Chamisa may be in power for only nine months, if he wins


The chances of kicking out Chamisa are therefore quite high. But, of course, none of his supporters will swallow that right now. Leaders are chosen by the executive and not supporters. Right now Chamisa is surrounded by hounds whose support for him is highly questionable.  Tendai Biti was Chamisa’s boss for years and left when he could not agree with Tsvangirai, who was not just his boss but was also his senior in terms of age. Welshman Ncube was number three from Tsvangirai for the first six years of the party’s founding. Douglas Mwonzora beat Chamisa at the 2014 party congress only to see Chamisa promoted by Tsvangirai. Jonathan Moyo is supporting Chamisa for a totally different reason, but surely there must be something in it for him. The four people mentioned, apart from Mwonzora, who worked with Tsvangirai from his trade union days, were the very people that Tsvangirai said in his book were riding on his popularity but were uncomfortable with him.  Are they comfortable with Chamisa’s leadership? Are they not just riding on his popularity?  Until when?

But March might be too far if Chamisa wins. The very people that will vote for him are likely to rebel against him when they realise that all his promises were just hot air. It is much easier to be in opposition than to rule because when you are in opposition, your job is just to oppose, but when you are in government you now have to deliver and implement what you promised. An Afrobarometer poll showed for example that people believe that Chamisa can create jobs better than Emmerson Mnangagwa of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

One is honestly bound to ask: how is this possible? Can Chamisa create more jobs using local resources? Does he have the support of the local business community?  Forget about foreign investment under Chamisa. He does not have the support of the Southern African Development Community. He has upset the European Union. He has upset China. He has upset Britain. Who, therefore, will come to invest in the country under his reign? May be the United States but it too was upset when Chamisa announced that Washington had promised him $15 billion for investment. Whispers say Chamisa upset even more people when he visited Israel last month on what he termed a private visit. Although he said he was fortified in his faith after the visit, whispers say this was a diplomatic blunder because no one wants to be associated with Israel because of its human rights record.

With the elections only a week away, Zimbabweans have to take a hard look at themselves and ask whether they want real change, that is change in their own lives or whether they want cosmetic change- that is change just for the sake of change.

I am from the older generation, but I have nothing against Chamisa, except that I do not believe he can deliver, not because of his age but because he does not have what it takes to revive this country. He has talked about the new generation taking over citing Barack Obama, Emmanuel Macron and Justin Trudeau. But these are leaders of highly developed, stable economies. Zimbabwe is not.

A lot of young people have never known the joy of being independent or even being employed or employing themselves gainfully out of their own will rather than merely to survive and therefore do not like ZANU-PF or anyone associated with it. They have every right to hate ZANU-PF and its leader Mnangagwa, but they also have to be realistic. In the movie, Godfather III, Mafia don Michael Corleone tells his protégé Vincent Mancini why it is dangerous to hate someone.  Vincent wants to kill Joey Zasa because Joey persistently makes derogatory remarks about his godfather. Michael tells Vincent that Joey is nothing. “He’s a small-time enforcer. He bluffs, threats, but nothing.” Vincent insists he must kill Joey but Michael tells him: “No! Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.”

I don’t envy Chamisa at all because he is really in a Catch 22. If he wins, his colleagues will get him. If he loses, his colleagues will get him again.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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