Now that Chamisa’s MDC presidency is assured, here is what he needs to do now
By Hopewell Chin’ono ||
I hear that Nelson “Wamba” Chamisa is going into the MDC congress uncontested after all the MDC provinces nominated him for their party Presidency.
This is hardly surprising because at this point in time in the life of our country, it would have been absolutely foolish for the MDC to experiment with another leader when they have a Wamba who garnered more than two million votes in the 2018 General Election.
The fact that Wamba is the future of the MDC and probably Zimbabwe is not in doubt anymore.
The big question is what kind of future and style of leadership does he have in store for his political party and the country if he succeeds to topple ZANUPF in 2023, assuming that everything remains the same.
His chances are much better and brighter in 2023 because Emmerson Mnangagwa and his so-called “New Dispensation” are spectacularly failing to deliver on their electoral promises that they dished out in 2018.
There will be more than one million new voters on the electoral roll in 2023, these voters were all born after 2004.
Those kids have no interest in war tales or hondo yeminda stories that have been used by Robert Mugabe and his subsequent successors to lure the voters!
They want a better and worldly future that secures them jobs, a solid and functioning public health care system and a predictable and solid standard of living.
It would be ridiculous for anyone of that age to expect an 81-year-old leader to unveil that brighter future for them when that very leader would have failed to deliver when he had the support of the whole world as President Mnangagwa did.
That is why Chamisa stands a better chance of dethroning the ruling party from power if indeed ZANUPF makes the fundamental mistake of letting President Mnangagwa run as their candidate again in 2023.
Regardless of ZANUPF’s hegemonic stranglehold on the State, 2023 will not be 2008, the times and political circumstances have completely changed both home and beyond!
Whereas ZANUPF had an opportunity to renew itself and rule again for another generation after removing Robert Mugabe in a military coup, they have turned on themselves like an Ouroboros, a snake that eats itself.
Where President Mnangagwa would have been a transformational leader, his failure to reform the State is turning him into an inconsequential President who has failed to take advantage of the immense goodwill from the rest of the world, and indeed unlikely quarters back home in Zimbabwe.
All these factors work in Wamba’s favor BUT, the hopes and the confidence that have been bestowed onto him by his party are no different from the same goodwill that Emmerson Mnangagwa blew away in a short space of time after the coup.
Power comes with immense responsibilities to it, Nelson Chamisa needs to turn the page and show Zimbabweans that he has the maturity and gravitas required of someone who has been given such a huge responsibility to provide alternative national leadership.
Wamba made some terrible mistakes in the run up to the 2018 elections and fortunately he accepts that, he can’t be defined by such mistakes because it is not the mistake that matters, but what you learn from it.
The MDC’s biggest undoing was its failure to penetrate rural Zimbabwe where the majority of the voters reside, and also its failure to field election agents at EVERY polling station.
ZANUPF has repeatedly taken advantage of this glaring reality and bought their way into power underpinned by a show of force and fear derived from previous brutal acts of violence.
This again will not work in 2023 if Nelson Chamisa and the MDC start their election preparations NOW.
There is a lot of suffering in rural areas and a majority of these voters have realized that ZANUPF and its leader duped them into surrendering their vote with false promises.
The debacle at the tobacco floors is a microcosm and a foretaste for rural voters of what is in store for them and also a lesson in how ZANUPF bites the hand that feeds it.
Nelson Chamisa should not entirely rely on ZANUPF’s predictable mistakes to win an election, he should be pro-active and go into the belly of ZANUPF’s rural support base and campaign there NOW!
The MDC should not only be be a part of grievances, but a real alternative that offer solutions to today’s problems.
Currently the opposition has failed to provide proper inspirational leadership regardless of the monumental failures by the ruling party.
Incompetent and predatory sharks that are consumed with making personal fortunes whilst the country is burning currently surround the country’s President.
Chamisa should surround himself with competent, forward looking and able lieutenants who understand the nature and ruthlessness of their adversary.
I say so because the quality of some of the MDC Mayors is appalling for a party that promises a fundamental shift in the way we are governed!
The MDC is also afflicted with the “loyalty to the leader” syndrome that has destroyed ZANUPF and Zimbabwe.
Wamba must demonstrate a real point of departure with such retrogressive politics that might have been necessitated by his lack of a mandate!
He can’t preach change whilst imposing incompetent mayors on Zimbabwe’s metropolitan cities.
He should understand the immediate needs of his various political constituencies, and start addressing them and their needs through providing solutions that can give that electorate confidence that he can deliver if they give him their vote.
The fact that ZANUPF is a failure doesn’t make Chamisa and his party an automatic choice for Munhumutapa building, he needs to motivate people to go out and vote, that is the nature of politics.
You should make citizens vote for you and not merely vote against your advesary because you will lose votes to apathy.
Wamba should also stop engaging on petty things like the Zimbabwe Bird discourse at a time when public hospitals have NO gloves, bandages and medicines.
He should instead be addressing the bigger matters of the day such as, education, jobs, the economy, water and sanitation in councils where the MDC is running town halls, because he will be judged on how his Mayors and parliamentarians behave.
He needs to demonstrate to the outside world that he is indeed the man to take Zimbabwe away from the brokenness defined and anchored by ZANUPF, to a better future full of hope and prosperity for its long suffering people.
Currently the MDC has lost support of the traditional friends and allies abroad due to a failure to provide proper alternative leadership, it is now Wamba’s job to fix that problem.
Back inside his party, he now needs to run it with the ruthlessness that was missing and as a result cost them seats in parliament due to fielding double candidates.
A political party that expects to win an election and remove a ruling party of 43 years from power must be disciplined.
They have to work extremely hard to win the elections and to make sure that the necessary electoral reforms are implemented.
There is a temptation to surround himself with his friends and homeboys, his MDC must reflect the country’s ethnic make up especially at the top and be sensitive to regional politics especially in Bulawayo.
He should avoid the same mistake that Emmerson Mnangagwa made of packing the top leadership in government with his relatives, homeboys (and girls), friends and business associates.
That would be a recipe for disaster, as ZANUPF shall soon see.
Robert Mugabe always ruled with two other clans, he stayed at the top for that long for a reason, it wasn’t a fluke.
The ideal top leadership should be Wamba, Welshman Ncube/Tabitha Khumalo, Tendai Biti and Douglas Mwonzora, this simply means that all the main clans are represented with genuinely capable leaders and not just token names.
Wamba needs to unite his political party the MDC and understand that he is not a president for an ethnic group but for the national MDC party that wants the vote of every Zimbabwean.
Those that wish to follow him, he should openly welcome with his hands and provide leadership, something that the ruling party is clearly failing to provide.
Wamba has made his mistakes, but he can’t be written off on the basis of a dishonest comparison with individuals that have killed thousands of people to stay in power, and looted and mismanaged billions of dollars impoverishing a nation and driving its citizens into abject poverty and into early graves!
Lastly Wamba must understand and learn one important political lesson form Morgan Tsvangirai’s unfortunate failures, POWER IS TAKEN NOT GIVEN!