By Gibson Nyikadzino
The parable of our time might well be: “Mind your young, or they will trouble you in your old age.”
During the Cold War, Chinese Premier Chou Enlai once observed: “One of the delightful things about Americans is that they have absolutely no historical memory.” Over fifty years now since Premier Enlai’s observation, there are more delightful things happening in the MDC-T and its leader Mr Nelson Chamisa, chief among them a similar lack of historical memory.
To Mr Chamisa, it is remarkable to remind him of the biblical teachings as he is a student of theology. The gospel of John (8:44) says: “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Among a catalogue of lies by Mr Chamisa, the latest involves the family of the late nationalist and veteran politician Dr Joshua Nkomo, whose family Mr Chamisa said had offered him the former’s sceptre.
“I was so touched when I went to Dr Nkomo’s Matsheumhlophe house. I was going there to see the history of this nation. However, the family told me one thing, they said ever since the death of Dr Nkomo, I am the first national leader to visit the house, they even offered to give me Dr Nkomo’s traditional sceptre (intonga),” Mr Chamisa claimed.
Dr Nkomo’s son, Mr Sibangilizwe, dismissed Mr Chamisa’s utterance, questioning “that a young man like Chamisa can speak such an abomination?
“It’s not a matter that you can joke about. It’s an abomination that he can talk cheaply about intonga ka baba. It’s the property of our ancestors. It represents our family’s ancestry and it is unacceptable for him to joke around with such matters,” said Mr Sibangilizwe Nkomo.
It goes without saying that the cat and the mouse are two animals which have no cordial relationship. Their unfriendly relationship is so normal to the point that it would be abnormal to see them in a friendly posture. It is in this instance that it is going to be surprising to see Mr Chamisa wearing the truth, because he cannot co-exist with the truth.
The electorate should not be unmindful that the “2011 Arab Spring” that was instigated by the youth in Libya premised on neo-liberalist lies which have today made the country a breeding ground for terrorism.
Mr Chamisa is trying to hoodwink the youth and his political hallelujah boys to follow him to the path of political destruction. A lack of ideas and debatable policies from the MDC-T are reason most of the 60 percent youth who registered to vote will find Mr Chamisa a deplorable candidate.
While rapid growth in the youth population is a common trend in developing countries, the older, seasoned politicians have also been mandated by the voters to call the shots.
This year’s elections are not about age, but of people, both young and old, who have ideas and dignity. It is not about just being young. It is also not about being old, but what you offer. So, age is not an issue.
Mr Mugabe was old, at times with empty thoughts that largely prioritised politics over economics. Mr Chamisa is young and foolish too!
Choice of candidates in an election should be based on track record of the candidates, not on party platforms, money shared or religious sentiment.
To this estimation, if the electorate continue in this way, the country may not survive for long.
The exuberant Mr Chamisa, who recently turned 40, is forgetful that he once supported then Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2015 when he said: “You cannot say there are areas of our economy which we are happy with, infrastructure we are behind with 15-16 years, agricultural development the same, manufacturing, in fact capacity utilisation in some areas of our industry it is down to 20 percent, so again we have to retool by acquiring new machinery and technology so that we are competitive.”
The MDC-T leader was quick to jump to then VP Mnangagwa’s side as an acknowledgement that there were practical economic, social and political issues that needed to be synchronised with reality.
Today, for political expediency, Mr Chamisa has made a shocking detour by making dangerous political promises that are not anywhere near reality. His recent election bubble talk has skipped the notion that Zimbabwe needs to catch up with the rest of the world, to him it is the world that needs to catch up with Zimbabwe.
The political reality is, the more the candidate promises, the less likely they are to deliver.
All the better to deceive.
The rhetoric at political rallies is startling even the most hardened observers of the Zimbabwean situation as some statements are characterised by lies and pre-truths.
Some analysts have jumped to Mr Chamisa’s defence saying his speeches at rallies are trying to enhance debate and promote critical thinking.
While Mr Chamisa has openly said he told members of the Donald Trump administration that they should tighten screws on Zimbabwe, this should be clear testimony on his thoughts about Zimbabwe.
A bitter truth in the end provides a sweet experience. A sweet lie in the end provides a bitter experience. In the end the truth saves and a lie shames.
The truth is, Mr Chamisa’s college politics, immaturity and pathological lies are the curse of youthful exuberance.