Of an unlearning opposition

by | Jan 24, 2022 | Opinions, Politics | 0 comments

Of an unlearning opposition


The more things change, the more they remain the same.

So poignant is the above statement it has become a cliché.

It means very few ideas and actions are really novel.

Most of it is routine and often predictable.

In 1999, a party called the Movement for Democratic Change.

To their credit, they were the first opposition party to be worth the ruling party`s attention.

Others in the past had been spectacular damp squibs, this one had a semblance of structure.

Led by the late Morgan Tsvangirai, the party was an adulteration of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union.

Most of its founding members were assimilated from ZCTU, and from the University of Zimbabwe.’

For a while they gave ZANU PF a run for its money, getting a few figures in parliament.

Nothing wrong with diversity, democracy allows for the electorate to have options.

Despite its alleged vibrancy, the closest this party got was when it became part of the inclusive Government in 2009.

Their failure to get power, despite the immense backing of the United States of America and other nations hostile to Zimbabwe is not by coincidence.

It is a product of a number of factors, which include power hunger and narcissistic leadership.

Everyone who was in the MDC national executive from 2000 saw themselves as presidential material.

They saw themselves fit to run the institution.

This is why when Elton Mangoma left MDC, he started MDC-Renewal in 2014.

Tendai Biti, Job Sikhala, Welshman Ncube have also started their own parties at one point.

There is an institutional self-centredness which permeates the brains of those who are part of the so-called opposition movement.

When the system is created it seeps into the psyche of those who believe in it.

Towards the end of his political career, Morgan Tsvangirai became the embodiment of the approach.

Everything was centred around how he felt more than institutional wellbeing.

This is the thinking which saw him appointing Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri as Vice Presidents in July 2016.

When observers tried to raise a red flag to the constitutional affront, those loyal to Tsvangirai said their leader is infallible.

The decision which MDC –T people defended to please their leaders came back to haunt them.

After Tsvangirai`s death in February 2018, Thokozani Khupe argued that she was congress elected and was the rightful person to lead the party.

This saw the culmination of an ill-fated decision taken by Tsvangirai in 2016, it led to the disintegration of the party.

Nelson Chamisa got into power, albeit, under dubious conditions and immediately tightened his grip on all the structures.

He was acting on an interim basis, but refused to go to an extraordinary congress to put the contentious issue of who the rightful leader was, to rest.

Douglas Mwonzora and Thokozani Khupe broke away from Chamisa, in a fight that spilt to the High Court in May 2020.

Chamisa lost both the MDC-T name, properties and right to use the name MDC-Alliance.

This has brought us to today, where he launched a new party Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

The party, which bears the influence of Advocate Fadzayi Mahere due to the yellow colours, is a last ditch effort to ensure that Chamisa and his coterie of lawyers have some identity in the forthcoming by-elections.

However, rushed as it may it shows that Chamisa, despite him saying he is leaving a “dirty past,” has carried the opposition narcissism with him.

In the run up to the 2018 elections, there was a slogan Chamisa Chete Chete.

In English, this translates to Chamisa only.

Their adoption of a name with the same abbreviation CCC shows that those around him have learnt nothing.

When people elevate a leader to demigod level, the party becomes uncritical and truths are ignored.

It would not be surprising to see another split in the near future.

The fundamentals are yet to be in place.

However, the formidability of political formations is seen during elections.

March 26 is not far, that is the first step to test how much clout Chamisa has outside the shadow of Tsvangirai.

In 2018 he benefitted from funeral emotion as people voted.

This year, there are no covers or veils, it is direct politics.

It is highly unlikely that a party without an office can match an institution of ZANU PF`s caliber.

Only time will tell, March 26 is a good sign of things yet to come.