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By Kuda Bwititi
A common aphorism about political language is that it is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and true to this, a lot of hot air is circulating on the political scene in the lead up to the day of reckoning, July 30.
It’s just over 20 days before the elections and as expected, the silly season is now in full swing.
Topping the list of politicians making the loudest cacophony of noise is MDC Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa.
At 40, Mr Chamisa is one of the youngest candidates among the record 23 presidential aspirants and it was expected that he would be the most excitable.
However, Mr Chamisa took his grandstanding to new lows while addressing a Press conference at his party’s headquarters, Morgan Tsvangirai House, formerly Harvest House, in Harare last Wednesday.
The MDC Alliance leader left dozens of journalists who attended the presser disillusioned by the nature of his message which was conflicted in content, conflated in clarity and catastrophic in conception.
It was the type of stuff that George Orwell aptly termed doublethink in his classic novel, “1984”.
According to Orwell, doublethink is the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously and accepting both of them.
During the presser, it became evidently clear that the MDC-Alliance was steeped in two great fallacies that seem to have left him in a web of confusion and a manifestation of lack of cohesion.
It is fair and fine for every politician to fancy their chances in the plebiscite, but Chamisa’s posturing that the ruling zanu-pf party does not have meaningful support is laughable.
Such is Mr Chamisa’s excited optimism that he told the journalists that President Mnangagwa could not even get votes from his own family.
Secondly, despite his egotistical optimism, Mr Chamisa has an intrinsic fear that the election will not be free and fair and believes there is a plot by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) in cahoots with zanu-pf to rig the popular vote.
This belief in two contrary ideas has become confusing to the electorate and one journalist presented this question to Mr Chamisa, highlighting that the voters were now perplexed by his posturing because they do not understand how he is so confident of winning the election, yet continues throw mud at the arbiter of that process, Zec.
It is a situation that creates a dilemma in the minds of many as to what it is that Mr Chamisa is really on about. Perhaps it may need psychologists to best explain Mr Chamisa’s state of mind.
According to psychosomatic theory, politicians are one of the groups of people vulnerable to a condition named the delusion of grandeur, an inherent, but false belief that one possesses superior qualities to be in a certain position of influence.
People who suffer from delusion of grandeur often have the persuasion and belief that they have made some important discovery that others don’t understand or appreciate.
This condition is often associated with unbridled arrogance, all-powerfulness, dementia and it is probable that Mr Chamisa could be falling into this psychopathic pit.
Journalists who attended the presser will remember Mr Chamisa’s anti-climax moment when he indicated that he would for the first time reveal the strategy that zanu-pf uses to rig elections.
With their pens and recorders ready and mouths watering in anticipation of a scoop, Mr Chamisa disappointed and failed to deliver as he could only say that “at an appropriate time, I will give you information about how the rigging is taking place”.
Even the small-minded could not be deceived by this, as all watched in aghast as Mr Chamisa took preposterousness to another level.
There was yet another howler from the quadragenarian when he told the journalists that one of the factors underpinning the so-called ballot scandal was that President Mnangagwa’s name appears on the top of the second column of the ballot paper.
The source of his party’s complaint, he said, was the positioning of President Mnangagwa on the first spot on the second column of the ballot.
What Mr Chamisa conveniently chose to omit is the fact that his name is second on the first column, a factor that appears to actually give him more advantage. One should feel some compassion for the electorate, for it’s fast becoming a tumultuous terrain for them as politicians are pulling all sorts of tricks in their hats to up the tempo ahead of the crucial poll.
The extent of Mr Chamisa sedentary optimism is alarming and how he continues to be so untethered to the truth is beyond belief.
His strong belief that he will win the elections resoundingly represents a terrible refusal to accept the reality that is squarely before home through reputable international opinion polls which have said otherwise.
In his fixation with being at the helm of the highest office in the land, Mr Chamisa refuses to see any other possibility than of him winning the elections.
Little wonder there is a joke doing the rounds that every morning, Mr Chamisa has come up with a habit of doing rehearsals of inspecting the Presidential Guard of honour while looking at himself in the mirror, all in his delusional grandeur in which he sees himself as President of Zimbabwe.