From a Christian point of view, Jesus said His followers ought to rejoice and be glad when insulted and persecuted unfairly. The only credit that cannot be taken away from Adv Nelson Chamisa, is that He remains cool, under unbelievable virulent attacks from various angles. There is nothing wrong with criticisms, as necessary for personal growth. But each criticism ought to be evaluated according to its merit.
There is no doubt that Advocate Nelson Chamisa’s movement has endured an unparalleled onslaught from a brutal governing system. Lately, there have been unbridled criticisms against the leader of the newly formed political party, CCC. The most disturbing condition is that it seems the attacks are coming from those having appeared as critical of the regime. The causes of personal attacks include those viewing Chamisa as not radical enough against the ZANU PF assault.
The elderly people would remember the reason for the formation of ZANU in 1963. The split was caused by those judging that Nkomo was not radical enough, against Ian Smith. The insanity that prevails in most people’s minds is that you have to be incarcerated and treated badly, to be a hero. That mindset can be classified as demonic. Hence the radical ZANU PF turned out to be the enemy of the same people that it purported to liberate.
Initially, as the leader of MDCA, Nelson Chamisa did the unpredictable. He garnered over two million votes, although having emerged from a bruising contestation of the leadership of that party. Not many people had given Chamisa a chance, except his organic supporters, across the country. His academic critics appeared as either displaying jealousness or stuck in assuming that political parties ought to be modelled according to ZANU PF ideological framework.
Before the 2018 elections, the courts ruled in favour of Thokozani Khuphe to take over the MDCT party formation. Hence Nelson Chamisa had to register as MDCA, instead. This was similar to how the ZANU PF party name was adopted by RGM after Rev. Sithole had claimed legitimacy over the ZANU name in 1980.
However, after the 2018 elections, it was Nelson Chamisa’s party that garnered enough votes that could have wrestled power from ZANU PF. Rather than congratulate him for doing well, as a newly formed political outfit, the critics remained adamant in that Chamisa was not good enough.
In May 2019, MDCA later held a highly successful and peaceful congress in Gweru. Since the coup in 2017, there had not been any other party having held a similarly successful congress, in Zimbabwe, except the MDCA. The ruling party is yet to hold its congress after the death of RGM. Without anything to show on the ground, the critics opined that Chamisa was too infantile to lead the country. Even the ED’s known critics found it convenient to direct their vitriol against Chamisa, rather than against ED.
The centre of criticism was that Chamisa was too selfish, and was not willing to join POLAD. It remains unclear as to how Chamisa’s acceptance of POLAD inclusion would have added value in governance. Such a kind of criticism came from Church leaders, but including media channels, the principal of which critic was Gambakwe Media. The controversial SC judgment facilitated the stripping of Chamisa’s ascension to the MDCA party leadership.
Those critics gleefully opined that Chamisa’s political career had been dealt a crushing blow, by the Supreme Court. It remains a mystery, how the legal fraternity justified the stripping of Political Parties Financing, of Chamisa’s party. Chamisa had given ED a formidable run for his money. He lost controversially for the Presidency in that election. The finances that were due to MDCA, including party Headquarters, were technically awarded to the losers.
Gambakwe media was at the forefront, supporting Dr Thokozani Khuphe and Douglas Mwonzora. There may have been various other media channels, supporting the SC judgment, but Gambakwe media was at the forefront. Many people provide a narrative that State Capture caused those legal failures.
But, undoubtedly, Chamisa faced enmity even among respectable government critics. This included those suggesting that Chamisa had a propensity for violence. This was galvanized by the incident at Tsvangirai’s burial. The thugs were caught on camera. Nelson Chamisa later recommended that those culprits be arrested, but no arrests were made.
However, Chamisa’s critics have remained adamant that Chamisa assigned those thugs to attack Dr. Khuphe, even without evidence. Interestingly, Dr Khuphe has since joined hands with Chamisa’s CCC project. Instead of highlighting that as a positive development, the media continued to promote Douglas Mwonzora.
As if disappointed, the media played down Khuphe’s move, suggesting that there would be fissures within CCC. However, the capable leadership of Nelson Chamisa outshined them. History has it that Chamisa peacefully relinquished the MDCA party logo and its symbols to his nemesis, Douglas Mwonzora.
This was at the point of his announcement of the formation of the Citizens Coalition for Change. Some people call it rebranding. But the leadership of the new political formation has maintained that this is a new political outfit with a new philosophy designed to resonate with ordinary citizens. Conveniently, this cancels all previous accusations against whatever omissions MDCA had been assumed to be guilty of.
CCC is said to be a brand new party, preparing itself for the scheduled forthcoming elections, in 2023. In recent by-elections, necessitated by the confusion created by the Supreme Court judgment, CCC garnered the biggest share of the total votes. The regime was caught by surprise. The winning margin was against the brazen violation of the electoral laws by the regime. Grudgingly, the ZEC recognized that CCC was a major political player.
CCC articulated the road map toward formulating a political entity, in readiness for the 2023 elections. There are over twenty recognized political parties in Zimbabwe. But none has attracted criticism, more than the CCC. Because of hardheartedness, many people still insist that CCC is weak.
A renowned political scientist, in the mould of Professor Jonathan Moyo, cast aspersions upon CCC. This planted a suggestion that CCC was a secretive political movement inviting ordinary citizens to denounce it. This suggests that more than twenty other political parties are transparent. Only the newly formed CCC, having popularly won in recent elections, should be regarded as secretive.
