HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsLet the games begin – it’s now jecha for jecha!

Let the games begin – it’s now jecha for jecha!


THE call by some in the ruling Zanu PF party for the presidential age limit to be raised to 52 years from 40 has caused mixed reactions, but what is there to it?

echoes with Conway Tutani

It should first be accepted that there is nothing wrong with the presidential age limit being raised – or even lowered – as long as it is done constitutionally, meaning a party with the requisite two-thirds majority in Parliament can effect that amendment in the supreme law of the land. That is a given when you have a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, more so after the MDC Alliance conceded parliamentary election defeat, solidifying Zanu PF’s hand to change the Constitution.

However, strangely, the MDC Alliance has refused to accept presidential election defeat whereas it’s the very same voters who cast ballots in both polls. Yes, there can be discordant couples in an ongoing sexual relationship where one partner is HIV-infected and the other is not, but to then say that voting in the July 30 national elections was so discordant as to give one party a landslide parliamentary victory and massive loss in the presidential election, as is being claimed by the MDC Alliance, is both astonishing and unbelievable, to say the least. I digress.

Many people don’t like the death sentence, but the government can go ahead and order the execution of death row prisoners. It’s actually a matter of choice for the government to make because the Constitution gives it the necessary leeway. Likewise, many people in the West are against the legalisation of homosexuality and the so-called same-sex marriage, but they cannot do anything about it because it is written into the Constitution.

Need it be repeated that a government with the necessary two-thirds majority in Parliament – as Zanu PF – has that constitutional elbow room, freedom of action to raise or lower the presidential age limit at its leisure and pleasure. These are the cold, hard facts about the matter. It falls into the category of common cause.

Second, there isn’t anything particularly wrong with either the MDC Alliance or Zanu PF showing their political muscle, but to then expect the other side to turn the other cheek is being unrealistically crybaby in a game of adults. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If you declare openly that you will block the government at every turn – as the main opposition MDC Alliance declared before, during and after the elections – what stops that very government from blocking you in turn by saying it will increase the minimum age for presidential candidates from 40 to 52?

If you play hard ball, what stops the other side from playing hard ball? If you reiterate that you do not recognise President Emmerson Mnangagwa, why should you cry foul or victim when Zanu PF retaliates by raising the presidential age limit to bar 40-year-old MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa from contesting in the next election? If you go all-out in your attack, what stops the other side from responding in kind to outflank you? If you do not hold anything back, why should you demand that the other side holds back from raising the minimum presidential age limit? What can stop the other side from retaliating by applying Newton’s third law of motion that to every action there is an equal and opposition reaction?

Retaliation is a legitimate political weapon. The rule of law itself – as in the leeway to amend the Constitution allowed by having a two-thirds majority in Parliament – can be used as a political weapon, as could be lawfully done in this case.

The MDC Alliance has been openly saying tinozvidira jecha, meaning they will wilfully block any moves by the Zanu PF government so as to make the country ungovernable. Now Zanu PF is threatening to dira jecha to block Chamisa’s presidential ambitions, should the MDC Alliance complain when given the taste of its own medicine? As one can see, jecha is not the sole right and sole prerogative of the MDC Alliance.

In a war of words where both sides are criticising each other angrily, you cannot expect one side to take it lying down. Are they not calling each other Pfeerorists and Nerorists? Both sides are digging in, so no one side can accuse the other of being unreasonable. Everything has a consequence, doesn’t it?

As they say, all is fair in love and war. Nothing is out of bounds when it comes to love and war. The rules of hard play are acceptable in war. In such situations, people do not follow the usual rules of behaviour and do things that could normally be considered unfair, but not in any way unlawful.

We do not need “closed channel thinking” which always sees faults in others. All of this helps them to justify their actions. This type of thinking sees self as the victim and self as good, only looking at the positive side of one’s character while at the same time being self-possessed. Such people expect others to act on their demands. But this is unrealistic.

Many – if not most – of us are raised with preconceived notions of the life choices we are supposed to make. We should be aware that we inherit both the good and the bad. But one such unaware person proudly blurted out that he was brought up to specifically hate Dynamos and Zanu PF. He said this publicly because in his closed mind, no sane person could support Dynamos and Zanu PF. He had habituated or inured close-mindedness whereas there is no linkage to talk about between the two institutions. And you hear someone boastfully say that it’s a generational thing in their family to hate Highlanders and Zapu. Well, it sounds to me like a generational curse.

