Does the Chamisa-led MDC pass the fitness for governance test?

Does the Chamisa-led MDC pass the fitness for governance test?
Published: 19 June 2018 (616 Views)
MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa likes to show off his moderate physical fitness. He has shown that he can walk five whole kilometers and at the drop of a hat he can pull off at least three push-ups as he showed during the MDC's recent demonstration in Harare when egged on by his male-dominated supporters.

However, physical fitness has absolutely no bearing on fitness to lead a country, so dispensing with the distraction of a leader's attempt to demonstrate that he can exercise it would be prudent to ascertain whether the MDC is really fit for governance.

Organisational and Democratic leadership

From the very beginning of Chamisa's reign, the MDC has been rife with disagreements, fractures and splits. The only democratically-elected Vice-President of the MDC-T Thokozani Khupe was violently ousted. Rather than find a way to unify the party and bring in the disparate elements, Chamisa decided to completely clean house of any opposition from within. He violently used his paramilitary bully boys the Vanguard to ensure complete compliance with the leader.

The MDC primaries were a disaster and many are still being contested. Even worse was the fact that Chamisa welcomed other parties into the MDC Alliance promising that they would not pit candidates against each other, and has since broken that promise by fielding MDC-T candidates in every election. The Alliance is now on the brink of splitting.

Leadership vision

For the first few months of Chamisa's reign, all we heard from him was about his opponent's age. While it is fine to try and point out perceived weaknesses in your opponent, if you only focus on your opponent you appear obsessed and lacking in any coherent vision of your own. Dotted along those months, Chamisa made many gaffes that have now become infamous, especially his constant disparaging comments about women.

Even the long awaited MDC manifesto was a bit of a damp squib as parts of it were clearly lifted straight from other documents, like the parts stolen directly from the South African Constitution. His ideas, like bringing the World Cup to Zimbabwe in the next five years and creating the fastest network of speed trains known to man, are lacking in seriousness.

Honest leadership

From the beginning, Chamisa has been caught out on his lies. First, there was the statements that he met with US President Donald Trump and he promised the young MDC leader $15 billion. Then, Chamisa claimed he was invited by the Queen to the UK.

He also claimed that he was given the knobkerrie by the family of the late MDC-T Vice-President Dr Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo. He has further asserted that "Zanu PF plants" are behind the attacks on Thokozani Khupe, and other opponents of his from within the MDC.

Then there is the back and forth love affair with Robert and Grace Mugabe. On the one hand he claims there are no negotiations with them, and on the other he admits to welcoming them in to the MDC Alliance and he has a place for them.
Unfortunately, the list of lies is exhaustive and growing.

Quite simply put, the Chamisa-led MDC meets none of the parameters for leadership. It is disorganised, unfocused, deceitful and undemocratic. Even its strongest supporters are struggling to find nice words to say about them.

The usually sympathetic Newsday wrote in a recent editorialabout the MDC's infighting and confusion: "It paints an ugly picture of a confused bunch of politicians that cannot be entrusted with the governance of this great nation."

Sad, but true.

- Faith Hope

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