Triple C: New yet Old; Aged yet Unripe

02 Apr, 2022 - 00:04 0 Views
Triple C: New yet Old; Aged yet Unripe

The Herald

@Jamwanda2 on Saturday

Two great Jewish intellectuals 

TO stir my intellect, I have been reading Walter Benjamin’s illuminations on Franz Kafka.

Walter Benjamin was a German Marxist Jew who committed suicide in 1940 at the unripe age of 40.

The Second World War was in full swing, with Hitler making dramatic gains in Europe, and threatening Britain. Benjamin felt entrapped, choosing the escape of suicide.

His fame only gathered after his short, war-buffeted life.

Today, he is a leading voice of the Frankfurt School on Marxism. 

Exhausted yet just born 

Franz Kafka was also a Jew of Czech origins, but German by nationality.

He invented or consolidated the surreal in literature.

The grotesque he made his creative raw material fitted in well with his ascetic world view.

For him, the world was God’s bad mood, a creation of Divine anger.

To have Walter Benjamin write on Franz Kafka is to invite some philosophical maelstrom that nourishes the mind.

Exactly what I needed to set me off.

Walter describes beings who inhabit Kafka’s fictional world thus: “. . . none that has not completed its period of time and yet unripe, none that is not deeply exhausted and yet is only at the beginning of a long existence . . .” 

Bicker over results 

March 26 has come and gone. What remains is the bicker over its results: what they mean to each vying party.

Chamisa thinks he won, only by getting back less than what he had in the beginning.

Nelson Chamisa

Zapu thinks the paltry numbers it got ahead of Mwonzora, today makes it “the third largest party” in the country, after ZANU-PF and Triple C, in that order.

ZANU-PF carries itself with the benignity of a veteran governing party, but without hiding a broad grin on its face.

Only one adversary — Douglas Mwonzora — accepts he lost, suggesting  certitude is the comfort of hard-to-hide failure.

I gave my own prognostic take on the eve of March 26. 

ZEC the winner 

But that prognosis left out one key outcome:  that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, ZEC for short, would emerge the foremost winner of the by-elections.

It sounds oxymoronic: citing the referee as the winner of a match (s)he presided over.

Yet there is no oxymoron; only an absurd contradiction created beforehand by one of the contesting parties, a toddler by its self- and wish-image.

Triple C went to the by-election seemingly with ZEC as its adversary.  Maybe its confusion arose from the fact that both ZANU-PF and ZEC start with the letter “Z”.

But so, too, does Zimbabwe, whose ruin Triple seeks so assiduously, in order to serve and rule it!

By the close of the poll, Triple C had not only sobered up; it fed from ZEC’s palm garrulously, without grumbling.

So, too, did those intrusive fault-finders we accredit here under the pretext they are bona fide ambassadors.

In local parlance, censorious western embassies have no mouth with which to say. 

Running against itself 

In these by-elections, many things did not make sense, frankly.

I have already alluded to a team which goes into the pitch angling to defeat the referee.

The same team joined the match not against a rival team, but in order to win against its junior side! Its alter ego that was on the road to becoming.

Triple C’s electoral rheum was not directed against Zanu-PF; rather, it was directed against MDC, another opposition now led by Mwonzora.

Here is one poll where the opposition ran against itself, and so won against its own.

Most of us were surprised to watch the proverbial chick pecking the same egg shell cracked by its own birth. Before the polls, Chamisa was not keen on by-elections, never mind that the outcome now helps him deal with Mwonzora once and for all on the leadership wrangle that has bedevilled the opposition movement. 

Anyway, as run-up to March 26 would eventually show, more than anyone else Chamisa needed the by-elections in spite of himself. 

Who doesn’t need ZANU-PF?

I said several contradictions.

Here is another one.

Well before the by-elections, the original sin which in the eyes of Triple C damned Thokozani Khupe, and later Mwonzora, was cavorting with ZANU-PF.

Thokozani Khupe

We all thought making lewd looks to ZANU-PF was a red line for Triple C.

How wrong!

It turns out ZANU-PF had several vying suitors, all locked in a deadly fight for mating rights with the virile ruling party.

One has since lost the war and dropped out of the race. I have just been reading The Best of A.A. Gill, an essayist. He says in old age, gender is irrelevant.

Sex does not matter; at that age who needs it anyway?

The political world must just let Khupe take a rest, under whose ever roof she pleases and finds repose. 

Nearer to thee my Lord

There is a serious point to be made though, beyond the levity of the mating imagery.

I think our politics have gravitated towards the penultimate stage of convergence.

