, astounding.
On 15 August 2019, Chamisa in a live video urged his supporters to go and join him the following morning on the streets for an anti-Government protest which the courts had barred. The next day, Chamisa was nowhere near Harare CBD as police tear gas and rubber bullets rained on supporters who had heeded his call. He in fact later on said he was at a prayer session on the rocky outcrops of Domboshava.
As the #July31 protests gathered momentum this year, Chamisa characteristically chickened out and took leave from office. Party cadres who pushed the protests online to the bitter end, such as Sikhala, have since been arrested. Chamisa, now conveniently back from the leave, enjoys warm blankets in this cold weather and dreams of the State House.
Is it because Chamisa fears that Job Sikhala is becoming the brightest bulb in opposition politics?
The truth is, Chamisa is too chicken to fight Zanu-PF, and too treacherous to be trusted with power. He is full of charisma but lacks the essential political gamesmanship and stamina to fight for State power. He is a divisive character who cannot rally his troops to fight as a unit. His divisiveness and imposition of candidates has given Zanu-PF seats in urban Bulawayo – something that would have not happened under a more democratic and astute leader such as Tsvangirai.
Well, it surely makes good news headlines to hear that Chamisa can now “smell” the State House’s lush-green, well-manicured lawns. It excites supporters and keeps them hoping, while improving traffic on news websites especially on uneventful days like these.
But because of his divisiveness and lack of political sophistry, Chamisa will continue dreaming about the State House which he cannot have, will never have. Unless he changes tact real quick, the closest Chamisa will get to the State House is when he drives along Borrowdale Road on his way home from office.
Ouch! He no longer has an office in Harare CBD.
- Brutally Honest is a pen name for a Zimbabwe Voice writer.