Zimbabwe yesterday breathed a huge sigh of relief after the prohibited violent demonstrations by the opposition MDC-Alliance were successfully contained.
The opposition planned the demonstrations on the ground of protesting the “illegitimacy” of the Government led by President Mnangagwa.
According to the party, this “illegitimacy” is the source of economic hardships in the country.
Of course, the argument and its foundational premise are wrong.
There is no legitimacy crisis in the country. Harmonised elections were held when they were constitutionally due in July 2018 and produced winners in President Mnangagwa and the ruling Zanu-PF, getting the better of the main opposition MDC-A led by Mr Nelson Chamisa.
For the record, President Mnangagwa polled 50.8 percent of the presidential vote compared to Mr Chamisa’s 44.3 percent, with a difference of over 400 000 votes between them.
On their respective parties, Zanu-PF outpolled MDC-A by 179 to 88 in Parliament.
Critically, opinion polls by credible organisations had shown that the opposition was going to lose, which election day confirmed.
It shall be recorded too that Mr Chamisa tried to challenge the outcome of the Presidential election at the Constitutional Court and lost, having failed to show evidence that there had been manipulation of the process and outcome.
But then, Mr Chamisa had long promised not to accept results that did not favour him, and this was the basis of the regrettable August 1 post-election violence in which he sought to use violence to extinguish confirmation of his loss by the election mother body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
It is surprising that the opposition continue to harp on about legitimacy when the outcome of last year’s election was clear and was confirmed by the highest court in the land at the instance of Mr Chamisa’s challenge.
Do facts matter? Apparently not for Mr Chamisa and his supporters who have chosen to believe in alternate reality in which he is the legitimate leader of the Republic.
Only such delusions are coming at a cost, and a heavy one.
The continued state of mobilisation — mobilisation for violence and overthrow of the Constitutional Order — by the opposition is truly inimical, especially when Government is addressing deep structural economic issues of the past decades.
There is no doubt that the opposition and Mr Chamisa want to get via violence what they could not get in the last elections.
Even so, by-elections have shown us that the opposition will fare any better or gain acceptance by the voting populace.
Indeed, elections and other peaceful plebian activities remain a measure and goal of democracy and orderly society.
Mr Chamisa and his party have repeatedly failed this test.
We then frown seriously upon the activities of some Western countries’ embassies here that have been at the forefront of cheering and supporting Mr Chamisa and his antics.
There is no doubt that the United States Embassy in Harare has taken the leading role in this, with indications that they sponsor and coordinate anti-establishment elements that coalesce around the MDC-A.
A couple of days ago, the embassy took a step further to grandstand by a visit to an activist that had been allegedly abducted and brutalised.
Further, the embassy issued statements that clearly urged violent demonstrations.
We do not expect the embassy to own up.
However, we know what they are up to, which is not something new, anyway.
Sad to say, the embassy of the United States of America in Zimbabwe has reduced itself to a cell of the opposition MDC-A and its officers behave in a shamelessly partisan way towards the violent opposition.
Other diplomatic missions are more measured and carry themselves with dignity.
The activists at Number 2 Lorraine Drive, Bluffhill, carry no shame at all.
We hope their home Government knows this.
Even if intentions were noble — which they are not — the local embassy has become too compromised obviously poisoned by local members of the opposition that form local staff.
For the latter, the motivation is purely selfish: hostile relations between Harare and Washington means more relevance and money for them as commissars of the opposition.
Previously, millions have been lost to these scammers.
The blind, but largely empty idealism of the US diplomats distracts them from the simple fact that there is more to be gained in engaging favourably with the Government than sleeping with the opposition.
Even if the opposition were to win power unconstitutionally through violence, there would be no country to talk about.
The results in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan are there to see.
Someone tell President Donald Trump or any sensible person in the US, this is not right!
And it is futile.