By Elijah Chihota
Politics is not for the faint-hearted as it needs someone who has the requisite stamina to captivate the electorate without insulting anyone.
It is a game for the politically astute and shrewd strategists. If MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa was to be put to the political litmus test, he would obviously fail.
Chamisa is starring at an electoral defeat.
An analysis of the way he has handled politics since his days as the MDC-T national organising secretary gives an indication of his deficient political mettle and, by extension, how he is likely to fare on July 30.
Erratic water supplies, blocked sewer pipes, overflowing sewage and uncollected refuse are some of the daily hurdles that Kuwadzana residents have been enduring under Chamisa as their legislator.
When he inherited the seat after the death of Learnmore Jongwe, there was a library which had been constructed by the zanu-pf administration and needed touch ups to make it operational, but alas, 15 years down the line the library is not yet functional.
When Chamisa was the MDC-T national organising secretary between 2011 and 2013, he failed to orchestrate an MDC-T victory during the 2013 harmonised elections.
He thought he was smart and went on to introduce what he termed the “scientific organising approach”.
The MDC-T failed to make any electoral impact and dismally lost to zanu-pf, garnering only 49 seats with the rest going to zanu-pf.
For someone who wants to preside over the country to fail to properly organise a party is a sign that one has failed to make the grade.
As if that was not enough, in 2014 during the party’s congress, Chamisa was beaten left, right and centre by Douglas Mwonzora for the secretary-general’s post.
He once received overwhelming endorsements by the majority of provinces, only to be subjected to an election which proved that he was not cut for the job.
He fell with a thud and it took the late MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s intervention to create an obscure position for him as national secretary for policy coordination.
After the death of Tsvangirai, he knew that he was going to lose to fellow vice presidents, Dr Thokozani Khupe or Elias Mudzuri and decided to grab power by hook or crook.
While people were still mourning Tsvangirai soon after his burial, Chamisa, acutely aware that he was going to lose, again decided to do the unthinkable, convened a national council meeting which he railroaded to endorse him as the party leader, disregarding the MDC-T constitution.
This left the world astounded by the brutal tactics that he used to grab power and self-anoint as the MDC Alliance presidential candidate.
As if that was not enough, Chamisa failed to court other presidential hopefuls such as the National People’s Party (NPP) leader, Dr Joice Mujuru, National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) leader Professor Lovemore Madhuku and the Renewal Democrats of Zimbabwe (RDZ) leader Elton Mangoma, among others, resulting in a record 23 presidential hopefuls filing their papers. If he was the political strategist that he claims to be, he should have been able to lure them to his alliance.
When the court wrangle erupted over who is entitled to use the MDC-T name and logo, Chamisa thought Dr Khupe was a pushover and he learnt the hard way when the Supreme Court case was referred back to the High Court.
By the time of going to the Nomination Court, Chamisa was in panic mode as the issue of party name was not yet resolved.
As a last minute face-saving gimmick, he decided to aggressively market the MDC Alliance name and urged his dwindling support base to note the difference.
He was outsmarted by Dr Khupe and, despite all the claims of popularity, he has no political party save for a rag tag and shaky political outfit termed the MDC Alliance.