Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
The move by MDC-Alliance leader Mr Nelson Chamisa to reject his supporters who demonstrated on August 1 has exposed him as a “political viper” who can sacrifice anyone in his camp when it suits him, political analysts have said.
After he was subpoenaed to testify before the Motlanthe Commission on the events of August 1, which led to the death of six people and destruction of property, Mr Chamisa stunned everyone at a Press conference when he branded the demonstrators “stupid”, adding that their actions were uncalled for.
Analysts who spoke to The Herald yesterday said Mr Chamisa’s actions smacked of a fake leader, who thinks everyone was expendable material when it suited him to do so.
Further, they asserted that such a dishonest character could not be entrusted with State power.
“The net effect of all that is he is saying you guys are usable and I can abandon you when my own fortunes are in peril,” said a senior lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) who refused to be named.
“It’s use and discard — that is the sum total of the message that he has sent out to his constituency more so when you consider that he is addressing what is supposed to be a very volatile constituency which will constitute the foot soldiers of his intended march.
“He is serving skin by disavowing the constituency which is ready to sacrifice for his own rise and that is a monumental failure of leadership. Leadership is all about standing by your people through thick and thin.”
Another analyst drew a comparison between Mr Chamisa’s actions with those of Zanu-PF leaders.
“Check how former president Mr Robert Mugabe stood by the war veterans after they moved into the farms during the land reform programme,” she said.
“The expectation was that Mr Mugabe was going to disavow the war veterans and set the police and the army against them. He defended them.
“We almost have a replay of the same on the land issue after November 2017. After the new dispensation came in, there was reaffirmation of the same party position.
“The reaffirmation is not just of a principal, but it’s a redemption of the whole constituency which is in fact the equivalent of the MDC-Alliance foot soldiers.
“When you look at the leadership of Chamisa as a whole, it is littered with several anecdotes of sacrificing dependable foot soldiers when it suits him. When there was that altercation with Ms Thokozani Khupe in Buhera, he sacrificed the vanguard, when Charlton Hwende clashed with Shakespeare Mukoyi in Kuwadzana East constituency, he sacrificed Mukoyi, in Harare West he sacrificed Jessie Majome the same way he sacrificed another long serving member of the party Lynette Karenyi in Chikanga/Dangamvura constituency.
“Everyone around him is expendable raw material which is discarded after use or even before complete use when the temperature rises in the kitchen, including the one cutting the wood for the fire place. He will lock you in to burn in that kitchen as long as he is outside.
“The issue here is, can such a politician who is so harsh with his own can be entrusted with public office, more-so in a country like Zimbabwe which is so heavily resourced?”
With regards to Mr Chamisa’s refusal to appear before the Motlanthe commission, a legal expert said he was being calculative as a lawyer.
“What he did is what we call pre-commission appearance communication,” he said.
“He is eliminating certain questions by volunteering answering before they are being asked. He is building his defence outside of the hearing and being a lawyer, he knows how to play his game.”
The lawyer said Mr Chamisa was increasingly isolating himself by knocking down key foot soldiers and in the case of women in the party, they felt completely disenchanted.
“The women now feel completely disenchanted to a point that some of them have adopted an exit strategy as with the case with Ms Majome who decides to de-politicise herself and vie for a post of prosecutor general under a Zanu-PF Government,” he said.
Another lawyer added: “As a lawyer, Mr Chamisa knows the full implication of a whole Commander Defence Forces (General Phillip Valerio Sibanda) and a Commissioner General of the Police (Godwin Matanga) imputing military arms of war around an institution under his party (the vanguard).
“We are drifting dangerously towards the person of insurgency and you don’t deal with insurgency in a civil way. There are tools of dealing with insurgency and those are hard tools, not soft tools. So, Chamisa fully knows the implications and he knows that hard on the heels of the findings of the commission, there is prosecution because Government has to act on the recommendations. Moreso, when it comes through that some bodies were dumped in the city.”
The lawyer went on: “The same happened soon after the Sandura Commission where several people were arrested in connection with Willowgate Scandal. In any case, the Sandura Commission involved cars, but the Motlanthe Commission is investigating a matter where six people lost their lives.”
In an interview, Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Mr George Charamba said: “This is a very serious matter. If anyone thinks this is a ritual by a Government which has too much foreign currency to give to commissioners, they are mistaken.
“We want to establish the facts and soon after the facts have been established, prosecutorial action will be taken because we have lost lives. But more critically, we will have more elections for as long as this country lives as a democratic proposition. If we don’t send a clear signal that you don’t dabble in violence and trivialise life, it will mean that this thing will continue haunting us. It’s a very serious matter.”
Mr Charamba continued: “Yes, it’s about lives that have been lost, but more critically, it’s about lives that are still endangered by future elections. The Vanguard is mentioned in the Commission. There is a counter narrative to say we have disbanded it, meanwhile Chamisa is certificating them for their superb violence which draws fatalities.
“Who takes him seriously and is that responsible leadership? He is personally liable and he is also vicariously liable and the best favour he can do to himself is to go and put his own side of the story before the Commission. He should not think that he can throw people on the streets so as to abort processes.
“It’s not going to happen. If he thinks that his response to a subpoena is by throwing his demos in the street, then he is in for a very rude shock. He must be brought to account. There will come a time when we go beyond that to say for how long do we tolerate an argument which says the voter made a mistake to give us a certain electoral outcome when in fact what will decide the electoral day is violence in the street.
“Essentially, that is what he is saying, to say ‘your voting is useless, I have my own ways which is above the ballot and which is above the people’. And if he thinks there is an irresponsible parent who throws jiggies to a child who is burning the village, sorry hake.”