It has become overwhelmingly urgent for the opposition MDC-T to get a good grip on itself seeing, as it is that an implosion has almost ripped its nemesis, Zanu PF, apart. The tremors of an implosion can be felt.
BY Learnmore Zuze
The besmirching of MDC-T vice-president and Kuwadzana East legislator, Nelson Chamisa in recent weeks might be the clearest indicator yet that there could be a simmering “struggle within the struggle”, as the late University of Zimbabwe professor, Masipula Sithole would say.
What makes the perceptible slandering of Chamisa curious is that the vilification is coming, not from Zanu PF, but from his very stalwarts in the opposition.
It benumbs the mind that fellow comrades in the opposition would fervently direct arrows at one of their own when the economy is burning and the thrust, presumably, should be on shooting holes through Zanu PF’s cluelessness.
The allegations against the Kuwadzana East legislator demand scrutiny, as they bear the hallmarks of fanciful denunciations, which are normally difficult to prove, but have the potency to taint.
In a barrage of social media attacks, Chamisa has, for instance, been, among other things, branded a ruling party functionary set to sow discord.
In the main, there seems to be a spirited, but jumpily co-ordinated campaign to depict Chamisa as someone motivated by avarice that he cannot wait to see party leader, Morgan Tsvangirai’s demise.
Chamisa has been accused of spreading malicious rumours on Tsvangirai’s health and is cast as one who is impatient to lead the opposition party.
Can this be substantiated?
Naturally, anyone studying events in the opposition from afar is bound to have more questions than answers.
What could be the ultimate objective? Is it to set Tsvangirai against Chamisa? Lately, it was said of him that he rushed to media houses with a “bag of money to prop up his candidature”.
It must be borne in mind that the gist of this piece, far from it, is not to hold brief for Chamisa, but that the MDC-T must be wary of an implosion because, in their quest to diminish Chamisa’s political capital, proponents of the vilification campaign may inflict more harm on the party itself than on their intended target.
Vilification crusades in Zanu PF have only helped polarise the ruling party.
It would, similarly, be myopic to blindly argue for Chamisa, but the question that should be asked is: If it should be true that Chamisa has taken to employing below-the-belt tactics to “prop up his candidature”, then isn’t it only fair to have such allegations corroborated?
From where I stand, the culture of maligning someone’s name for political expediency, as we see elsewhere in this country, indicates unacceptable hypocrisy.
Accusers should be able to prove their assertions; this is a principle of natural justice.
He who alleges must prove. We saw then Vice-President Joice Mujuru and others being hounded from their influential positions on insubstantial witchcraft allegations in 2014.
It is to be accepted in the world of politics, whether national or global, that one rare thing to find is objectivity.
Oftentimes “sensitive” matters have been brought to the fore essentially through the lightning speed of social media and taken as gospel truth, but on closer scrutiny, the things have embarrassingly turned out to be a farce.
A recent instance would be word, which hit the streets last week, that Tsvangirai had passed on in South Africa.
Condolence posters with Tsvangirai’s face were even circulated in groups.
The advent of social media has not helped matters in this regard, as virtually anyone can start to broadcast a message, or is it propaganda, with ease.
All one needs is to concoct a false message and flood social media groups with it.
It would appear some people, failing to get access to certain news, draft their own to achieve certain ends.
This was also clear when First Lady Grace Mugabe was holed up in South Africa after an altercation with South African model Gabriella Engels.
All sorts of “authentic” messages came flying on the matter. None turned out to be true.
I will repeat — this article does not seek to hold brief for any individuals, but to state that it is critical to represent things as they are; to prove what one alleges.
It is unethical and uncouth to peddle outright falsehoods about anyone, knowing fully well that they can’t trace the origins of the message.
This increasingly ubiquitous practice must be dealt with.
To the analytic eye, the tone of accusations levelled against the Kuwadzana East legislator betray paranoia among certain people in the opposition probably threatened by the level of Chamisa’s support at grassroots level.
The scandalising of Chamisa has reached almost ludicrous levels that those who allege must prove, otherwise the opposition party itself will be weakened by such propaganda.
It would appear the ultimate goal is to make Chamisa an unlikely candidate for leadership of the party.
There is more wisdom in fighting for the betterment of the comatose economy than expending vital energy in counterproductive battles.
The opposition can ill-afford struggles within the struggle. It’s simply too costly at this juncture.