By Tendai Jongwe
While Nelson Chamisa, his MDC-Alliance and its supporters were marching freely in the streets of Harare, President Mnangagwa was in Beitbridge for the ground-breaking ceremony for the Beitbridge Border Post expansion and modernisation project and also addressed a rally at Dulivhadzimu Stadium to drum up support for zanu-pf in the forthcoming harmonised elections.
This alone shows the level of differences between these two contestants.
ED has proven to be a statesman who understands the art of politics and is miles ahead in terms of statecraft. On the other hand, Nelson Chamisa is proving to be an immature politician who does not appreciate or understand the politics at play.
While ED is focused on winning the hearts of the electorate through tangible deliverables such as the Beitbridge Border Post expansion programme, Chamisa aims to discredit the electoral process and win sympathy votes while hoping to delegitimise the whole process.
While ED is electorate-oriented and his message and deliveries are being received well, Chamisa is behaving like a baby throwing a tantrum. Staring defeat in the eye, Wamba dia Wamba as Chamisa is called by his supporters, he has resorted to trying to discredit the electoral process as he tries to influence the perception of the international community and hoping for a Government of National Unity of sorts, come August 1.
While Chamisa is busy campaigning using these demonstrations, ED is engaging the electorate as demonstrated by his meetings with various stakeholders from students to minority groups.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has become the target of opposition attacks after realising that the electorate has rejected them.
While ZEC has done its best in implementing the law in full in the midst of myriad attacks, Wamba and his minions must be called to order.
ZEC has bended over backwards to try and accommodate the demands of the MDC and some are not even provided for in the Constitution, such as giving the contesting parties sample ballot paper to carry out their tests and also inviting them to witness the ballot printing. With nowhere to hide, Wamba has resorted to name calling ZEC and its chairwoman Justice Chigumba.
This is the discrediting strategy that has been adopted by the MDC-Alliance after realising that the tide is not going their way. Nelson Chamisa has been trying hard to discredit ZEC, a sign that the former Kuwadzana legislator is desperate and faces defeat come July 30. What is important to note is Chamisa was part of the panel that interviewed the ZEC commissioners.
Chamisa is on record as saying only an election with him as the victor will be considered free and fair by his party. Meanwhile, zanu-pf and ED have said they will respect the outcome of the elections.
One side has pledged to accept the outcome of the polls, while the other party has vowed not to accept the results.
This has manifested in the shenanigans of weekly demos and constant shifting of goal posts in terms of their demand. The list of demands has been changing by the day and Justice Chigumba and her team have been patient with these kids and at times yielding to demands which are unconstitutional.
Hwende has resuscitated the Baba Jukwa theories of 2013 of mutation ballots and pens with disappearing inks and accused ZEC of importing such.
This is understandable in the country like ours.
In a country that has a significant number of people who believe in ghosts, demons, njuzu, mashave, Santa Claus, and easily hoodwinked by false prophets and sangomas, it’s not difficult to see why magic pens and miracle voting papers can fixate an entire opposition that preaches science and technology.
The voters need not be gullible to be misled by people who are scared of defeat that they will do anything to discredit the process to justify their looming defeat.
In a speech at the march on Wednesday, Chamisa accused zanu-pf of bringing Russians to “rig” the elections and saying foreigners should not be involved in the running of our elections.
Two minutes later, he confessed to bringing in Germans to do forensic tests on the ballot papers. One then wonders if Germans are not foreigners.
Today it’s the Russians and last time they said it was the Chinese, the other time the Israelis. This is the same man who called on SADC and AU to run the elections just a few days ago in a Press conference. This can only serve to confirm the man as panicking and desperate and not sure how to win an election and is now looking at ways and means to discredit the electoral process, hoping the international community will be fooled by his antics.
Chamisa will not admit that they have the ballot papers.
Their aim is to sow seeds of distrust and they have used people such as Alex Magaisa, Edmund “Baba Jukwa” Kudzayi, Mdudusi Mathuthu to carry out their hatchet job on ZEC, especially on Twitter.
Everyone must follow the law and politicians must not interfere with the operations of ZEC, which is supposed to be independent. Does the law say ZEC should give parties ballot papers for their forensic searches or allow parties to monitor ballot printing?
Election contestants should write two speeches.
First one a victory speech and the second one conceding defeat.
Chamisa must prepare his conceding speech as soon as yesterday because from the look of things, the boy has already admitted that he has lost the election.
All these antics are silent admissions that come 30 July, Wamba will be thrown into political dustbin and the good thing is the international community is watching and are not as gullible as some of his supporters.