As things stand, the opposition grouping not only runs the horrifying risk of losing a massive chunk of democratic credibility through participating in a sham poll – which is practically impossible to win – but also losing an election which the electoral union essentially lost when President Emmerson Mnangagwa ascended to power after the November 2017 military takeover and immediately crowned himself a champion of change (with the support of MDC-T).
A military coup is hardly ever synonymous with democratic change or free, fair and transparent elections. Yet the MDC Alliance appears progressively overwhelmed by incredible denial and endless indecision over how to handle Mnangagwa’s soft dictatorship.
MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa last month promised to boycott the election if the electoral landscape remained biased towards ZANU-PF – and nothing has changed since then.
But while addressing Alliance supporters at Garwe Stadium in Chivhu on 5 June, Chamisa sang an entirely different tune altogether and vowed not to boycott the election despite how unequal the electoral landscape is.
The Kuwadzana legislator claimed he told Southern Africa Democratic Union (SADC) and African Union (AU) electoral observers that Mnangagwa would not get “25% or 20% of total votes…I know all their tricks to bring in fake ballot boxes”.
Although Chamisa’s trademark braggadocious swagger is incredibly entertaining, such political grandstanding is fairly naive, uncalled-for and simply disturbing.
As a former Minister of Information and Communication Technology who has made much about how digitally illiterate Mnangagwa allegedly is, Chamisa should understand that the democratic devil lurks in the critical details.
So I can’t for the life of me understand why the MDC Alliance has not been running dependable weekly and monthly opinion polls in all towns, cities, rural areas and provinces and announcing the results regularly.
Opinion polls can help structure electoral strategies and help identify increasing or waning support and really demonstrate mass support if need be.
How on earth will AU, SADC or European Union (EU) observers or leaders concur with (or attach value to) Chamisa’s subjective valuations of Mnangagwa’s electoral chances when his political calculations remain devoid of research findings and based on gut feelings and the look and feel of massive campaign rallies?
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