MDC Alliance and politics of paranoia

Tau Tawengwa
The 2018 harmonised elections are on this month and the nation seems enthusiastic to vote in this historic poll.

Apart from the cowardly and barbaric act of terrorism that we recently witnessed at a Zanu-PF rally in Bulawayo, this has been a peaceful campaign.

It is noteworthy to mention that all the major political players in the country have appended their signatures to a code of conduct which compels them to campaign peacefully.

On the political front, it has been interesting to observe the campaign rallies at which parties have been presenting themselves and their visions to the Zimbabwean public.

While the likes of Thokazani Khupe and Joice Mujuru have put themselves forward as Presidential candidates, the truth is that they have proven to be politically insubstantial and are therefore unlikely to make a significant mark on the 2018 election.

The same is true with respect to Ambrose Mutinhiri and his project. I will be surprised if they get even one percent of the total Presidential vote.

What is clear to all and sundry is that this election is centred on Zanu-PF.

While staunch supporters of MDC-Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa insist he stands a real chance of winning, I will explain here why his political paranoia since Morgan Tsvangirai’s death has impacted negatively on his aspirations.

I will also explain why President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF have a winning strategy.

Seeing ghosts

Earlier this year I made the argument that Chamisa acted with undue haste when Tsvangirai died on February 14.

Before Tsvangirai was even buried, Chamisa and his faction were holding meetings and endorsing themselves as successors.

While the youthful and concurrently politically immature Chamisa thought it wise to grab the seat of power then, he is now feeling the repercussions of his ill-advised move.

The way in which he violently and arrogantly treated Khuphe was his first and greatest mistake.

While he denies any involvement in the assault on Khupe at Tsvangirai’s burial in Buhera, the truth is that no one believes him.

Now, 29 days before the polls, Chamisa is in a predicament because in scores of constituencies there is an MDC Alliance candidate (aligned to Chamisa) and an MDC-T candidate (aligned to Khupe).

The danger of this to Nelson Chamisa, is that with less than a month to the election, there is not enough time to conduct voter education across the country and teach would-be MDC Alliance supporters that there is a difference between MDC Alliance and MDC-T.

This will split votes between MDC-T and MDC Alliance countrywide, meaning Chamisa’s Presidential bid will almost certainly fail.

Secondly, when Chamisa’s faction of the MDC-T held its primary elections, we saw the young man’s lust for power laid bare again.

The so-called democratic party held primary elections that were littered with reports of violence and vote rigging.

Furthermore, well-known and experienced politicians were downplayed and defeated in those elections, allegedly at the instigation of Chamisa himself.

Such politicians include party vice-president Elias Mudzuri and legislator for Mabvuku/Tafara James Maridadi.

The alleged machinations of Chamisa during those party primary elections led to 25 notable members of his party choosing to contest as independents in their various constituencies come July 30.

This has led to Chamisa expelling these twenty-five members from his party, including Jesse Majome.

It goes without saying that this will further split the MDC Alliance’s vote and further diminish Chamisa’s Presidential dreams.

Now, I find it laughable to read reports of Chamisa claiming that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and Khupe are jointly rigging the election.

This is not only laughable but also shows Chamisa’s immaturity.

He needs to learn that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and this is as true in physics as it is in politics.

His violent and thuggish power grab after Tsvangirai’s death coupled with his skullduggery during his faction’s primary elections are political actions that will eventually destroy his political career.

Everyone knows he didn’t want Majome, Maridadi and Mudzuri re-elected because they stand as threats to his power ambitions when his MDC-T faction finally convenes a congress.

Faced with defeat on July 30, Chamisa is paranoid and seeing political ghosts. He thinks everyone is out to get him and yet he has clumsily stepped on toes all over the country.

Road to victory

As stated earlier, apart from the tragic Bulawayo bombing, Zanu-PF has conducted a well-oiled, multi-faceted and balanced campaign.

Even senior MDC-T official, Eddie Cross, has predicted this election as the best the country has held since 1964.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s “Open for Business” campaign is what everyone wants to hear, both in and out of Zimbabwe, and this will bear fruit on election day.

And given that in many constituencies across Zimbabwe, votes will be split between MDC-T and MDC Alliance, it is clear that Zanu-PF has a clearer road to victory on July 30, 2018.

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