President Mnangagwa is on record saying “zvoto zvine mazera”, which loosely translated means “do not send a boy to do a man’s job”. This is exactly what MDC appears to have done in elevating the excitable Nelson Chamisa to the leadership of the MDC-T at the expense of Dr Thokozani Khupe, but that is not our fight.
Political parties are private clubs, they are free to do what they please.
We only take umbrage when their behaviour impacts the national interest.
We are not judging Chamisa on the basis of age, but his antics and utterances that are serving to show he is hardly a day over 40.
A case in point being the infantile threats he recently made against President Mnangagwa when he said the MDC-T would embark on street protests to press for perceived electoral reforms.
We are under no illusion that the threats are part of the opposition’s theatrics for the attention of the EU electoral mission that is currently appraising the political environment ahead of harmonised elections set to be held by July 31 this year.
MDC-T threats are quite surprising, coming on the back of President Mnangagwa’s invitation to leaders of all political parties to convene a consultative indaba ahead of the pending elections, which invitation Chamisa recently scoffed at yet it offered his fractious party a perfect opportunity to table whatever grievances they may have.
The fact that the MDC-T spurns a proffered opportunity for engagement for infantile threats in the media shows that the party is merely grandstanding.
This should be condemned in the strongest possible terms as it goes against the Government’s spirit of ongoing all-stakeholder engagement. It’s apparent the MDC-T simply wants to create self-fulfilling prophecies to trash the election result should it go against them as is widely expected.
It was quite surprisingly to hear Chamisa claim that the election should produce one result only for his party, victory, yet this is not how things work in the real world.
Elections are not zero sum games as they can produce one of three possible outcomes, a win, a loss or a stalemate for competitors. The sooner the excitable Chamisa realises this the better.
Government has shown its commitment to a free and fair election which is why the MDC-T is freely holding rallies even in perceived Zanu-PF strongholds and also why observer teams from all over the world have been given the latitude to come in long before the proclamation of the election has been made.
It takes two to tango and Chamisa needs to realise that while he may play house at his rallies with mock motorcades and other antics, national politics is a far cry from student politics.
We expect him to have the maturity to embrace President’s Mnangagwa’s humility and open ended invitation to an all party indaba with both hands instead of misinterpreting it as a show of weakness.
Such insolence can only lead to grief.