Chamisa talks, what talks?

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Cartoon, Q&a, Opinion - Mapozho Saruchera Cor­re­spon­dent

As for the way for­ward, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa has made it clear that there is no need to talk to losers. Chamisa can­not be re­warded for bring­ing suf­fer­ing to the peo­ple of Zim­babwe. The suf­fer­ing he is pre­tend­ing to have seen now is a re­sult of the sanc­tions and noth­ing else.

THE me­dia has lately been awash with reports to the ef­fect that di­a­logue be­tween the rul­ing ZANU-PF party and opposition MDC would solve the eco­nomic down­turn be­dev­illing Zim­babwe.

Pro­po­nents of the above school of thought main­tain that MDC leader, Nel­son Chamisa’s ini­tial re­fusal to recognise Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s vic­tory al­legedly trig­gered se­ri­ous le­git­i­macy is­sues which had a con­ta­gion ef­fect on the econ­omy.

As calls for di­a­logue grow louder, Chamisa, who was ini­tially against di­a­logue has of late of­fered him­self for ne­go­ti­a­tions, al­legedly “for the sake of the suf­fer­ing masses”.

He re­cently took to the mi­cro blog­ging site Twit­ter, an­nounc­ing that, “I’ve met with many on our wors­en­ing sit­u­a­tion and un­bear­able suf­fer­ing. The back-to-school bur­den, high prices, non-per­form­ing econ­omy, job­less­ness and worth­less salaries bring sor­row. On this, I call upon my bro ED to ur­gent di­a­logue to solve our pol­i­tics &eco­nomics or it gets worse!”

The ques­tions that must have come to the most per­cep­tive Zim­bab­weans are — is it true that Chamisa’s re­fusal to ac­cept the July 2018 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion re­sults led to the cur­rent hic­cups in the econ­omy and if so, what ex­actly is the opposition leader bring­ing to the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble?

Chamisa made it clear dur­ing the 2018 elec­tion­eer­ing pe­riod that in the event that he lost the elec­tion, he would make the coun­try un­govern­able — prob­a­bly in a bid to get into Gov­ern­ment through the back door.

The MDC leader took his sup­port­ers for a ride; he knew he was not go­ing to win the 2018 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion — the 5 months, be­tween the death of Morgan Ts­van­gi­rai and the elec­tion, was not enough time for him to have fully or­gan­ised his party for an elec­tion vic­tory, a fact con­firmed by the

MDC’s fail­ure to even field the re­quired num­ber of polling agents.

Sec­ondly, he was fac­ing a stronger con­tender for the pres­i­dency in Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa — a man who had re­ju­ve­nated his party and cap­ti­vated the imag­i­na­tion of the coun­try.

All this goes on to ex­plain why, Chamisa, a lawyer by pro­fes­sion,

brought a half-baked case to the Con­sti­tu­tional Court, he had no ev­i­dence, there was none in fact, he lost fair and square!

The opposition had a se­cret weapon though, the Zim­babwe Democ­racy Re­cov­ery Act (ZIDERA)!

Re­mem­ber how Chamisa, Tendai Biti and oth­ers went to the United States of Amer­ica

(USA), a few months be­fore elections and begged for the ex­ten­sion of the sanc­tions that had been im­posed on Zim­babwe in 2001?

That was an al­ter­na­tive plan; the US had to keep Zim­babwe’s econ­omy scream­ing, so that the opposition would re­main vi­able.

MDC thrives on peo­ple’s hard­ships and in this case they sim­ply en­sured that the hard­ships are com­pounded, with the help of Biti’s friends.

So, it can be safely con­cluded that Chamisa thinks that the re­moval of sanc­tions, which he begged for in the first place, is his lever­age at the ne­go­ti­a­tions with Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa.

The prob­lem is Chamisa can­not guar­an­tee the re­moval of sanc­tions.

In pol­i­tics there are no per­ma­nent friends, but in­ter­ests.

It there­fore boils down to who is dearer to the Amer­i­cans, Chamisa or Biti (iron­i­cally called “friend” by the Com­mit­tee on For­eign Re­la­tions sub­com­mit­tee on Africa). And this is where it is go­ing to get in­ter­est­ing — the boomerang ef­fect from the sanc­tions move is go­ing to be spec­tac­u­lar.

Already, there are ru­mours that some MDC struc­tures are dis­grun­tled with Chamisa’s lead­er­ship.

They blame him for the party’s poor show, es­pe­cially in the last par­lia­men­tary elections.

It’s a mat­ter of time be­fore the Amer­i­cans throw their weight be­hind Biti by giv­ing the lat­ter power to sig­nal when sanc­tions can be added.

The long and short of it is that Chamisa has noth­ing to of­fer.

He might have told fairy­tales of trucks full of for­eign cur­rency at the coun­try’s bor­ders or of a prom­ise by United State Pres­i­dent, Don­ald Trump, to avail

US$15 bil­lion in the event that they had won the last elec­tion — these re­main just that, fairy­tales.

As for the way for­ward, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa has made it clear that there is no need to talk to losers.

Chamisa can­not be re­warded for bring­ing suf­fer­ing to the peo­ple of Zim­babwe.

The suf­fer­ing he is pre­tend­ing to have seen now is a re­sult of the sanc­tions and noth­ing else.

The Gov­ern­ment is work­ing hard to rein in the bud­get deficit and for the first time in decades the coun­try re­cently recorded a bud­get sur­plus — there is in­deed light at the end of the tun­nel.

Tendai Biti

Nel­son Chamisa

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