Panganai Kahuni, Correspondent
According to Cambridge Advanced Learners’ Dictionary, “hallucination” means “seeing, hearing, feeling or smelling something which does not exist.”
When Morgan Tsvangirai was yelling in pain on a hospital bed in the last days of his dear life it seemed Nelson Chamisa was yearning to become the next MDC-T president and subsequently the State president of Zimbabwe. When the Lord God finally called Tsvangirai to join his ancestors, it seemed it was melodious music for the power hungry Chamisa, who immediately convened an MDC-T selected leadership meeting and was declared party president without going to congress as required by the opposition party’s constitution.
The statistical data that was given by Zec indicating that 60 percent of the registered voters were youths gave rise to Chamisa’s thinking that he already had gotten the mandate to become president. Chamisa himself, being a person in his 40s, became more excited even when the voter registration exercise had not been concluded. He heightened his hopes for becoming the next president using the 60 percent youth voter numbers as a yardstick.
Chamisa in a ham-fisted fashion started telling the nation that the elections could only be free and fair if he wins it. He even went on to prescribe himself as the presidential choice of the Zimbabwean people. What a verbal rigging strategy!
Fellow Zimbabweans, it can be argued from the events that unfolded after the demise of Tsvangirai that Chamisa became politically hallucinated. To buttress this argument Chamisa and the MDC-Alliance political gurus came up with a strategy of bussing people to political rallies as evidenced in the Murewa and Bulawayo rallies. This was a ploy to sway the voting public into thinking that Chamisa was a popular figure.
The other reason was the world would be made to believe that MDC-Alliance had the majority of supporters. This political hallucination was supported by the fact that the MDC-Alliance also adopted an early campaign strategy. Indeed this happened and some political novices started fronting Chamisa as the lead presidential candidate. This was at a time when the MDC-Alliance had no election manifesto.
The political hallucination failed to read the factional challenge that the MDC-T Khupe would launch on the MDC-Alliance. When it became evident that Khupe was going ahead to form her own party, Chamisa started to see his shortcomings and the weakness of his “bussing-the-people-to rallies” strategy.
It is important to note that the voting public is not only guided by one’s age or sex. The voters are motivated by how feasible the policies of a contestant are to them. Zimbabweans are largely mature and forward looking. They want to move on and build a better future for the country.
In the past, the MDC formations called for sanctions which largely affected the performance of the economy. On the other hand, Zanu-PF concentrated on factional politics leaving governance issues such as corruption to thrive. These two major political parties have a fair share of past ills that contributed to the demise of the economy.
However, both Chamisa as the leader of the MDC-Alliance and ED Mnangagwa as the leader of Zanu -PF cannot be judged by the ills of their former leaders or respective parties. The electorate are saying to Chamisa: How feasible are your spaghetti roads, homestead airports, bullet planes and trains?
How doable are such economic policies in the shortest possible time to get the economy out of the murky waters.
With the prevailing economic environment, Zimbabwe cannot manage such economic milestones which some developed countries do not have. Regarding ED’s re-engagement policy and the Zimbabwe is open for business mantra, it is clear that investment has started trickling in. Within seven months ED has also managed to improve the political landscape including freedom of speech and the right to carry out peaceful demonstrations.
Fellow Zimbabweans, ED and Zanu-PF have clearly demonstrated a shift from the past by embracing new politics and economics. ED and Zanu-PF have moved away from the former practice where politics and economics were separate – to a new era were they are inseparable. Zanu-PF is a resurrected party that is now practising the policy of tolerance. Chamisa and the MDC-Alliance are still stuck in the past, with sanctions as their trump card. They still believe in foreigners managing both our economy and policies. By going to America to call on the US government not to lift sanctions, they showed how unpatriotic they are. They don’t care about the harm sanctions caused our economy.
In addition to this, they continue to mount frivolous claims against Zec, an institution they took part to establish through Parliament.
Fellow citizens, it is shameful for the MDC – Alliance to continue mounting an avalanche of trivial complains in courts claiming that the courts and Zec are partial. One wonders why they launch complaints with the very same institutions they have no faith in. In MDC-Alliance’s mind set, no law is fair unless it is interpreted in their favour. No electoral process is fair unless it is done in the manner MDC-Alliance prescribes. No democracy exists unless it is practised as understood by the MDC-Alliance.
Urban voters must not be swayed by all this. While Zanu-PF is moving away from the ills of the past, MDC-Alliance is moving deep into the ills of the past.
Imagine their engagement in violent activities in Buhera and Bulawayo recently.
Fellow Zimbabweans, when a political party is guided by political hallucination it ceases to appreciate the fact that campaigning is what wins them the votes. It tends to concentrate on negatives rather than positives. It is difficult to ever think that the MDC-Alliance has lawyers who have legal experience and are capable of interpreting the law correctly. It therefore boggles the mind as to why such an institution, rich in legal minds, chooses to ham-fist itself in the way it carries out its political agenda. Their conduct is swaying all the votes in favour of Zanu-PF.
Fellow citizens, political hallucination coming from the MDC-Alliance is shocking. The accusations levelled against Zec by Chamisa after admitting that he took part in the commissioners’ selection only serves to give credence to the commissioners’ work ethic. It can be argued that Chamisa thought since he was the chair of the selection committee of Zec commissioners, the commissioners would act in league with his party. Chamisa’s complaints and baby cries against Zec can be interpreted to mean he believed Zec commissioners were going to turn a blind eye on the law and favour the MDC-Alliance.
Fellow Zimbabweans, the above facts created a political hallucination in Chamisa and the MDC-Alliance making them think they had everything it takes to win the elections. Now that facts on the ground are proving otherwise they are crying foul. To ever think that the MDC-Alliance, which is pregnant with lawyers, can stoop so low to think that the current peaceful and stable political environment can cause the intervention of Sadc and AU boggles the mind.
To ever think at this day and age the MDC-Alliance thinks democracy is about them and not the views of the other contesting parties is a laughable. One can easily conclude that the MDC-Alliance could easily lose its urbanite supporters due to this ill-advised and absurd attention seeking mantra by Chamisa and his lieutenants!
Dr Panganai Kahuni is a political socio-economic commentator, researcher and diplomat in the Sadc region writing on his own behalf.