By Grace Kwinjeh
That the MDC-Alliance led by Advocate Nelson Chamisa is an ailing force is no longer a subject for debate.
The party suffers mostly from self-inflicted wounds – ones that its opponents are graciously exploiting, meaning that it is no longer enough, to keep screaming SMICE – Sex, Money, Infiltration, Influence and Coercion, as a diversionary tactic or to deflect accusations of weak leadership.
It is patently clear that a leader who claims to be ahead of the game in town, does not take to social media, complains that his trusted leaders have been bought or are being sha**ged by the enemy. This only betrays lack of control, paranoia and no real alternative strategies to save the moment.
Furthermore, it is a self-defeating strategy as it only sets the rank and file of the party against each other, as it feeds into the already existing paranoia and lack of trust.
SMICE as a strategy to compromise or neutralise opponents, is universal, the church, private sector, media, in any space that even has some modicum of power and influence.
Meaning that any wise politician before venturing into the murky political waters, understands fully the consequences and insulates himself against such. It is therefore, not an exclusive ploy against the MDC-Alliance and its leadership, rather they should question their lack of backbone to deal with such, and not go complaining on social media.
It is demonstrably foolhardy to imagine that the MDC-Alliance under Chamisa, 20 years in opposition leadership, is not grounded in these matters, out of conviction able to stand their ground, as part of a well thought out strategy of taking over power from Zanu-PF.
There is always a heavy price for such amateurish political laxity, which forces leaders to take comfort in convenient lies, while continuing with the ostrich approach of burying the head in the sand and not dealing with critical issues at hand – to do with leadership failure and deficit.
Consequently, playing victim no longer pays, it’s costly, people want action that delivers results.
The latest in the recent drama filled events, is the public outrage by his allies, those who recently left Zanu PF, these are the G-40 elements, who are peeved at the way Chamisa over the months in their book, mishandled the Tendai Masotcha debacle.
There is a background to this, and it is that the G-40 cabal has been an essential component in the MDC Alliance’s decision-making matrix, over the past two years, a key reason why they are able with unrestrained entitlement, to show their public displeasure at Chamisa’s apparent ‘retrogressive’ position on the Masotsha matter. Hoping he has learnt one or things from this.
I leave it at that, because the Masotsha matter has taken enough social media attention and is not the subject under discussion here.
It is important though as we discuss our future to critically and analytically dissect these political developments, lest we continue to be hoodwinked by unscrupulous politicians. Blind followers do not build powerful movements, with the might to dislodge entrenched nationalist ruling parties.
In my last installment, I signed off on the sanctions debate. In this regard, let us assess some informative global events over the past days, and how we can be useful harbingers, as contributors to progressive conversations, that have a bearing on the welfare of our country and continent.
USA President Donald Trump is on his way out, while his key ally in Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro also suffered a major setback after losing in key municipality elections – marking yet another push-back against right wing resurgence.
There are interesting parallels to be made, which hopefully Chamisa can learn from. Bolsonaro also rose to popularity in 2018, the time that Chamisa’s star was seemingly rising. In less than two years both men who have openly allied with Trump and his policies, are struggling to survive politically. Bolsonaro pins his hopes on the 2022 general election, while Chamisa pins his on the 2023 elections.
The intrigue does not end there, both men struggle with political homes, having left their original parties for other alliances – Chamisa in 2018 campaigned under the MDC-Alliance which embraced former Zanu PF leaders and other allies, while Bolsonaro left the Social Christian Party to join the Social Liberal Party, leaving it again to form another party. Chamisa is under pressure to form a new party ahead of the 2023 elections.
Both are entangled up in neo-liberal right wing rhetoric.
Just like the hashtag BlackLivesMatter, ‘Land Back’ is another increasingly popular hashtag and campaign slogan, by indigenous people who are fighting to claim back their heritage stolen from them centuries ago. This land was violently taken from them, they have never given up the fight and the movement is growing stronger from country to country.
Though the MDC is born out of the trade-union movement, they have had a very queer relationship with global capital and the neo-liberal agenda, which has often isolated the party from key conversations, that could be beneficial. Incisive is the way they see nothing wrong in the use of sanctions by the USA or EU, targeted or otherwise as weapons of coercion, that only reinforce historically unequal relations between Africans and the West.
Sanctions imposed during the farm invasions of 2000, were a global knee-jerk reaction to the plight of white farmers who were being displaced on their farms and nothing to do with the plight of black Zimbabweans. It all goes back to the question of food, land and agriculture all major sources of paradigm wars, as we shall explore in the next installments.
In Venezuela it is estimated that the loss to the economy due to sanctions, was at US11 billion, while the country’s ability to purchase food and other imports is compromised.
There is no USA largess where its interests are concerned and an MDC government will still be treated with the same policies and conditions, failure to adhere to such having equally devastating consequences.
To be continued….
Grace Kwinjeh is a journalist and and women’s rights advocate