The Sunday Mail
On May 6, 2018, on the eve of the July harmonised elections, young Nelson Chamisa — who was fresh off an audacious palace coup in the opposition MDC, through which he had pilfered the throne from Morgan Tsvangirai’s corpse after his demise on February 14, 2018 — held a rally in the market town of Bedford, Britain, to seemingly drum up support from the Diaspora.
He was typically in his element, relentlessly churning out one fib after the other to a largely starry-eyed and credulous audience.
Standing atop a platform improvised from a black table to make him look imperious, he milked the moment for all its worth.
Among the many laughably outlandish claims he made was the suggestion that he had moles in our spy organisation who had revealed to him that Zimbabwe’s elections were being systematically rigged using a special ballot paper imported from Israel and China.
Although he spoke predominantly in Shona, he had to switch to the Queens language — oops, now the King’s language — to emphasise to his audience of supposedly cultured intellect the sophistication with which this special ballot switched votes from the opposition to the ruling party ZANU PF.
“Maballot iwawo anenge ari premarked and prevoted. Anomakwa anemaserial numbers used on the normal ballot papers. So they are deployed to certain polling stations … so that when you vote, it will not be reflecting that there is an X, but once you vote, the ink that is going to be applied on the ballot paper activates the layer that is going to ensure the pre-marked vote,” Chamisa said.
Well, it was a big, fat lie.
These are the sort of lies that later got him roasted by BBC’s Stephen Sackur during the programme HARDtalk days later.
As it turned out, Chamisa neither had moles in our spy organisation nor did he receive any such intelligence, which is non-existent anyway, but relied on the delusional fantasies of a deranged and volatile chap called William Chinyanga, whom he later called to the “podium” at the rally to validate the queer conspiracy.
As ridiculous as this tale was, Chamisa and his posse actually believed it.
This explains why they were unyieldingly headstrong in insisting they wanted to see where the ballots were being printed.
They went a step further by constituting a shadowy committee led by Chamisa’s bosom buddy, Thabani Mpofu, to foil the supposed rigging. To cut the long story short, their fantasy world came crashing down.
The MDC, which has now mutated to CCC, lost the elections, while their activist William Chinyanga — the self-styled scientist who contrived Chamisa’s conspiracy theory — is having a crude and unpleasant reality check, as he is staring a lengthy jail term in Britain after being convicted of two counts of encouraging acts of terrorism.
Apparently, in a series of four speeches live-streamed on Facebook over two days in December 2019, the 51-year-old Cuban-educated teacher urged Zimbabweans to violently overthrow the Government, bomb full stations and attack members of the security forces. He should have known better than abuse the sanctuary of his host State, which is hypersensitive about terrorism having suffered horrendous episodes of terrorist attacks in the past.
Chinyanga cut a sorry figure when he was hauled before the Old Bailey Court facing very serious charges.
Unlike what Chamisa had done at the Bedford rally by switching to English to sound sophisticated, Chinyanga, who is not even a scientist but just a relief teacher in Ruislip, West London, chose to give his testimony in a British court in his mother tongue, Shona, through an interpreter in a desperate bid to escape scrutiny. Quoting Mahatma Gandhi and citing George Orwell, including making protestations that he was a mere attention-seeker, did not help him much, as he was still convicted. Kikikiki.
The nightmare will come after his incarceration when he will discover how penal the British system is. He will be lucky if he gets a job — any job — anywhere in the UK, and all his life he is likely to be trailed by British spooks; that is if they don’t deport him.
Counsel from Fools
All this drama would be funny if it was not tragic. But Bishop Lazi went to this elaborate length to highlight this tragi-comedy in order to demonstrate the extent of young Chamisa’s remarkable naiveté, gullibility and foolishness of taking counsel from a certified imbecile, who has been known to effortlessly drift between reality and fiction.
Yet here is a man who considers himself the putative future leader of Zimbabwe capable of wisely presiding over complex, intricate, weighty and onerous State affairs.
Proverbs 13 verse 20 tells us: “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
People are always judged by the company they keep and the counsel they get.
Last week, the Bishop could not help but reflect on the story of how Israel rebelled against Rehoboam, the son of Solomon who they wanted to enthrone as King, after he rejected the counsel of elders and elected to get advice from the young man he had grown up with. It led to a bitter feud after Israel chose Jeroboam as King instead.
Remember, Job 12 verse12 says, “Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old.”
But Chamisa’s feja-feja type leadership is not only exposed by his dalliances with the scatter-brained Chinyanga.
In 2019, Bishop Lazi told you how MDC officials blamed Chamisa for the party’s calamitous loss to ZANU PF in the 2013 elections.
Before the fateful elections, the leader of the #Godisinit brigade, who was then organising secretary of the party, told his boss Tsvangirai that he didn’t have to waste time and money campaigning to be president as God had shown him of the impending and imminent electoral victory.
It might sound comical but it is true.
The story was told by none other than the party’s then-youth assembly secretary-general, Promise Mkwananzi, on March 10, 2014.
“Chamisa has become unpopular for dividing the party through mishandling the primary elections and misleading the president (Morgan Tsvangirai) into believing that God had told him that the party would win last year’s elections,” revealed Mkwananzi. Kikikiki.
Well, this, folks, is the calibre of men and women who are in the opposition.
Those who know Chamisa well, as Bishop Lazi does, will tell you that behind that high-sounding rhetoric is a scared little boy with poor social skills and no clue how to run anything, even a spaza shop.
Just look at how the MDC-CCC has been haemorrhaging support since he took over the reins. The list of defectors, which includes James Maridadi, Lilian Timveos, Blessing Chebundo, Emmanuel Chiroto, Farai Nyandoro, Chadamoyo Solomon Machingura, Peter Chandafira, Carlos Mudzongo, Simon Chidhakwa, Charles Masimike, Tongai Matutu, among others, is long.
These are new voters who will swell the growing ranks of ZANU PF come 2023.
Conversely, look at how ED has been uniting ZANU PF by rising above petty politics and coalescing cadres around the national interest.
Nicholas Goche, Lewis Matutu, Miriam Chikukwa, Ambrose Mutinhiri, Wilson Khumbula, among others, are now actively participating in the ruling party.
So it is quite fanciful to expect Chamisa and his cabal to have the craft, intelligence, temperament, wisdom, disposition and competence to drive the country’s development agenda. Having been born and succored by protest votes, they know full well that they get their political capital if the population remains sufficiently agitated against Government.
So, every day their preoccupation is to give people a reason to be angry.
The more service delivery deteriorates, the better their chances to mobilise protest votes.
This is why they consider political structures within their ranks and having a sellable ideology as superfluous.
As it stands, Jacob Mafume is doing a spending job in frustrating progress by running Harare City Council to the ground.
At every turn, he has thrown spanners in the works to ensure that Sakunda Holdings and Uebert Angel fail to rehabilitate the decrepit Rufaro and Gwanzura stadiums, which continue to rot away under his watch.
It is ridiculous to say that we even have a local authority.
All this works in their favour.
It is a perverted brand of politics and politicking. Our towns and cities have now unsurprisingly become outliers in the current development trajectory.
You can only ignore these signs at your own peril.
But next year, something has got to give.
Our cities have to be liberated by any means necessary.