Without any fear of contradiction, this writer wishes to put it on record that from the way the opposition is becoming chaotic administratively and organisationally, in Smithian reflections of “not in a thousand years”, it is certain that there is no opposition to talk about at the moment in Zimbabwe, and even so, “not in a thousand years”.
This emanates from the changing political terrain that countenance Zimbabweans.
Between 2018 and 2023, there have been radical political changes to which scenarios which the electorate was exposed to in 2018 are totally different from what is present today.
Not everyone wants the opposition to win and not every voter wants Zanu PF to lose, nor is convinced the opposition can upset the ruling party.
There are those in the opposition, whose political foundations are never influenced by the nationalist political narrative that is expected of them to criticise the current Government with ideas drawn from the same fountain.
Now that they are at the tail end of their political span, their protégés should start to rethink and recalibrate their political thoughts if ever they want to be efficient against Zanu PF.
Without nationalist influenced politics, it is a challenge to lead Zimbabwe.
This is a difficult subject to appreciate, but after today’s offering, it will be easy to understand that in the Zimbabwean opposition, despite character, shape and form, there is no democratic entity that will likely exist in the coming years because democracy in opposition circles has proven to be a colossal failure.
This will apply mainly to the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) which assumes the position of being the main contestant against Zanu PF.
Compromised, corrupt and contaminated
There are small details that, if they are unquestioned, political leaders will live their lives thinking they are doing things democratically.
The CCC leader Nelson Chamisa has portrayed that he likes practising democracy in undemocratic ways, and that can be normal.
His fear of democratic practice proves he is characteristically unstable around power.
It is his desire to ride on the confirmation bias in which he only inflames the wish to believe; being caught in the allure of illusions and magical thinking and playing off the primitive defence mechanism of splitting people, magnifying external threats and fanning a collective paranoia.
This is primarily a strategic mechanism of those that validate their budding authoritarian tendencies at a micro, later macro level, through preferences to use the “doctrine of strategic ambiguity”.
The doctrine is all, but a divide and rule tactic being played in silent mode.
As a result, the CCC brand, because it is anchored on an individual, has become compromised and some of Chamisa’s followers have been morally corrupted and contaminated to be undemocratic elements.
Chamisa is choking out those without financial means such as Luke Tamborinyoka, a man whose loyalty to the “democratic alternative” since the days of Morgan Tsvangirai.
Political loyalty does not matter to Chamisa, changed circumstances matter.
It was Tamborinyoka who also fought hard to ensure Chamisa ascended to the MDC leadership after Tsvangirai’s demise, with his reward coming in the form of a political ticket to represent the MDC in Goromonzi West constituency.
As fate would have it, Chamisa deliberately let Clifford Nhamburo become a contestant in the same constituency to checkmate Tamborinyoka against Zanu PFs contestant Cde Energy Mutodi.
Such is the treachery Chamisa has in the name of democracy as the constituency was won by Zanu PF.
The same Tamborinyoka now knows that in the CCC, as in the old movement, there are strangers with money who are making their way to buy endorsements from Chamisa.
Delimitation was a blessing?
Those who thought the CCC was going to challenge the delimitation process by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) need to think twice, the process actually worked in the favour of that party to address its internal problems and let the electoral boundaries get rid of unwanted people or create tensions between potential candidates to which Chamisa will be the arbiter.
While many have been affected, of key interest are two parliamentarians, who belong to the same faction within the party, Highfield West’s Happymore Chidziva and Harare East’s Tendai Biti.
The duo is struggling for recognition. Chidziva has for a long time been targeted for a lack of “political finesse” by Chamisa’s camp which is being led by Fadzayi Mahere.
Despite holding an interim position in the rural mobilisation portfolio, Chidziva’s inability to resist the US$40 000 loan as part of a package for parliamentarians put him in a spot of bother with Mahere, who holds a significant influence on Chamisa.
Without a constituency to claim, unlike Biti in Harare East, Chidziva is no longer seen as a valid foot soldier because of changed circumstances, despite his loyalty to Chamisa, and not the institution, if there was one.
With Mahere in the picture, she is set to be awarded Mount Pleasant constituency. This is the constituency Harare mayor Jacob Mafume is also expecting to represent.
For Mafume, he has been advised to remain as a councillor and not contest Mahere, under the promise that he will become the city’s mayor for the second time.
Such is an unenviable promise, especially when dealing with a party that is not democratic.
What about Biti?
Biti sees himself as a man of action. A man who cannot be Machiavellian.
He does not need schooling on how to refine himself politically. The problem is his flaming and uncontrollable tongue. Where he lacks in ideas, he resorts to bad mouthing others.
In April 2014 as secretary-general of the MDC-T he described Tsvangirai as someone who had “transformed into a fiefdom of the leader”.
In March 2021, Biti issued an offending statement when he was commenting on Professor Lovemore Madhuku’s interpretation of the law, which he characterised as being “pure witchcraft”.
Biti is alleged to have anger issues.
Now he is issuing remarks insinuating one of CCC parliamentarians Allan Markham as a “snake” whose head must be crushed. His tone inflames political violence, yet he is the “democrat”.
It is without doubt that Biti, because of the lack of a pragmatic programme of political action from his technically authoritarian boss, Chamisa, the duo does not see issues using the same frame and applying a similar worldview.
The issue that incenses him is the inability of the CCC to show the level of political competence that matches Zanu PF.
Soon, as history has a tendency of repeating itself, Biti will address the nation giving reasons why the CCC would have lost to Zanu PF.
When things do not go according to his expectations, internally, he gives a public post-mortem on what caused the failures.
Struggle for recognition
In politics, there are several reasons why conflicts occur at a national level or why wars break out on the global scene.
Breaking down the causes to a micro-level and within the CCC gives an impression that it is the status discrepancy perspective that is pitting Biti the “underdog” and Chamisa the “top dog”.
The political survival of Biti is now premised on a status that he gets from Chamisa and Chamisa’s generosity and benevolence will give Biti a political lifeline.
Human beings naturally, after self-actualisation, want to attain recognition.
Unfortunately, this has not been the case with Biti, who in turn is clandestinely working with Gift Ostallos Siziba .
Siziba is to Biti what Mahere is to Chamisa, a handy political gadget.
In six days, the nomination court will sit, and the “most democratic party” that does its processes in the most undemocratic way is yet to complete the candidate selection process that started on April 5.
The internal party processes have been opaque and it is known that Chamisa is running out of time as he tries to pacify the losing party representatives.
He is democratically doing this all alone, and some party elements are just going by as a way to massage his ego because to him, it was deliberate to ensure that his party does not have systems that moderate its functionality.
It is highly likely that in the strata of political consciousness, nationalist-oriented voters will not give Chamisa any chance near the institutions of power by a greater margin because the country will forever be vulnerable to his swinging individualistic personality.
While Zimbabweans say “none-but-ourselves” can liberate and rebuild this country, for Chamisa it is symptomatic that his is a “none-but-myself” political journey of wishful thoughts.
Zimbabweans, remember we are one. This is homeland!