Such people brought up on a diet of hate can grow up into adults without a sense of proportion. As a result, they waste so much time and energy making decisions based on someone else’s idea of what is good or bad for them. These people, deprived or depriving themselves the leeway to think critically, accept whatever is said at face value, and will believe whatever they read, see or hear on the Internet or social media as the gospel truth – such as the science fiction that the “X” on the ballot paper would move from one candidate’s name to another.

Why should you be treated with kids gloves when you throw a bareknuckle fist? You should not cry foul if the other side goes further than you in exercising its leverage. If you play football, you are fair game to get tackled heavily and robustly. If you are in politics, you are legitimately and permissibly targeted for retaliation. If your bluff is called, you cannot cry foul. Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but playing a poor hand well. The hardest tumble a man can take is over his own bluff.

Now it’s open season during which Mnangagwa and Chamisa – both being currently endorsed by their respective parties as presidential candidates for 2023 – can be subjected to sustained attack. By the time the games end, it is hoped that sanity will prevail for people to come to their senses and appreciate the wisdom of having rules of engagement and ground rules specifying the limits of play – or play-acting.

Meanwhile, it’s jecha for jecha where what is unfair is not necessarily unlawful. Let the games begin!

Conway Nkumbuzo Tutani is a Harare-based columnist. Email: nkumbuzo@gmail.com

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  1. This is the most ridiculous fallacy of an article I have ever read in my life, it’s truly amazing that a learned man like Tutani actually found the time, energy & words to try to defend the insanity of a deranged war vet

  2. Mr Tutani this is no longer a game but a very sad development not only for the MDC alliance but even youthful people in Zanu PF or any other party. Celebrating idiocy is not something I would expect from you. Very sad indeed. You are happy that even your child cannot contest to be president? Honestly? Is that good for the country?

  3. What’s wrong with Tutani stating the cold, hard fact that while it might seem unfair for Zanu PF to raise the minimum presidential age, it is perfectly constitutional to do so? So you Nerorists don’t want to be educated, free education for that matter? That’s why Chamisa labelled you stupid.

  4. kkk this piece of infor is tru and it hurts to others vasingade kuudzwa chokwadi…those saying its a bad article garai maziva kuti the law is stubborn. whatever is constitutional it always wins they make the law you obey hazvinei kuti ndiwe ani

  5. While I do not necessarily believe in everything that Mr Conway Tutani says, I greatly apreciate that his views are mostly honest, informative and reasonable. It’s only that the opposition is mostly made up of inexperience, imature, lawless, imoral, unreasonable, ignorant, abusive, uncultured and violent individuals. Most of them but not all will never apreciate any sensible facts as long as the facts go against their wishes.

  6. Jecha to Jecha MDC has an American policy Bush was presindent did he change anything upon Zimbabwe hapana 2 Obama became the president did he change anything upon hapana right now we have Trumb chii chashanduka hapana zvatowedzera.Even you change frm 40 to 52 years anouya wacho he will be the same. Chinodiwa apa its an dialog vanhu votaurirana coz honestly ZANU hapana chaichabuda nacho pa economy ye nyika vanhu tiri kutamba nhamo kushandiswa mahara nema politic aya nyika haina mari zvino ZANU ikashandura mutemo zvoreva kuti ZANU imbwende uye zvinenge zviri pachena kuti vanotya Chamisa uye vakadyiwa naChamisa ukaona murume mukuru ochinja road kubva yaaifamba nayo for past 38 years with only 1 year oenda kune imwe nzira zvoreva kuti igwara anotya kurobwa kkkkkkkk saka kutonga kwacho ndekupi apa.

  7. I’ve seen zanupf do many crazy things in my life but to use a whole sacred constitution for the purpose of settling a petty political score is way below human thinking. I have serious doubts that an otherwise reasonable man like Mr Tutani is the real author of this silly article

  8. Ana “Vision”. Ndosaka makanzi ma stupid naChamisa. U cant separate facts from fiction. Apa pataurwa ma facts chete nothing else and facts are known to be stubborn. Zvinonakidza kana murimi muri kuita play childish games in parliament but when u are given a taste of your own medicine moti mavara angu azara ivhu. NO. STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!! Ndo dzininzi politics manje idzodzo. Tit for tat. If u were clever enough I would have reminded you of the trade and political wars between China and USA as we speak. Donald Trash increases tariffs on certain Chinese products, China just reciprocates ndo politics ana “Vision” but clearly u wont understand this coz this is too big for you coz kana vision yacho dololo

  9. We will remain in perpetual backwardness if we cannot just allow cold facts that may not be palatable to be said for our preparation and strategising. Conway is simply stating a fact that it is now a battle. Nero has decided to make ED’s life difficult and it should be expected that ED would reciprocate. For him to be then labelled an idiot and all sorts of names is just hard to understand. All in all I believe it is a balanced article. Tutani is not condoning ED neither is he condemning Nero all he is stating that a battle can never be one way no ways.

