Chamisa’s Conundrum: To take or leave ED’s offer

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa’s new charm offensive to woo his rival by creating a formal “office of the leader of the opposition” leaves MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa navigating potentially the most treacherous terrain of his nascent political career.


So far, his response and that of his and the party spokesperson show that Chamisa could be suffering the indecision of a step child – if he washes, he is wasting water and soap, if he doesn’t, he is dirty.

Mnangagwa has dangled a carrot, and the youthful opposition leader is right to view this rather unusual and suspicious offer – as more like a double-edged sword.

If Chamisa decides to accept Mnangagwa’s offer, he risks being described by a contingent of his hardline followers as having sold out, and will face a daunting task at the party’s upcoming elective congress next year. If he decides to decline the offer, he risks being described as immature and retrogressive by the millions of impoverished Zimbabweans who wish to see an end to the political polarisation that has characterised the country’s political landscape.

But acceptance indicates that Chamisa acknowledges Mnangagwa’s victory in the July 30 elections. He would also lose the big stick of illegitimacy that he has used to beat Mnangagwa at every opportunity.

Mnangagwa desperately needs legitimacy to make his ‘big bang’ economic plan work and unlock foreign capital to the southern African country that had become a pariah under former President Robert Mugabe. He has staked his political future on reviving Zimbabwe’s moribund economy, getting the youth to work again and making the country a middle class economy by 2030.

Zanu PF has already set the agenda, propagating the view that the office of the opposition leader will allow greater inclusivity in the running of the country and allow progressive “checks-and-balances” in the administrative architecture.

Is the offer being made in good faith, is the question no one seems able to answer. This is because throughout his political career, and by his own account, Mnangagwa is very calculating, displaying the patience of a crocodile and striking when the time is just right, earning him the moniker “Ngwena”.

Not many would have taken on the political chess master that is Robert Mugabe and won. The late MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was one of the most astute politicians this country has ever produced, but even at his best he could not play at Mugabe’s level. Mnangagwa, albeit with the help of the military, took Mugabe on and lived not only to tell the tale, but to lord over him too.

Lessons from the inclusive government of 2009-2013 show that for Zanu PF, retaining power is the paramount objective. At the same time, if he stays on the sidelines of national politics, Chamisa risks falling out of national consciousness and make the task of unseating Mnangagwa and Zanu PF much more difficult in 2023.

So Chamisa is caught in the jaws of the crocodile. His next move will determine just how good a swimmer he is.

Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on:


  1. The desire for change and better lives for Zimbabweans is far greater than Chamisa as a person, no matter what he does or doesn’t do in the forthcoming years we will always vote for mdc at the next election, mdc as a party will never become irrelevant anytime soon

  2. mukovhe wa tshilidzi

    a very private matter for chamisa indeed nothing to do with the country

    1. Its high time Zimbabweans bury the hatchet and every Zimbabwean stands up to be counted for the better times to come for us all. We have suffered a lot and if we move in one accord we shall prosper regardless who won or lost the 2018 elections.

  3. If indeed the offer is for the greater good of the people of Zimbabwe, then go for it but Mr President (Chamisa), please weigh,weigh and re-weigh before swallowing. Proper ,genuine and conclusive consultations with the party structures MUST be done before inking of any deal,please.Experience of the 2008-2013 GNU must guide you.

    Infact,if ever any deal is to come out, please
    a)have clear spelt out conditions,
    b)put time lines,
    c) ensure the timelines are met and
    d) ACT

    1. But guys let us remmember that ED is not the same as Mugabe, so MDC must map up a strategey of dealing with ED ‘s agenda without spoiling their image.

  4. By accepting the offer, CHAMISA will be clearly legitimising an illegetimate Presesident Mnangagwa which he is against. However, for the love of people, for the love of the 2,6 million voters, for the love of poor Nerorists and Pfeerorists, Unity Unity and peace is the to go. At this point in juncture lets be inclusive in ideas so that our country is freed from this economic melt down.

  5. Chamisa can be the leader of the opposition in Parliament now, but that doesn’t mean he will hold that title forever. A bigger opposition party can sprout up now and dethrone the young man and his alliance, He might become president of the the ruling party even. The idea is to have accountability within state politics and institutions therefore the need to have the leader of the main opposition recognised within the constitution.

    Why do we personalise issues of institutions in Zimbabwe? Zimbabwe is bigger than Mnagagwa, Chamisa or any other person who thinks they deserve to be. Lets take positive ideas and leave negative feelings..

    1. the proposed constituitional changes are not meant for chamisa although at this moment look like there are for the benefit of this country

  6. Chamisa clearly misses parliament and its limelight. He will soon grab the opportunity.

  7. the proposed constituitional changes are not meant for chamisa although at this moment look like there are for the benefit of this country

  8. This development is not about Chamisa. It is a constitutional issue, where we may even end up having Mnangagwa being leader of opposition one day. So Chamisa’s consent is not needed here, because constitutional provisions or amendments have no personal names attached. So whether Chamisa accepts this or not, the office may still be created, with or without his consent.


