Meet Zimbabwe`s unrepentant Okonkwo

by | Mar 24, 2021 | Opinions, Politics | 0 comments

Brian Rungano Temba
“Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings,” these wise words read from one of Africa’s best novels; Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe.

Okonkwo, the main character in Things Fall Apart is a rash young warrior whose ambition and achievements end up blinding him to the realities of life eventually giving him a bloated entitlement and disrespect for the elders of his time until when he meets his demise as a frail shadow of his former self.

This resembles some youth of Zimbabwe who get drunk on the exuberance of their age to the point of spitting on the faces of sages.
A good example of a modern day Okonkwo, fast heading towards his anti-climatic downfall, is Movement for Democratic Change Alliance leader, Nelson Chamisa.
Although Chamisa does not fit Okwonko`s description which speaks of a strong man and fighter, he is however stubborn, ignorant and an attention seeker who like a snake slithers and bites his own allies.
To begin with, Chamisa’s match with the Cat would come in the form of his usurping power after the death of Morgan Tsvangirai.
This was his most shameless act which was an obscene power play against his competition, Douglas Mwonzora, Thokozane Khupe and Elias Mudzuri.
Tsvangirai’s corpse was barely cold when the usurper literally hijacked Harvest House and snuck in through a hole in the wall.
There was no honour in it at all and so like the birth of his leadership it symbolised how he is destined to lose it.
There were other candidates who were in line according to party protocol and members of the National Advisory Council who also had claim to the mantle of leader of MDC.
Experience as a characteristic that qualified one for leadership was thrown out the window at this point.
Just as Okonkwo hated Unoka, his father’s pacifist nature, so does Chamisa detest the thought of accepting loss like Morgan Tsvangirai did in all four presidential elections since the birth of MDC in 1999.
Chamisa’s ballooned portrayal of an unyielding loser has morphed into a scorched earth tactic that has left him with very little land to stand on himself. And to think this is his first election.
2018 might have been his first election but its starting to look like it will be his last.
There were moments Chamisa could have benefited from remaining in the governing matrix of the country, as leader of opposition or as part of POLAD.
However the entitlement led him to lose all patience and declared the whole government his enemy and expected every member of the opposition to follow him into the wilderness.
Some opposition members had won their seats in parliament and enjoyed being part of the power matrix as policy makers and making a difference pushing for development centred legislations.
It is quite possible that some opposition party members are actually lost patriots playing for the wrong team.
They too became estranged from the vengeful tyrant Chamisa.
This is just like the relation between Okonkwo and his son Nwoye who was as passive and diplomatic as Okonkwo’s son.
The defecting MDC members who are leaving the short-lived alliance are in search of all unifying and progressive politics that they sought for in Tsvangirai and clearly detest Chamisa’s Jecha Politics.
This is the fall of Umuofia, a path oracles had foretold in the book, a path even a layman could predict from the self-destruction button Chamisa pressed the moment he launched Operation Mwaya Jecha.
The main similarities between Okonkwo and Chamisa are that like the fictional character, Chamisa lacks of tact and diplomacy.
Where Okonkwo would use his fists to fight his point across impatiently, Chamisa makes an embarrassment of himself with immature utterances.
His claims to be supported by then president of the United States of America came to bite him in the back during an interview on Hardtalk with Stephen Sackur.
Chamisa has on numerous occasions spoken ill of all-weather allies of Zimbabwe like China and Russia.
The poor puppet is on his last legs trying to impress funders of MDC-A like the United Kingdom whose declassified letter exposing how David Coltart and Tendai Biti had meetings with them was published last year.
It gets worse, Chamisa has openly attacked the government for choosing Chinese-made vaccines; Sinopharm and SinoVac over western vaccines like Pfizer and AstraZeneca which have been reported to have side effects.
While their Asian competition is proving to be safe for consumption with no reports of side effects in Zimbabwe.

At least Okonkwo was against the invading white men, Chamisa is more of a neo-colonialism enabler. His vision of prosperity is based on his one trip to London where he saw bullet trains and spaghetti roads.
Like a John comes to town it has become his only mantra, the new stuff he saw on his last visit to town.
In reality, Zimbabwe suffers from illegal sanctions that cripple the means of production in Zimbabwe.
Every manufacturer has been listed on either the United States, United Kingdom or European Union sanctions economic sanction.
Okonkwo hung himself, and the same fate awaits Chamisa’s political career.
He jinxed his business with too many funeral attendances as a means to retain relevance during the peak of his jecha campaign and his business is now with Hades.
Like Icarus, he has failed to understand the limits of his wings. Time is a good storyteller, let’s watch and see how it will really end.