  10. Had great respect for this man.But guess doing his boss bidding what with the tv licence.But to call this a game?

  11. Fortunately it is reported that ED himself has rejected such foolishness so the matter is done & rested, sorry Mr Tutani

    • VISION, you don’t have vision. How do you know that ED will not exercise that option in the future? The option remains. How do you know if that threat has not already softened Chamisa’s antics? In politics, threatening to do something without carrying out the threat can produce results.

    • VISION, you are too politically innocent that you don’t know that politicians spread rumours to hurt rivals, to kill legislation or to advance a specific agenda. The largest companies in the world also regularly use rumours to their advantage, causing share prices to rise or fall, and prompting competitors to start madly developing produtcs, or abandon them.

  12. Well nailed Tutani!
    For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction – an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
    It was anticipated that such an awesome article cannot augur well with anyone who is unwilling to embrace alternative ideas or perspectives.
    Why make a fool of myself? I’d rather die than compromise my conscience.

  13. The tragedy here is that zanupf is attempting to punish a whole nation in an attempt to deal with Chamisa. Just coz there are no young leaders in zanupf can’t be Zimbabwe’s fault. It’s as stupid as detonating a grenade in your kitchen in order to try kill a cockroach

  14. Mr. Tutani with all due respect you have been compromised terribly. Constitutional amendments do not affect mdca but the generality of Zimbabweans, me included. what is there for the youth then sir? Your hatred for mdca is appalling and shameless to say the least. A wise man does not burn the house to kill a snake. This is stinking crap sir.

  15. Tutani is 100% spot on. Those in power can do as they please. However, raising the Presidential age limit is being done to spite one person and it will not change anything on the economic front. Almost all black nationalists in Zimbabwe started their political careers at around 30 years of age.
    The reason given was that Nelson shows “political immaturity”. What exactly is “political maturity”? A few years ago the world witnessed much older Zimbabwean politicians at a ceremony were diesel fuel was supposed to issue from rocks somewhere in Zimbabwe. This does not in any way show “political maturity”. We call such people Kidults.
    MDC must cite the diesel from rocks episode to show how the Peter Pan Syndrome affects many old people in ZanuPf.

  16. the constitution, the courts, the gun, the army, the police, the CIO The……what what are tools of oppression. to hell with them. people will decide their own destination. no amount of ammendments or force can stop CHANGE. Ask Prof Jona Moyo. chinjayi mafungiro wana Tutani zvamaiti RG achatonga from a wheelchair Zvakazodii….Real change is coming.

  17. jecha ku jecha yes.but after that zvozodii,does that allow the country to move foward or a dialogue.one is good with elections&the other economy,zvisinei ngatifambe tiwone who has the upper hand over the other.

  18. Mr Tutani, if I was in Zimbabwe I was going to come and study under your tutelage.Your articles are so concise and balanced with no emotions to it.
    If the oppsoition leaders read your articles,we would be having a strong well-informed opposition.But, eish, vanowanza hasha neshungu. I am looking forward to receiving your book of all articles you ever wrote, I will study it religiously. You must open an academy to teach young people how to think critically.Please seriously think along these lines of establishing a foundation or an academy for young people to benefit from your critical insight.I am neither an MDC or ZANU PF

  19. Conway Tutani is now a national disgrace, murume mukuru kana kusambonyara munhu achinyora rubbish.Kutonyora and proofread and say u r done! Mudhara haana njere uyu

  20. This is rubbish, no substance, no theme nor subthemes, no coherence jus mere-rumblings….Hana hairove here Conway murume mukuru

  21. Well said..politics is a game of outmatching each other. Its about winning votes and suppressing your contender legally. Yes, Chamisa and his imbeciles should have jecha poured in their sadza too! Whats good for the goose is good for the gander. Chamisa for 2033!

  22. politic is not for two individuals only.What Tutani wrote can be true academically but can have very negative implications.I expected Tunani to advise the two waring individuals whats good for the nation now not 2023. What if both Chamisa and phee wont leave to see 2023 then what happens.

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