If MDC Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa strongly believes – and his obduracy appears to suggest so — that he is made in Zimbabwe to rule Zimbabwe ad infitum after former President Mr Robert Mugabe’s first republic administration, he must wait five years for that to be confirmed by the 2023 harmonised elections; otherwise his planned self-inauguration as this country’s president will not wash.
Indeed if the opposition leader is not a political bubble intent on a unilateral declaration of victory, he ought to know that voters do not choose a leader persuaded by his or her mere height, obesity, or good looks but that he or s/he attracts votes through muscular policies for national development.
In fact, if Mr Chamisa goes ahead with his swearing-in as president of Zimbabwe by taking a leaf out of Kenya’s opposition leader Mr Raila Odinga after the Kenyan lost in the presidential election last year, his gamble will amount to a vote of no confidence in the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the Constitutional Court, which endorsed Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory over Mr Chamisa in the presidential elections on July 30.
But even more disastrously Mr Chamisa’s planned self-imposition as a parallel president of Zimbabwe in opposition to Cde Mnangagwa would be a bash in the faces of international observers who lauded the harmonised elections as being free, fair and credible.
The observers included those from Sadc and there is no greater folly than thumbing one’s nose at members of the global village in which Zimbabwe belongs. For instance, what prudent foreign investors will be willing to bring their capital to a country run by two opposing Heads of State, not to mention tourists coming to spend their hard-earned cash in a country prone to volcanic violence triggered by members of two opposing political parties in power as might become the case in our country should Mr Chamisa defiantly go ahead with his unilateral declaration of victory?
Mr Chamisa’s self-swearing-in, originally scheduled for today in Harare, is not taking place because of the state of emergency declared by the Government in the capital following the outbreak of cholera.
But his spokesman, Dr Nkululeko Sibanda, told the Voice of America radio that the “swearing-in” would take place on a date yet to be announced, insisting, as his leader has repeatedly claimed, that “Zanu-PF stole the elections”.
Now, should Mr Chamisa’s unilateral declaration of victory as Zimbabwe’s rival president go ahead, what will stop some ethnic groupings in the country going for a tribal state and, in the process, bringing to doom the one Zimbabwe, one nation concept that our people proudly embrace today to remain strong as a nation?
A strong ray of hope remains, however, that as in the Odinga case Mr Chamisa’s “presidential” inauguration will be immortalised in the annals of Zimbabwean history as a mere proverb.
At any rate, some if not all of the leaders of the parties that are in alliance with the MDC and their members might refuse to be led by the nose by Mr Chamisa, knowing as they must, how isolationist and suicidal stand-alone politics tends to be.
In any case, do Mr Chamisa’s political antics portray him as a tyrant or a democrat sold to the idea that in any mature democracy political parties must take turns to rule since perpetual rule by one party passes as tyranny or dictatorship – and Zimbabweans pride themselves on being democrats.
Or does the MDC Alliance not have lawyers to advise the leaders of the opposition against dictatorial tendencies, or do those lawyers renege on their responsibilities of guiding the opposition political grouping along a path that engenders political cohesion in national development regardless of who is in power?
As things stand after the July elections, unity across the political divide is a must as a point of departure in the revival of Zimbabwe’s economy, virtually brought to its knees by illegal, Western economic sanctions as punishment for land reform by the Zanu-PF government.
And while we are still at it, does Mr Chamisa’s “swearing-in” as a rival president to President Mnangagwa coincide with the desire of America in particular for a regime change since that country refuses to remove sanctions on Zimbabwe, or is the unilateral declaration of victory in response to a call by the imperialists who imposed sanctions on our country with promises to provide all the support needed to a new non-Zanu-PF Government in Harare? The mind boggles.