Nick Mangwana View From the Diaspora
A delusion is defined simply as a belief or impression that is falsely held despite being contradicted by reality and rational argument. There have been many of those around. One of the most prominent ones being that the MDC Alliance is the solution to Zimbabwe’s current challenges. Evidence shows that they are part of Zimbabwe’s challenges as they have been fighting against any actualisation of economic progress in order to use the people’s suffering as currency for relevance.
But the biggest currency in politics is loyalty to the people and empathy with their plight.
To bank the nation’s economic fortune on the MDC Alliance is to miss the glaring fact that this alliance is not only unstable but will dangerously destabilise the country in the unlikely event of winning the next harmonised elections.
There are way too many dynamics and cracks which the superficial unity can’t cover anymore.
Douglas Mwonzora has his faults but this columnist has known him for the better part of 23 years and he is a decent human being. He is a pragmatic politician who is normally quite calculative and rest assured that he is going to strike back. He wants the presidency of their party. After Tsvangirai’s tragic death Mwonzora has been on the backfoot hoping to regroup and wait for a striking chance.
He believed he controlled structures starting with his powerbase of Manicaland. But the Cobra has been biting relentlessly.
One by one his political fangs have been sinking into Mwonzora’s political allies.
It’s very likely that Mwonzora is going to strike immediately after the elections regardless of the outcome. That among other things will send MDC formations into a tailspin.
We saw James Maridadi being snookered in Tafara-Mabvuku, Elias Mudzuri throwing a tantrum in Warren Park and Jessie Majome having a strop in Harare West and now we move to Chikanga- Dangamvura in Manicaland. In politics you win or lose by your own rules as an organisation.
So as part of its own rules the MDC-T Manicaland province resolved to reserve Chikanga-Dangamvura for a woman. The MDC-T used the code purple to signify a seat reserved for women. The constituency member structure chose Lynette Karenyi. But you see, this Karenyi lady is the leader of the Women’s Assembly, which is the equivalent of Zanu-PF’s Women’s League. So she is the equivalent of Zanu-PF’s Mabel Chinomona. So in terms of being key, she leads a very strong constituency and lobby. Naturally, it would have been good for any party to have the leader of the Women’s Assembly as a candidate.
But why did Prosper Mutseyami move from Musikavanhu to dislodge Karenyi? This lady is a Mwonzora top ally and Mwonzora is being given a sucker punch with little room to reply.
Nelson Chamisa is approaching his political battles in a two-pronged way and you have to give it to him for multi-tasking. He is dealing with his internal political rivals at the same time he is asserting himself as a national figure capable of giving Zanu-PF a good run for its money.
As unlikely as it is for Nelson Chamisa to win the presidency in July, it is very unlikely that even a smooth political operator would win back leadership from Chamisa if he does not make his move now. But with all these shenanigans in the party, the Zimbabwean economy will sink further if an unstable party wins power.
There are too many fragments which are loosely bound together by the quest for power only. Some of these so-called Alliance principals are sitting on serious time bombs. There are internecine conflicts underneath the surface in the constituent parts themselves as well as against each other especially in the allocation of constituencies. That aside, there is also a lot of unfinished business between some of the big fellows.
There is no love lost between Messrs Mwonzora and Biti. Biti is not a Member of Parliament because of Douglas Mwonzora. The uneasy truce remains just that but even that could not hold when in his usual condescending way Biti mocked the people of Marange as a “throwback from our feudal past”.
He accused them of having the highest rate of polygamy in the country and appended a figure of 45 percent as their rate of official multiple partners.
He went further to impute they are not educated by saying that “education and development will eliminate this”. This was one insult too far for Mwonzora who tersely hit back by saying: “The people in Marange deserve respect. They are certainly not feudal.”
This quickly died down in public but the simmering feud is palpable. As Chamisa continues to anchor his grip in the party his rivals continue to weaken and Biti’s stock continues to rise nationally but to decline in Harare East.
Thanks to Mwonzora, he is very unlikely to win back Harare East from Terence Mukupe.
This one will be settled as early as the end of July 2018.
The big question is come December 2018; will Mwonzora’s faction be still in existence? Everyone knows why somebody completely fought against the notion of having an elective congress which would have given Thokozani Khupe no reason to split from the rest. They did that because they, together with their ally Mwonzora, were confident of turning the tables on Chamisa if they had held a congress. Chamisa was wise to that fact and he could not take the risk. He played a street game and won on that turf aided by Charlton Hwende and Shakespeare Mukoyi, who both now have locked horns in Kuwadzana East. Preparations for congress started in earnest immediately with Chamisa hoping that by the stroke of good fortune he might even go to congress in the unassailable position as leader of the Republic.
Mwonzora chose a different approach to his allies. To stay under Chamisa and wait his moment to strike. At the moment he is trying to pretend to preserve party unity for the sake of an electoral payoff, after the election that might not happen. What he is assured of is purging at the December congress. There will be a new executive, which will include coalition partners but exclude Mwonzora and all the leaders being systematically replaced by the former ZINASU cadres.
Let’s face it, this coalition is a ragtag assemblage of little organisations with no internal coherence. They lack an ideological synchrony that will ensure that they cannot resist natural power dynamics. Right now the unity of purpose they have is based on the self-serving quest for power.
The same spirit that saw Elton Mangoma, Biti and the majority of the senior GNU colleagues clinging onto Tsvangirai with the sole wish that he could deliver the 2013 harmonised elections.
When he could not, we saw serious internecine squabbling following. The same thing that happened when Zanu-PF combined with the opposition to get rid of Robert Mugabe with the opposition doing all they did hoping to share power.
When they were told that everything was going to be done by the Constitution, they were angry and bitter. Some of that bitterness is what we see today being expressed in hateful diatribes.
We are dealing with an ideologically anaemic opposition formation which is out of step with the needs of the people and resorts to selling fanciful dreams. Everybody knows there is no way the cash shortages can be solved in days.
But they sell it anyway. If for some miraculous reason the opposition wins these elections there is a good chance of the country experiencing serious instability because of the unstable nature of the alliance whose threading commonality is simply to dislodge Zanu-PF from power.
It is from that moment that the nation will see the amplification of these power dynamics. It will start with the issue of the vice presidents.
The leader of the coalitions is undisputed. But there is no talk about his deputies at all. Chamisa’s MDC-T deputy presidents are unlikely to be the ones to be his vice presidents in government. That would mean taking on his coalition partners. So Mudzuri has to be counted out. But from these small parties only the top leadership will share the spoils of victory.
All those other people in the formations are going to be left behind in this elitist alliance. This is the reason the only visible colour at their rallies is the red for the MDC-T and no other. So from those left out there will be resistance and from the MDC-T main spine there will be again be resistance enough to paralyse any government function.
Free, fair and credible elections are expected to yield quick economic gains but should this Alliance win these elections, then all hell will break loose as they fight for the spoils of the victory.
Are Zimbabweans ready to have another political drama at the expense of economic prosperity?
The only party that is stable at the moment is Zanu-PF. It is only Zanu-PF that is able to leverage the new dispensation and the democratic positives and convert them into economic prosperity. Anything else is a leap into a bottomless abyss. As the Nomination Court seats on Thursday, it is only the beginning of a surely unfolding drama.