#Ivote4PeaceZW2018 ElectionsArticles

Chamisa Campaign: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

By Wisdom Mumera

Elections and their attendant madness are officially over whatever else remains is an obsessive denial of the truth, sticklers for truth pushing against fate or mop-up exercises as we trudge back to normalcy.

Chamisa and his camp are falling into the middle rank, refusing to move. They may have a case or they may not. What is definite is that their campaign was eventful and left a lot of memories of the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

Like a bastardised African version of Barack Obama from 2008, Chamisa made us believe in an alternative existent beyond the usuals of Zanu PF. The brash young man was able to create a spell over the country into which he brought ‘strange’ narratives about spaghetti roads and airports in rural areas.

Chamisa was audacious and refused to be limited by the restrictive state of Zimbabwe’s economy and made the country envision a future that was bright.

Defying the normal he sought to broaden the national mind by aiming for ‘impossibles’ and not just going outside the box but turning to kick it away too.

The MDC Alliance rallies became enjoyable spectacles of hope against unemployment, brashness against the huge impediment of decades-long struggles and a peek into a different Zimbabwe.

Slogans of “2018 Mari muhomwe, 2018 munhu wese kubasa” became the bold declarations of a defiant people ready to rescue their nation from the grip of an insatiable group of oldies led by a bold young person. A bright future became near at Chamisa rallies.

The sight of Murisi Zwizvai dancing his famous dance to the sound of Paul Madzore belting Handicheuke were politically emotional moments that bind a political camp into a family of believers.

The Chamisa campaign, especially juxtaposed with Mnangagwa’s dour campaigns punctuated with his sterile dances and speeches, was a breath of fresh air. His unscripted speech plunges, at times childish and politically dangerous, were a fresh spectacle against the blandness of his main adversary.

Of all the 23 Presidential candidates it was the Chamisa campaign that drew attention wherever it was held.

The Bad

The Vanguard was bad. The ensemble is justified as some kind of youth wing acting out some puberty fantasy and was present at various campaign fora. However, for all Chamisa’s repressed urges to have some Presidential entrance and so on the Vanguard is as bad as the multiple infractions which it has been alleged to be involved in.

Anything that looks like a paramilitary wing, coming in the aftermath of the infamous Green Bombers, is bad news.

Attitudes of some supporters, copying from their Zanu PF opposites and heckling those they deemed anti-CCC, though random, was a smudge against the young stalwart’s campaign.

Worst was the social media supporters who jumped onto the throat of anything from the opposite side with crude obscenities and hard-hitting remarks that went beyond the agenda of politics.

Chamisa’s campaign had some unsavoury defenders on social media that could do well by trimming their fanaticism and growing some ethics.

Anything that appeared appreciative of Zanu PF or attacking Chamisa was torn apart with an obscene ruthlessness that should shame all who partook in it. The introduction of Zanu PF’s own Varakashi to counter the Nerrorists reduced social media, read Twitter, into a war zone of obscenities and illogical arguments.

The Ugly

Chamisa’s constant desire and penchant for crafting ‘alternative facts’ from narratives that could have been used without any form of panel beating was a dent in his armour.

He constantly displayed an unhealthy excitability in conjuring non-existent facts such as meeting US President Donald Trump, ‘who asked how much money the country’ needed to which they told him $15 billion and got a positive feedback.

That encounter, like many others, was proved to be a figment of his mind. Conjoining this to his dreamy plans for spaghetti roads and rural airports, his opponents ended up crafting about him an image of an immature and excitable young man who couldn’t run a country.

He became hard to defend with each passing rally and his every other speech became a potential minefield for fake news he conjured from the air.

Chamisa like most opposition personnel campaigned employing reactive politics grounded in nothing but an anti-Zanu PF agenda. It wasn’t a smart move as he limited his political reach by being restricted to attacking the other side.

Those seeking real alternative policies and plans were left unsatisfied hanging from a dreamy aeroplane coming from Gokwe airport.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He writes for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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