- Chin'ono made his appeal to Chamisa on a public social media platform, attracting the ire of some MDC Alliance members who suspected he was trying to influence political dynamics and democratic processes within the opposition party while encouraging dangerous elitism.
By Mutsa Makuvaza
JOURNALIST Hopewell Chin’ono believes opposition MDC Alliance president Nelson Chamisa must do more to protect party spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere from party hawks who seem intent to muscle her out of the race for Mt Pleasant seat which she lost dismally in the 2018 elections.
Mahere joined the main opposition in 2019 after having lost her bid to be Mt. Pleasant MP. She came a distant third behind MDC Alliance candidate Samuel Banda who won the seat, and Zanu-PF candidate Jason Passade.
Chin’ono made his appeal to Chamisa on a public social media platform, attracting the ire of some MDC Alliance members who suspected he was trying to influence political dynamics and democratic processes within the opposition party while encouraging dangerous elitism.
“Dear Nelson Chamisa, the MDCA should protect its most valuable assets like Fadzayi Mahere. The ongoing attempts to attack her from within from a political fringe in the MDCA interested in the Mt Pleasant seat is not only detrimental to the MDCA, but to the struggle!” said Chin’ono.
“There should be a difference between MDC Alliance and ZANU-PF. The MDC Alliance should respect talent and not to become an old boy system!”
The comment drew heated reactions and many accused Chin’ono of attempting to bring elitism to the opposition party. Some said imposition of candidates and protection of certain politicians by the party leadership since the time of Morgan Tsvangirai had brought nothing but demise and splits within the MDC.
Said Antony Taruvinga: “Without even looking at the alleged fight for the said constituency, there is never a less valuable and a more valuable asset in the MDC Alliance. This is not journalism, its politics and those within the party understand the importance and equality of all in the membership. Political fights are everywhere, even in America, but the winner in the case of the said constituency, will be chosen in an internal election.”
Vimbai Mavherudze agreed that the idea of compartmentalizing party members as more valuable was problematic in the first place.
“Hopewell Chin’ono, In any struggle there can never be ‘most valuable’ and less valuable cadres. If we are to choose the most valuables it will be our rural communities whose children were maimed and houses burnt for the cause but they never sat in the VIP tent!
“Just to correct you there. Even though I do not know anything about the said fights and said Mount Pleasant seat. The struggle we have in Zimbabwe is to bring back nomalcy for humanity. Not for seats!”
Sensing he was coming under fierce attack from MDC Alliance supporters, Chin’ono changed tact and said those attacking him had misunderstood his message. He accused those criticizing him of lacking an education.
“That is when you see that our education system is terrible! This post never asked for Fadzai to be protected when contesting elections, it asked for valuable assets of the MDC Alliance to be protected from dirty politics of attacks in order to malign them!
“It said this is being done to push her out of the race for Mt Pleasant! Fadzayi doesn’t need to be protected to win Mt Pleasant, she lives there and is well liked there and in a free and fair election she will win!” he said.
This is despite that Mahere lost not only to the MDC Alliance candidate in 2018, but also to a Zanu-PF candidate and by a wide margin. Out of 19800 voters in 2018, only 4300 voted for Mahere while just below half of them voted for Banda, the MDC Alliance candidate. The rest were split between Zanu-PF, MDC-T, CODE and the NCA.
Chin’ono said MDC must not be fighting for positions at a time they were being attacked by Zanu-PF, but did not suggest how the party could fill vacant seats without political contestation.
“You can’t fight for positions in a party that is being decimated left, right and center!Fadzayi has spoken reason into the middle of chaos, and you are focused on elections which you have no control over!
“We are saying don’t attack your spokesperson who is busy articulating your issues, you should be supporting her!Nobody said you should protect her from competition, the fact that you keep talking about elections give away the fact that the people attacking her are doing so for positions!” said Chin’ono.
He added: “Fadzayi is one of the most competent politicians we have, we should applaud her for that, and not spend time on what negative, incompetent, power hungry politicians want us to believe!
“Some of us are fighting for more than change of persons, we are fighting for change of values and systems!
“Fadzi haasvibe because I have said the truth, that language is very ZANUPF and backward!
“We want honest and competent politicians and not a boys club of crooked politicians!
“My whole life has been about fighting for competence, it is not accidental that I have been Africa’s top journalist twice in my career! I want the best to run this country and they shouldn’t be attacked by mediocrity.” ■