Chamisa: In the jaws of the crocodile
Events of the past couple of months have all but placed MDC Alliance leader in the jaws of the crocodile where he cannot unshackle himself without amputating part of his body.
Despite being pressured and pressed hard from all sides, Chamisa will likely emerge victorious riding on the shoulders of the multitude of his supporters.
Chamisa faces a mammoth task, a test of character and aptitude in his political career as he battles internal strife where a faction of the opposition is being used as cannon fodder to decimate the only opposition party in the country.
A break away faction led by Thokozani Khupe and oiled by reports of backyard support from the ruling Zanu PF, has all but decimated, decapitated and now at a point of annihilating a formidable opposition that has threatened the ruling Zanu PF’s grip on power.
Khupe has, so far, recalled 31 legislators from both houses and close to 80 councillors. MDC Alliance had 111 legislators who won in the 2018 elections while councillors were close to 500.
Armed with a Supreme court ruling which declared Khupe as the legitimate leader of the MDC-T after the death of the then leader Morgan Tsvangirai, the axe has been dangling on her opponents’ necks as she tried to hoodwink and frogmarch them into accepting her as their genuine leader.
The Supreme court judgement ordered that MDC-T should revert to 2014 structures and hold an extra ordinary congress to elect a new leader.
It is Swim or sink for Chamisa
Armed with the 2018 election results where he garnered over two million votes Chamisa opted to swim across the tide and face the Armageddon head on.
Buoyed by multitudes of supporters around the country the youthful leader opted for a suicidal jump onto a thin iceberg that has kept him afloat for some time.
“It is a blow to democracy. It is a fundamental attribution and articulation of what is wrong with Zimbabwean politics,” Chamisa told this journalist.
“The recalls have all but exposed a chain of criminal contacts from Zanu PF party led by (President) Emmerson Mnangagwa to those being used as wicked conduits.
“This is nothing but a blow to the people’s confidence in the electoral system in the country,” he said.
Stealing until there is nothing left to steal
Chamisa and his MDC Alliance have lost control of not only their headquarters, Morgan Tsvangirai House (Formerly known as Harvest House) but also the party name itself.
Recently the Khupe faction announced that in the forth coming by elections they will use the name MDC Alliance.
The Khupe faction has also not only stolen the name and the Harvest House but also the legitimate aspirations of the people by replacing legislators voted into office in the 2018 polls.
Khupe is now back in Parliament, having been smuggled into the august house via back door. And soon she will find herself being rewarded by a leader of the opposition position.
Hail madam Khupe leader of the opposition!
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba on Friday all but let the cat out of the bag as he prepared the people’s psyche to be ready for the new leader of the opposition in parliament.
Writing on his twitter handle Charamba said: “As shall be clear in intervening days and months, this recognition shall be made available to whoever is or emerges as the leader of the opposition.”
“The position was once tabled up in 2018 by President Emmerson Mnangagwa soon after elections, with the intention to match the common wealth type of Parliament.
“MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa who was the automatic candidate for the position, however snubbed the offer saying it would endorse the 2018 disputed election as well as drain the already struggling fiscus.
“As a concept, this new provision was impersonal meaning it would apply to whoever emerged as the second best in the country’s harmonised elections,” Charamba added.
“Such a move would have brought Zimbabwe in harmony with commonwealth practice which Zimbabwe found appropriate in her political circumstances. As a concept, this new provision was impersonal,” Charamba added.
According to Charamba once the post of Leader of Opposition is created the holder will receive the same benefits as that of a minister something that Chamisa declined saying it will drain the fiscus.
“What is envisaged as ministerial is the status; it is not the function. The leader of the opposition will thus not sit in cabinet. nor will he or she cease to oppose the government of the day as he she sees fit. i hope that clarifies and rests the matter,” Charamba added.
But is Khupe ready and vying for that post after being smuggled into parliament?
Addressing media after being sworn in as a member of parliament Khupe declared that she was now automatically the leader of the opposition.
“I’m the senior member of the MDC-T, so it follows that I’m the leader of the opposition.
“We’re here to work for Zimbabweans to get jobs, food, functioning clinics and good schools. Parliament is a place for working for the people,” Khupe told the media.
Is there a way out?
Multitudes of MDC Alliance supporters have urged Chamisa to hold on.
He has been urged to keep and remain afloat. The structures have refused to rebrand and give the main opposition a new name. They have vowed to fight until the bitter end.
The forthcoming by elections will be a litmus test as the two factions will battle it out in a bloodletting winner takes all encounter.
Meanwhile as the dog fight engulfs the opposition Zanu PF has managed a sigh of relief. The ruling party has managed to deflate pressure as the MDC factions now concentrate on internal strife.
“Chamisa can no longer focus on Mnangagwa. His sight is on Khupe and Douglas Mwonzora. He is fighting to remain in control of the MDC Alliance instead of strategising to be leader of the country. This has worked to the advantage of Zanu PF,” said one political observer.
“It is an art of war. Keep your opponent busy so that they cannot focus on national issues.”
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