Jealousy Dutiro Correspondent
IF you were looking for the perfect candidate to run in an election after over three decades of undemocratic rule to replace a dictator who is 94 years, you would probably assume that someone young, energetic and charismatic would create a great attraction come election time.
However, the reality of Nelson Chamisa has been very different from the theory of Nelson Chamisa.
Since the moment he took power upon Morgan Tsvangirai’s passing, rather than unifying the MDC-T after the loss of their enigmatic leader, Chamisa tried to alienate anyone he perceived as a threat.
He was divisive when he should have been a unifier, using his paramilitary bully-boys The Vanguard to intimidate any and all dissent within the party.
When he became leader of the MDC Alliance, he did everything possible to anger his allies by fielding opposing candidates when there had been an express agreement not to do so.
At almost every rally, event or interview, he lied, exaggerated or embellished the truth. Whether it was about money promised by US President Donald Trump, impossibly-fast speed trains, claiming to be behind Rwandan ICT policy or about Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo’s knobkerrie, the MDC leader just couldn’t seem to stop himself from veering further and further away from the truth.
Chamisa’s sexist and misogynistic attitudes have put off women by the droves. He has spoken about women as no better than property, like when he offered his sister in a bet, spoken about how he will confine his wife to the home and how he can bed any woman he wishes. These attitudes have demonstrated, perhaps more than anything else, that one’s physical age has little bearing on outdated and prehistoric attitudes.
He has never once called for the lifting of sanctions and has even said he will chase away any foreign investment into Zimbabwe for the benefit of the people. Chamisa always seemed to put his political career ahead of his country and its people.
However, his worst sins that have arisen in the last couple of months have sent him deep into the unelectable category.
Firstly, while he has tried to paint himself as a friend and advocate of the workers, he has never accounted for his role in the Zuva Petroleum case from 2015, where he worked for big wealthy businesses against the common worker and his direct involvement in the case on behalf of Zuva led to the unfair and illegitimate dismissal of tens of thousands of Zimbabwean workers.
When the issue arose, rather than apologise and make a proper accounting of his role, he chose to inflict more pain on all those families that still suffer to this day from this episode by ignoring or belittling their struggles.
However, probably the greatest hemorrhage of support has come from his relationship with Robert and Grace Mugabe.
Rather than present himself as an agent of change, he has got into bed with the couple who wrecked and ruined Zimbabwe for so many years.
The people took to the streets last November to rid our country of this couple and Chamisa, perhaps out of desperation for money, votes, or both, has now provided them a back door back into power.
This is the greatest nightmare of almost every single Zimbabwean.
Chamisa’s judgment, which was questioned in previous elections, has shown to be sorely lacking, and early sympathy and expectation has been dramatically dampened by such a flawed candidate who didn’t appear to be able to put a single foot right.
Chamisa and his people will continue to claim that they have tremendous support, but even hardcore MDC supporters are admitting the truth, that Chamisa stole defeat from the jaws of victory.
The MDC thought they had everything they needed to finally assume power in Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, they did not count on a candidate who alienated vast swathes of potential voters, showed himself so inept on the national and international stage and kept plunging from crisis to crisis during his short but error-laden leadership.
When the MDC loses even more ground to Zanu-PF in yesterday’s historic elections, they will only have one man to thank, their president, Nelson Chamisa.
This article was orginally published by Bulawayo24