It’s not about Chamisa but about political tradition

By Daniel Chigundu

The drama which has characterised the build-up to the MDC elective congress slated for later this year could simply be an issue of ignorance, infiltration or failure to read a thing or two.

It’s not at all about Nelson Chamisa, Douglas Mwonzora or Elias Mudzuri or even Welshman Ncube and its not even Tendai Biti having ambitions or not, it’s about tradition, people don’t take lightly those who break tradition, in fact breaking tradition is said to invite bad omen.

This is not an MDC exclusive issue, it’s even there at Zanu PF, it’s there at MDC-T (Khupe) it’s a tradition that has been accepted in our politics and so we should not try to paint Nelson Chamisa with a bad paintbrush.

It’s an undeniable fact that the only time a leader of a party has been contested at congress has only been at the inaugural congress and never at any other congress after.

We all know that Robert Mugabe was never contested at Congress, Emmerson Mnangagwa was never contested, and Thokozani Khupe was never contested because it is a tradition.

The legendary Morgan Tsvangirai (late) was contested once at the inaugural congress of MDC by Gibson Sibanda (late) and never again because people have come to understand it as tradition.

Political party leaders in Zimbabwe are the face and heart of the party and in some instances, they are taken as gods and the party is nothing without them.

If the party president is the party himself, therefore, those that try to contest them are trying to contest the party itself and are therefore regarded as enemies of the party.

When the devil had gotten excited and tried to contest with God the end result was him being cast down because it was a no-go area, it was the tradition in the heavens that God is God and there can never be any other god who is not God himself.

It is ignorance or lack of wisdom for anyone to try and contest a god of the party who is the party himself or herself and there is no doubt that only infiltrators can do that because they are on a mission.

The nomination process was never birthed for democracy purposes but it was for safeguarding the top post that is why all the political party presidents in Zimbabwe are generally nominated and prevented from a contest at Congress.

Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai all they knew were that they will be nominated by all the provinces and never contested at various congresses they presided over. Never did we hear Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai saying vote for me at congress or nominate me, they knew tradition protected them.

So Douglas Mwonzora is aware of this fact, so is Elias Mudzuri and anyone who has interests in the MDC top seat at the moment that you don’t decide that you want it and go without facing the consequences.

MDC supporters are acting the way they are doing to anyone who wants to contest Chamisa because they are aware of the tradition of Zimbabwean politics.

Another fact is that Chamisa is popular with party supporters and ordinary Zimbabweans and it is a rule of the game that you don’t substitute your Ronaldo or your Messi unless they are injured, Real Madrid is struggling since the departure of Ronaldo.

Chamisa was overwhelmingly voted for by 2.6 million Zimbabweans as we are told and his numbers were very close to that of Mnangagwa making him the only man who stands a better chance of defeating Mnangagwa in future elections.

When you decide to contest party leaders at congresses you would be prepared to lose everything unless you come out the winner because party supporters will always see you as the enemy and even the party leader will always see you as competitor making your roles limited.

So does Mwonzora want to contest Chamisa for the party presidency? It’s highly unlikely because he knows the consequences of losing that contest and also he knows that he is not the most loved guy in the party by supporters since the death of Tsvangirai. He is a marked man.

It must be noted that this is a different situation with 2014 when he won the secretary general post because then Chamisa had messed up party structures. Mwonzora did not win because party supporters loved him, it was because the party supporters had a beef with Chamisa and they had already told him that we will meet at Congress.

Does Mudzuri want to contest Chamisa? Well, he seems interested as he is the only guy who was equal to Chamisa at the death of Tsvangirai outside Khupe. Mudzuri wants the 2014 structures to be used for the Congress because he thinks those are the people who voted against Chamisa and they might do it again. I have a strong belief Mudzuri might go for it, I mean he is well known for making bad moves since the July 2018 elections, however, his let down will be the nominations, I doubt anyone will nominate him.

He has attended meetings he was not supposed to attend and has said things that he was not supposed to say and to make matters worse Mudzuri is not popular with supporters, the guy cannot talk convincingly and is not sellable to the electorate during elections.

Mudzuri does not even qualify to be for any of the vice presidents posts because one goes to Welshman Ncube for regional balancing and the other has been earmarked for a woman for gender balancing and may be contested for between Lynette Karenyi and Paurina Mpariwa.

Paurina Mpariwa is already campaigning on Facebook and so is mai Kore (Karenyi) and it will be unthinkable for Mudzuri to contest this move which is seen as warming up to gender parity in political parties.

Mudzuri will also have to contend with Murisi Zwizwai who is also interested in the vice presidency and has made his intentions known publicly.

The one likelihood that is going to come out of this congress is a bunch of disgruntled cadres, especially those currently occupying leadership posts in the party when they lose at the congress, we might see some crossing over to Khupe.

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is the news editor for OpenParlyZW an online platform that covers Parliament of Zimbabwe activities using social media (Twitter and Facebook). He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum and a board member of Digital Communication Network.

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