Harare – Following the March 31, 2019, Supreme Court ruling which declared that the MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa’s ascension to the leadership of that party in 2018 was unprocedural, there has been turmoil in the opposition camp.
This was exacerbated by the recent recalling of four legislators by the reinstated MDC-T secretary general, Douglas Mwonzora citing that they had expelled themselves by highlighting that they had contested under a different party, the MDC Alliance.
The reactions by some senior MDC Alliance members have exposed that the party’s leadership is at its wits end.
This was demonstrated by the cries for “war” which consistently characterised the reactions by some senior and ordinary card-carrying members of the party upon hearing the recall of Kuwadzana legislator Chalton Hwende, Dangamvura-Chikanga legislator Prosper Mutseyami, Bulawayo Province proportional representation legislator Tabitha Khumalo and Midlands Province senator Lillian Timveous.
The mainstream MDC has always been known for its propensity for violent protests. Since, July 30, 2018, when Chamisa lost that year’s presidential election, the party has been spoiling for a fight. It has been waiting to pounce on innocent peace-loving Zimbabweans with orgies of destructive and violent protest as they did at the beginning of last year over fuel price increases.
Among the first senior MDC Alliance leader to comment on the recall was Tendai Biti who described the event as a “declaration of war” against his party.
Biti is the kind of politician who would rather burn the whole country just because Chamisa lost. He is the personification of the MDC Alliance’s politics of sabotage. He and his party would prefer that the country suffers, as has been the case, with the illegal sanctions they invited, if they do not land State power.
Speaking to the online publication, Bulawayo24.com this week one of Chamisa’s deputies, Professor Welshman Ncube clearly indicated that his party had “very little appetite” for other options such as approaching courts of law to reverse the recalls or complying with the Supreme Court ruling.
This leaves the party with only one response — its default strategy — violent and destructive protests.
Another MDC Alliance official, that party’s secretary for public service and welfare, Maureen Kademaunga responded by posting on her twitter handle that her party was “prepared to defend & rescue the future of this country,” an indirect way of accusing ZANU PF and Government of being behind the opposition party’s woes.
MDC Alliance activist, Makomborero Haruzivishe took to twitter to incite MDC youths to rise against Government in retaliation for the recall which, the MDC has been baselessly blaming on ZANU PF.
It has accused ZANU PF of orchestrating the turmoil in the party using Government institutions such as courts and Parliament.
“It has become clearer now than ever that there is only one solution; revolution. The time for people’s power is now for the people’s power is stronger than people in power,” he tweeted.
The party’s deputy spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka attempted to galvanise the excitable MDC Alliance youth into violent protests by claiming that it was not only time to bite the bullet but, the gun as well.
Those who are familiar with the MDC know that whenever the party talks of the revolution or the people’s struggle it will be referring to violence which it unleashes using the Vanguard militia which have been abused by both Chamisa and his predecessor, the late Morgan Tsvangirai to fight internal alternative and dissenting voices.
They know that it means to engage in acts of banditry such as those which, were unleashed on Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) stations across the country in 2007 by the party’s violent Democratic Resistance Committees (DRC) members.
Even the MDC Alliance’s formal response which was presented as a media conference by an emotionally-charged Sikhala on Thursday was not anything meaningful.
The party resolved that its legislators would not participate in any future events that would involve engaging ZANU PF members. The party’s resolution to further consult before taking more action did not tally with the violence-mongering tone of most of its members some of who even went to the extreme extent of proposing to join Islamic terrorists in Mozambique, to fight Government. Despite the false bravado displayed by the likes of Biti, Harizivishe and Kademaunga, the party’s leadership ensured that it did not openly incite its members to take to the streets for fear of the legal consequences that this would invite upon them as leaders.
The MDC Alliance’s knee-jerk and emotionally-charged reaction was to be expected. Despite teeming with lawyers, the MDC has never had sharp strategists. This is because Chamisa, a former student activist, is surrounded by other excitable, former student activists such as Biti, Sikhala and Haruzivishe as his inner circle of advisors.
It is due to this background that the party has always misfired at crucial times. The party simply has no tacticians or vision.
The student activists around Chamisa who are clothed in lawyerly robes advised him to ignore the Supreme Court ruling on the basis of the party’s propaganda that every misfortune the party faces is caused by ZANU PF.
Sikhala’s emotional and excited statement that “If we want to cause pandemonium at State House right now, we know what to do. We’ve been agitating for that for a while” during the media conference exposed the party’s lack of tact and its very low emotional intelligence.
The way Chamisa and his inner circle handled the Supreme Court judgment and the resultant developments exposed the MDC Alliance as lacking grit and mettle which, should be a given for a modern day opposition party.
Right from the beginning, the party survived not because it deserved the electorate’s support but because of votes from some of the electorate who were protesting the economic difficulties which were born out of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe following, the land reform programme.
The events of the past one month have exposed the party for what it is — a gathering of political activists who think that they should land State power because their supporters whisper to them that they are popular.
The past month has shown Chamisa and company in a very hard way that perceived popularity and touted charisma are not political strategy.
Going forward, Sikhala, Haruzivishe, Kademaunga and other excitable MDC Alliance members such as Obey Sithole should be reminded that Zimbabwe has laws, law enforcement agents and competent courts of law which are standing ready to deal with any lawlessness.
They should leave President Mnangagwa, ZANU PF and Government out of their internal squabbles as they have nothing to do with Chamisa’s decision to disregard his party’s constitution.
The recall of the party’s legislators was requested by Mwonzora in line with the Supreme Court judgment and Parliament only played its constitutional role. There was no abuse of the August House by anyone in any way as the MDC Alliance has been lying to the world.
This propaganda exposed the party’s double standards which have seen it celebrating the acquittal of its habitual trouble makers like Biti and Sikhala only to allege capture of the judiciary when courts rule against it.
Chamisa appealed to the Supreme Court of his own volition. He made the choice of disregarding the court’s ruling by himself and therefore he and those around him should face the consequences. They made their bed and they should lie on it without pointing fingers at anyone.