Get me right, all ye scribes so wont to misquoting sources. I said towards the PENULTIMATE stage of convergence!

Don’t abuse the donkey by those misleading headlines a day after it has brayed facts.

Viewed that way, ZANU-PF, with its well-sequenced dalliance with Thokozani Khupe and Douglas Mwonzora, is the foremost winner, followed by the two it mated with.

It used both to nudge the recalcitrant Chamisa into the desired corner where he has little choice but to jaw-jaw, and on ZANU-PF’s terms.

Khupe picks the prize for ever daring to cross the line for inter-party dialogue, never mind that this was out of necessity.

After all she had no way out after Humanikwa, did she? But she boldly moved over, and helped materialise POLAD which ED invented.

History will credit her, whatever her disastrous end. 

Mwonzora the ideologue

But she was a dumb partner, a mute, ideologically. She only spoke through her person, nothing more.

Yet ZANU-PF needed more than personification; it needed political literacy no iota of which she wielded.

Having created POLAD, ZANU-PF needed an ideologue who would run with, and elaborate on, the concept, through sheer logic and cogency of argument.

ZANU-PF’s goal is to insert a new mores in our politics where elections are followed by a de-escalation, all to allow national consensus, national focus and national effort towards betterment of Zimbabweans.

That goal needed validation and echo from its opposite number, something well beyond Khupe conceptually.

It needed the agile mind of Mwonzora, who swiftly outgunned Chamisa into an outcast, the black sheep of the Zimbabwe political family. 

Political mubvandiripo

With Mwonzora at the helm of MDC — whether T, Alliance or both — POLAD got its mouth, which became a mouthful for Chamisa and all those who bankrolled him.

Even western embassies could not brush aside Mwonzora’s arguments for converged politics. Beyond this elaboration, the legally adept Mwonzora became a two-track menace to Chamisa.

In a series of brilliant legal moves, he rendered Chamisa homeless, both literally and figuratively.

Chamisa lost Harvest House.

And with the subsequent loss of MDC T/Alliance names, Chamisa ceased to be his father’s son, deserving of any heirloom.

He became a political mubvandiripo — a political child from elsewhere brought into the fold of mummy’s second marriage!

And he admitted to as much, birthing Triple C, his real paternity’s nickname. No DNA test was even necessary!

The courts handled Tsvangirai’s political estate handsomely.

This redounds to Douglas Mwonzora. 

Killing for sport 

Nor was that all. Chamisa’s woes mounted.

Unlike the rather cautious Khupe who recalled her adversaries piecemeal, possibly restrained by a motherly heart – or is it motherly breast too full of the milk of human kindness? — Mwonzora had no breast, no milk to ooze.

He wielded the axe with ruthless abandon, creating a massive heap of by-electoral rubble which Government had no choice but to clean through March 26 by-elections. If truth be told, Mwonzora forced Government’s hand on these by-elections which he himself, ironically, did not like, and which he would lose dismally.

Mwonzora’s recalls became just too many for Government to ignore; the only cure was a round of by-elections which came on March 26.

To that extent, Mwonzora ran and ruled Zimbabwe politically, electorally.

Significantly, he still holds the key and tempo to more such by-elections, triggering them by whim and caprice. Soon after results of March 26, he again swung his merciless axe, to recall several councillors, thus triggering the possibility of another round of by-elections, while retaining and fortifying his title as Leader of the Opposition in spite of his defeat.

In respect of causing wasteful by-elections, he is some reckless god Shakespeare’s Gloucester had in mind when he remarked: “ As flies are to wanton boys are we to the gods/ They kill us for their sport!” 

When nothing changes 

Mwonzora is not just the Leader of the Opposition in spite of Chamisa’s by-electoral win; he also keeps the purse issuing from national law by way of the Political Parties’ Finance Act.

Add to that the perquisites of the Leader of Opposition, then you have material in part which validates my thesis last week that Mwonzora won before the by-elections.

But it is as an ideologue that Mwonzora registered his biggest, loudest win.

The post-election collaborative politics which delivered Khupe to ZANU-PF finally got a strident tongue in Mwonzora.

Khupe had no mouth, even though she had legs to start the critical journey.

Post internal MDC-T poll, bitterness choked her, tied her already congenitally weak tongue, in the process ceding hostage to fortune.

Today she is a hapless quarry languidly tossing between Chamisa’s fangs, and a complete no, no, no to ZANU-PF that gave her a temporary second life she so recklessly squandered on the eve of by-elections. 

Violence, Chamisa’s lingua franca 

Mwonzora articulately declared his forthright determination to work with the winner, in this case ZANU-PF, for greater national good.