A catalogue of rampant provocations, leaving a trail of political murders against CCC, invited disapproval from some emotive political players. This led to arbitrary arrests of those expressing dissatisfaction over clear misapplication of law provisions. Those arrests included the fiery Honorable Sikala, a political activist who has been incarcerated more than sixty-five times, but without conviction.
What riles ordinary people is that those arrested are kept in custody over long periods, without trial. This is not only barbaric but also uncivilized, as appearing to be the abuse of law enforcement provisions. One of the politically vocal Christian leaders, Apostle Talent Chiwengwa, has since added his criticism of Nelson Chamisa.
He dropped a bombshell stating that Chamisa was not leadership material. He accused Nelson Chamisa, of being weak, as a leader of the main opposition party. There is no explanation as to how a party formed about six months ago, has become the main opposition party. Apostle Talent Chiwengwa advocates that Job Sikala should replace Nelson Chamisa as a leader of CCC.
His scathing attack resonated with Professor Jonathan Moyo and others, suggesting that the leadership of CCC is infantile. Naturally, this sows seeds of discord in the new political project of the CCC movement. It seems there are people with itching ears to hear about negative narratives than listening to the articulation of those in CCC leadership.
However, the questions that remain unanswered over these varied criticisms include: 1) Why is the media awash with criticizing CCC, rather than ZANU PF and other senior political parties, like MDC T? 2) What standard is being used to compare the effectiveness of CCC? 3) Why should Chamisa’s leadership be questioned, yet with the empirical evidence of having more supporters than any other in the country? 4) Why are Chamisa’s supporters viewed as unintelligent, by those randomly granted the status of being intellectuals?
(1 The media does not seem to be interested in highlighting positive developments more than negative developments. The media, in general, seems to be benefitting a great deal out of chaos rather than out of order. This is characteristic of the common behaviour of those attached to criminal activities in government circles. In the existence of confusion, the media is among those institutions that operate more profitably in that atmosphere, than in the existence of the order.
2) There is an obsession with terms like political ideology. CCC is accused of having no clear ideology as if it is a crime to craft its own philosophy. But it is a voluntary organization in a purportedly free country. There is an unwritten standard that one’s ideology has to be either aligned to Western democracies or aligned to Communistic autocracies. You are considered a Western puppet if your ideology is not communistic. This reeks of the invalidation of the African people, by those purporting to have been the champions of the liberation struggle.
3) Nelson Chamisa is the most invalidated politician, yet with an undisputed vast majority of supporters countrywide. In 2018 Nelson Chamisa was roundly humiliated for being childish, during a BBC Hard Talk platform. To the objective audience, that interview smacked off one agenda; to humiliate an apparent infantile politician in Zimbabwe. The considered highly respected intellectuals have always doubted Nelson Chamisa as being suitable for leadership. Hence most of them had been sold to the idea that Douglas Mwonzora would be a better replacement for leadership in the main opposition outfit.
(4 Our country carries people with the assumption that some people are more important than others. In other words, while nominally talking about democracy, there is no belief in democracy, in those stuck in condescending. I suppose this has generally been the culture of ZANU PF leadership since 1980.
Hence, the traditional leaders are instructed to tell their subjects to vote according to acceptable viewpoints from the top. In Zimbabwe, democracy had been a façade until Chamisa’s CCC came into being. Thanks to Chamisa’s ill-treatment. It facilitated the consideration of citizens in governance, above everything. Ordinary supporters of this new political outfit are now aware of Chamisa’s opponents being directed at the citizens.
There are those putting blame on one individual, for everything wrong in Zimbabwe’s political and economic challenges. In this case, ED is considered the only culprit. That appears true when considering that holding a leadership position demands more responsibility. But how did ED occupy the leadership position without people supporting him?
Others would be quick with a rejoinder that this was a military coup. But the international community views it as having been a civilian-assisted military coup. Zimbabweans are better off, removing the common narrative of a coup and start taking responsibility for correcting the country’s woes. We are an independent country that demands responsibility from each and every one of us to exercise our right to vote. That is the only way by which the restoration of our dignity, as a nation, can be assured.
The highlighted four symptoms are spiritually driven. They exist not only in the minds of those fronting them. But also exist in the minds of those regarded as ordinary people in society. A spirit cannot be seen by physical eyes. It only influences the general behaviour of humanity, affecting, especially, the uninformed populace.
The poignant question should be what could be the cause of the virulent attacks on Nelson Chamisa? There is no need to think deeper. Positive answers are ensconced in common sense, regardless of whether one considers him/herself educated or uneducated. Social media ought to be given credit for helping out in the dissemination of information. Otherwise, our enemies are not flesh and blood.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”(Ephesians 6:12 NIV).
There is nothing wrong with Advocate Nelson Chamisa. The consideration of him being weak and immature to lead a political party is a spiritual communication that carries no logic. Zimbabweans are better off focusing on one objective, restoring order in our political environment.
This requires each and every one of us to aim at voting for the people of integrity. Those to lead us ought to be voted for, constitutionally. Each of us needs to encourage members of our community to register to vote. We would have exercised a great deal of responsibility, rather than waste time listening to those talking about empty ideologies.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99