Dr Mavaza CornerPolitics

REVEALED: What Chamisa gained at Hichilema’s inauguration

Dr Masimba Mavaza

The word inauguration stems from the Latin augur, which refers to the rituals of ancient Roman priests seeking to interpret if it was the will of the gods for a public official to be deemed worthy to assume office.

Most Presidents use their Inaugural address to present their vision of their party and to set forth their goals for the nation. It is not what happened in the speech but what has been achieved after the speech.

As one president’s term ends and another begins, there is a ceremony. Its importance is one of symbolism rather than substance. It then surprises all how Chamisa and the MDC supporters write books about the invitation to an inauguration of the Zambian President H Hachilema. It is the case of a transfer of power. There is no mention of an inauguration as a political pointer to situations in neighbouring countries.

Inauguration is just a ritual and by definition, ritual acts have no direct effect on the world. A ceremonial event is one that symbolically affirms something that happens by other, more direct means. In this case, the election – not the inauguration – makes the president, although an oath is required before exercising his power.

Nonetheless, ceremonies matter and during ceremonies many people are invited all walks of life including the kings and servants. This includes the sitting President’s and sitting servants. Everybody and nobody is invited to the ceremony. So can the recent history of inaugurations: HH is the seventh president of Zambia meaning seven inaugurations have been done in Zambia’s presidential lives or slightly more since President’s are inaugurated each time they resume a new term.

HH’s inauguration was attended by a record-setting crowd, even as everyone’s eyes saw otherwise. Chamisa and his MDC supporters saw the size of the attendance as a measure of their legitimacy.

Chamisa’s excitement with celebrations next door exposed his immaturity and the naivety of the MDC supporters. Throughout history, all human societies have used rituals to mark major events and transitions: personal landmarks like birthdays and weddings, group accomplishments such as graduations, and government transitions of power.

Those ceremonies send signals that command our attention and strengthen the perceived importance of those moments.
Ritual actions involve formality, precision and repetition. A priest must wear a special garment; a prayer must be uttered word for word; and a mantra might be recited 108 times.

These features make rituals appear similar to more goal-directed actions: A judge banging a gavel resembles a carpenter hammering a nail. Due to these similarities, our brains assign those acts actual power. Our minds unconsciously tied the arbitrary actions preceding the inauguration with their expectations for the outcome.

Nelson Chamisa made this inauguration appear as a victory for MDC. He showed that he is a man who loves attention. One writer wrote that: “If Nelson Chamisa had received a written and formal invite, we would have never heard the end of it. The invite would have gone viral, with Ruhanya and Hopewell in overdrive, exploiting every second of it for propaganda purposes. They would have made it a dry run of Chamisa’s future inauguration, and put him up there with heads of state, to put the icing on their imaginary cake.”

True to this there is no value added to Chamisa’s party by attending the inauguration. President MNANGAGWA attended because he was invited and he has strong attachment to Zambia.

“The fuss and the excitement was just ridiculous and sadly derived from fancies divorced from complex and ignored realties, worlds apart from those of Zambia.”Its like Zimbabweans are celebrating that it snowed in New York on December 25 and they are going to have a white Christmas. Then we go on to put on our winter wear and build make believe snowmen,“ continued another writer.

Inaugurations started far back as the beginning of organised societies and cultures. Headmen chiefs and even kings would be inaugurated.

The first inauguration of a president of the United States, George Washington, happened in New York City on April 30, 1789.

Throughout history, all human societies have used rituals to mark major events and transitions: personal landmarks like birthdays and weddings, group accomplishments such as graduations, and government transitions of power.

Those ceremonies send signals that command our attention and strengthen the perceived importance of those moments.
Collective rituals carry the weight of tradition, which gives them an aura of historical continuity and legitimacy. Even though they do change from time to time, they are often perceived as unchanged and unchangeable.
Without appealing to the people of Zimbabwe this Zambian moment Chamisa experienced will remain a dream.

Chamisa must learn from Lungu. We must remember that Hachilema never took defeat lying down. He petitioned the court when he lost to Lungu before. The UPND’s ‘unsuccessful’ petition and court losses
The opposition UPND went to court with a petition challenging Lungu’s reelection.

According to them, the elections were rigged by the ruling party in collusion with the ECZ. This is the familiar cry of the losing candidate but Lungu accepted defeat. The inauguration was supposed to honour Lungu for letting go and teach Chamisa that when you lose do not go all over vilifying your country. Zambia is not asking for sanctions against Zambia.

You can not request sanctions against yourself. Lungu is not singing illegitimacy despite the booing Zambian opposition has shown some little Marty rift which is not found in the MDC.

In government and politics, inauguration is the process of swearing a person into office and thus making that person the incumbent. Such an inauguration commonly occurs through a formal ceremony or special event, which may also include an inaugural address by the new official.

This does not reflect on the electoral system of a neighbouring government.
Public ceremonies like inaugurations are wrapped in pageantry. They involve music, banners, speeches and more – the more important the moment, the more extravagant the ceremony.

This does not mean that being invited means that you will become a president. Furthermore inviting an opposition leader does not mean it’s a prophecy of him being a president. When we attend a ritual loaded with splendor, it is as if a little voice inside our brain is telling us: “Pay attention, because something important and meaningful is happening.”

The only provision in the Constitution is that the new president must be sworn in.
The exuberance and theatricality transforms what could be a mundane, ordinary moment into something memorable and noteworthy.
Ceremonies speak directly to some of our basic instincts, triggering intuitions about their efficacy, symbolism and importance. Human institutions have adapted to reflect – and harness – those instincts to strengthen the perceived importance of our social institutions and the unity of civil society.

This is, in fact, why heads of state who are not popularly elected tend to hold more flamboyant public ceremonies than their democratically chosen counterparts. Even in countries where kings and queens are powerless, their enthronements are celebrated with far more splendor than the inaugurations of elected leaders.

The MDC has always enjoyed magnifying things and belittling Zimbabwe. They forget the words of Robert Louis Stevenson
“The good you put out into the world will return to you in an abundance. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

In as much as you can donate, also strive at making a difference. A donation is short lived but making a difference is self sustaining. Leadership is the art of making long lasting contributions to the world. Life is made more by what we give than what we get.

“At the end it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.
In addition to foraging for food, building the nest and taking care of their offspring, the hardworking ant continues to give her all for the good of all. What are you doing for the good of Zimbabwe? What are you doing for the betterment of your country, or community?

Are you an asset or a liability?
Instead of celebrating the Zambian inauguration, lift up the name of Zimbabwe.
Raise our flag high.

The Zambian inauguration has come and gone and nothing has changed for the MDC and everything has changed for Zimbabwe.


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