Chamisa shouldn’t place an ounce of faith in discredited regional bodies. No matter how contentious and desperate the electoral situation might get, the AU and SADC will never run an election in Zimbabwe.
Both the AU and SADC wouldn’t want to open a Pandora’s box of electoral disputes and be obligated to attempt to intervene in a plethora of controversial election campaigns across Africa.
Besides this organised political opposition to progressive politics, the Zimbabwean military complex, led by Vice President Constantine Chiwenga, Zimbabwe Defence Forces chiefs, leading war veterans and ZANU-PF hardliners, would never allow either the AU or SADC to run an election in Zimbabwe.
Worse still, electoral observers won’t (and can’t) do much to change electoral processes or electoral results; mind you, the electoral observers’ overrated presence is principally a dignified and functional exercise in international diplomacy that is undertaken to fulfil unilateral obligations and safeguard geopolitical influence.
If Chamisa remains comfortable with indulging in loquacious press conferences and releasing fanciful public statements on Twitter and Facebook or indeed entertaining thoughts of gallivanting around SADC and hobnobbing with leaders who have bigger problems to worry about than a foreign election which is yet to take place, Mnangagwa would be overjoyed with such inconsequential evaluation and denunciation of his dubious democratic project.
But, if Chamisa boycotts the election and develops a fresh struggle against political and humanitarian injustices, Zimbabwe will venture into the unknown and that would concern Mnangagwa and international investors and lead to enormous despondency and massive unrest – and change down the line.
However, if the MDC alliance participates in the 30 July poll and Mnangagwa wins the presidential vote, Chamisa and the MDC Alliance will have to acknowledge defeat and start planning for the 2023 elections.
Chamisa would also have to lobby the US to remove the ZIDERA economic sanctions and help Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF make an economic success of a deftly structured soft dictatorship.
Whatever happens on July 30, Chamisa faces a make or break moment in his topsy-turvy political career.
By Tafi Mhaka for News24