  10. The Changes are not for Chamisa but for the furtherance of our democracy. Whether he is going to take it or not the changes are going to happen for the good of our young democracy.

    It will be more beneficial for Chamisa to take though as it would give him more space to put forward those reforms he has been calling for. His supporters and handlers should understand this and allow him to accept the offer. I, as Zimbabwean will benefit as well, as the economy will move forward.

  11. You just want to move the economy using Chamisa/MDC, leave him alone, you worn, you worn, why worried about Chamisa – he has the keys. If he accepts he is a big fool.

  12. -NC should accept.
    -Do not accept the perks otherwise he will compromised
    -Set conditions around the media and electoral reforms
    -Conditions must have a time frame of say two years
    -And be patient age is on your side
    -Focus on the people like the visit that you did in Cholera hit areas, and this should be extended to Rural areas.Sitting in Parliament is a waste of time and is only circus
    -Continue to seek funding for MDC and make the party self sustaining by making astute investments especially offshore with donations from the diaspora who are kin to support and make contributions
    -The party should have a strong social dimension. Private International donors would trust MDC with their monies than these Zano thieves

    1. Your chamisa is not in a position to set conditions and better get that into your head.

  13. My president Chamisa will be true sellout if he agrees to this barbaric move from an illegitimate leader. Zanu Pf has never done anythine good for the people except for the for the few individuals the like of Grace Mugabe and Robert whom the majority matched for them to be removed in power.This is an easy move by Zanu Pf to try and retain power for the next election just like what Robert does to Tsvangirai to make an economy better in the short run but were are we now. They are trying to use Chamisa as a bait to restore confidence in the economy and to stabilise things so that their fools in rural arears will keep thinking the economy is right under ED and keep nailing our country. Beta to be poor for the 5yrs while ED is in power alone so that we might learn the right parth in the longrun.

    1. i agree

  14. This office was created in line with the commonwealth reentry policies which require a democratic recognition of major opposition parties. Zimbabwe has reapplied for admission into the commonwealth hence it is a requirement that we recognise major opposition parties. Not grabbing the opportunity is political ignorance and suicide for Nero.

  15. There is no conundrum here for Nelson Chamisa. He will remain in a strong position by declining the offer. As an old man myself I have learnt that it is better to say “No” which you can change to “Yes” later than to say “Yes” now and regret later.
    Nelson was in the “No” territory before the offer came and was in a strong position. If he keeps in the “No” territory then Emmerson will soon come up with more concessions to placate Nelson.

  16. let ZANU lead the country,they won the election sekutaura kwavo.soon zanu is falling all their promises are lies,the chiwengas are no were to be seen what they want was poor now they are looting,busy trying to lure chamisa they must deliver what they promised zimbabwe we need jobs jobs jobs,cash cash,cash,investment,investment,envestment.Izvezvi since vawinner its 0/100 hameno kuti 4 years dzichateera mapfee achange ariko here

  17. shunguhadziurayi mangarayi

    chosk kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk your president wepa YOU TUBE five years is not a joke and after all do you know that we are going to bury your mdc again in 2023? Don mapfeeee anotodaidzirazve kuti Pfeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkky

  18. Chamisa can decline the offer but the office will be created anyway as stipulated by the Constitution.In any Country the constitution is bigger than politicians and their parties.Ed and Chamisa can die at any time but our constitution will be there for the future generations.Mind you the MDC funders are watching to see if he refuses they will dump him, for another insider who is more mature.Remember people like Welshman and and Komichi who are much more mature politically are watching like eagles.Any slip Chamisa will be deposed.

    1. Many people are missing the point here. The creation of the opposition part leader is a positive constitutional development which does not require anyone’s ecceptance. The leader of opposition can be anyone and not necessarily Chamisa. Whilst he is the current opposition’s leader, in future it could be anyone from the numerous opposition parties. The current political environment could have influenced the Government to have this arrangement for which we should celebrate. If the change is made, it will be mandatory for the Government to to pay the opposition leader his/her dues whether he/she likes it or not. Once its introduction is linked to an individual, what happens if he ceases to be a leader of the opposition. This is why it has to be a constitutional amendment to address a national need rather than for an individual’s need or a certain political party’s need.

  19. Mr Chamisa can only contribute when you are somewhere in the structures where you are contributing. Asking other to contribute on your behalf my not bring the desired results. Accept, even the perks accept them your family wants to live, its not only about the country but your family as well. Madzuri akarambidzwa imba yekanzuro gore riya but vaTsvangison vakazotora yehurumende vaona kuti zvatoshata. ……..

  20. ngavatore mujuru kana khupe chedu chamisa hatidi nacho

  21. Leave Chamisa alone and stop making unnecessary noise.tongai tione,you won the election,pfeeeeee muminzwa.

  22. Comment…Should he accept the suspicious offer hopefully there wont be another opposition leader’s funeral at the end of this current term like what happened recently

  23. Comment…Nero has to sleep with the devil..amana tikaita zvekutamba tofa tichitambura…we want decent lives takuvara veduwe!

Comments are closed.