He also outlawed violence in favour of what he termed “rational disputation”.

Both points rang home, and have a staying power.

They will forever change our national politics, while shaming Chamisa’s benefactors who seek to construct victory for the opposition on a pile of national rubble.

Kwekwe violence made Mwonzora a prescient priest wailing in the wilderness to a deaf, self-destructing world of violent, political sinners.

Zimbabwe has to escape its history of violent elections; Mwonzora’s message today looks messianic, and strikes home. He personifies the solution Zimbabwe sorely needs.

And that it comes from a secular figure excoriating a politician wearing a priest’s garment, doubles Mwonzora’s victory against Chamisa for whom violence appears the linqua franca of politics. 

Let’s talk, says Chamisa

Worse for Chamisa, that his first word after the March 26 by-elections was political dialogue with President Mnangagwa, vindicated Mwonzora’s drift towards ZANU-PF, leaving the whole Nation wondering what it was all about in the first place!

Soon after announcement of the 2018 harmonised election results,  President Mnangagwa openly and publicly invited Chamisa to the party.

I can disclose here and now that the idea of Leader of the Opposition was conceived and developed to converge our politics.

This made sense against the show of national consensus that had ended the First Republic. Chamisa would have been the disproportionate, if not sole beneficiary of that major rethink.

How Chamisa lost the plot

It turns out Chamisa himself was not averse to the idea, which he wanted depersonalised and institutionalised by being written into law.

He could have easily got that, once he had accepted the offer in principle.

The real stumbling block were those around him, his influencers, mostly greenhorns.

I hate to say those political greenhorns failed him.

They had no clout politically, beyond being doubtful legal brains.

Chamisa failed himself. He failed to exercise his prerogative as a leader who brushes aside and overrules his stubborn subordinates for greater national good.

He fell with them.

He fluffed a golden chance to secure goodwill for the GNU he now cries for.

Above all, he brought ruin to his country by giving an excuse to unforgiving Americans whose continued sanctions against Zimbabwe had worn out threadbare. 

Coalitions happen in the beginning 

Today, positions have hardened against him.

The scales have also tilted against him.

Two things baffle me.

First, why does he think anyone in ZANU-PF relishes dialogue and accommodation after the ruling party has already paid the price of sanctions he could have helped end?

So close to another round of harmonised general elections?

And with so much having been achieved in the last three-to-near four years which have gone by, against all odds?

Coalitions are cobbled at the start of a governing tenure; never so late into a term.

It is that basic.

Second, to this day I don’t know how frankly he thought he was going to force ZANU-PF to abdicate after the 2018 results were announced.

It didn’t need any clairvoyance or prayer to know that ZANU-PF would not give way, whatever forces he thought he could summon in his fictional mind.

In the end, he lost everything, the post created for him included.

Above all, he lost the chance to lead a united opposition which would have been his best chance forward.

In one swoop, he could have snuffed out Khupe and Mwonzora.

Above all, he could have had a POLAD in the form and purpose he desired. 

Beneath the noise 

Back to the results of March 26.

Make no mistake, for all the false bravado, Chamisa knows the real result of March 26, and what that result portends ahead of 2023.

The rest is boisterous noise meant to buoy his constituency.

If truth be said, he had a very accurate presentiment of what March 26 had in store for him, which is why he so desperately pushed for accommodation by ZANU-PF designed to avert those very by-elections.

Many can bear testimony to this desire which March 26 merely escalated to last decibels. 

The voter swings to ZANU-PF

Much has been made out of the fact that ZANU-PF grew its two-thirds majority by two more seats.

That is significant.

But what is both significant and important is not the number by which the two-thirds has grown; rather, it is the geography of that growth, one made more insistent by the several ward victories ZANU-PF collected, while staunchly ensuring its rural turf was not just defended but done so in ways that grew it, while diminishing ever further the aberrational opposition presence registered in 2018.

There is a statistic only those inside have: in a number of critical constituencies which I will not spell out for obvious reasons, ZANU-PF gathered more votes than its registered membership strength in those constituencies, certainly more than its registered voters in the same.

That is a key strategic detail on which to predicate 2023 strategy. 

Losing popular vote 

Epworth plus the several wards ZANU-PF picked in several urban areas clearly point to its resurgence in urban areas, unbalanced by Chamisa’s equal, tit-tat vengeful resurgence in ZANU-PF’s rural strongholds.

Of all analyses I saw and read, Gibson Nyikadzino of The Herald hit the plausibility index.

His Tuesday instalment went tellingly mathematical, revealing ZANU-PF’s 128 399 popular vote pipped Triple C’s 129 799 by a mere 1400 vote difference.

This is very consistent with serious analyses.

Overall, Triple C suffered significant diminution in all constituencies relative to 2018.

That diminution led to defeats, as in Epworth and Mutasa South, or to narrow winning margins, as everywhere, tellingly St Mary’s and Binga.

In Epworth, Cde Zalerah Makari, snatched the parliamentary seat from the opposition.

Numbers mean a lot for Presidential elections, which is why Chamisa is a very worried man. 

What voter apathy?

I want to read that together with the so-called voter apathy thesis I never subscribe to, and treat as intellectual indolence of the highest order by those to whom we look up as interpreters.

From the day the ballot was invented, apathy is never disinterest; it is a political protest resolved through withholding of an inalienable voter right.

Those of us in ZANU-PF know this truism from which we carry wounds. The gradual disintegration of our vote in cities was never abrupt; it came along a continuum whose beginning was so-called apathy, and whose apogee was a vote for the opposition.

Like a rattlesnake, the voter hisses before eventually striking.

And the so-called apathy is that hiss. It’s playboy politics and wilful delusion on the part of Chamisa and his Triple C to imagine their disastrous performance in running municipalities would come at no cost to them.

That suggests Zimbabweans do not vote rationally, which is a lie. If truth be told, Government’s definitive move to repair infrastructure and amenities which Triple C-run municipalities had systematically destroyed had two outcomes: it won ZANU-PF new votes; it created a dilemma in diehard Triple C supporters who, while angry with their party’s monumental corruption and incompetence, were not about ready to transfer their vote to ZANU-PF.

Those stayed away from the ballot. Tomorrow, they will not stay away, trust me. 

No structures, not even a card 

So, what drives this angry majority to the tipping point and towards ZANU-PF? Simply the programmes aimed at rehabilitating urban infrastructure and amenities which Chamisa and his eventual Triple C destroyed.

And ZANU-PF holds the joker. Both Chamisa’s supporters and his doting, thoughtless scribes in the media have stopped at the 19 seats he regained – from himself – without pausing to think what those seats do for him programmatically and thus electorally.

Re-enter Mwonzora!

Mwonzora ensures Chamisa goes for 2023 without any benefit from the Political Parties Finance Act.

Secondly, he ensures the sword of Damocles by way of recall power he wields remains hanging on people Chamisa claims as his own.

After Mafume’s recall by PDP, many debated why Mafume would wait to be recalled instead of just resigning from PDP to join CCC.

Jacob Mafume

The answer came from an unlikely quarter — Mduduzi Mathuthu!

How can one join a party with no structures or even a membership card, shot back Mduduzi!

Looking at the matter, indeed how? 

Too late to make amends 

There is more.

Minister July Moyo likely will unleash the weapon of Commissions to render nugatory Chamisa’s vaporous victory.

That’s already the case in Harare.

That denies Chamisa the capacity to repair the reputation damage his misgovernance of municipalities wrought upon his party.

That, too, gives the ZANU-PF government the legitimacy it needs to intensify its programmes towards urban repair and renewal of amenities.

ZANU-PF is sure to go about this route frenetically to ensure 2023 arrives when its urban renewal programmes will have made an impression enough to consolidate its urban vote, and to enthuse and win over that vast majority still tergiversating.

Triple C’s venality or at best, sheer ineptitude in running municipal affairs, has made ZANU-PF access and govern the urban voter once more, without the benefit of elections! 

Cognitive distance through infantilism 

Back to Walter Benjamin’s old yet unripe, or to the deeply exhausted yet just born!

Triple C’s wish self-image and description is to be viewed and described as a toddler of a month or so who enters the ring and rattles elders.

We all relish childhood.

Through it, all days are halcyon.

By it, we live the age of innocence.

From it, we abnegate all responsibility.

Who doesn’t want to live a saccharine age?

It’s called contriving cognitive distance from failure!!!

But wait a moment.

How does a new party complain of electoral theft in 2018? How does its leader claim inheritance from late Tsvangirai who left this life early that year?

In what way is a rebranded outfit yet still led by the same claim newness?

Merely because of apparel? Can ZAPU claim the same?

Can Mwonzora claim the same? Can Zanu-PF claim the same after 2017?

Can UANC claim the same after Abel Muzorewa’s death?

Can PDP claim the same after Biti is kicked out?

I suppose Chamisa in yellow, his trounced supporters in sorrow and Fadzayi Mahere in tow, give is the NEW!

Fadzayi Mahere

I am only a donkey that brays in readiness for mating. 

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