Hopewell Chin’ono scolds Chamisa for untruthful pledges


Hopewell Chin’ono, a former ally of CCC leader Nelson Chamisa, argues that Zimbabwe’s democratic status is a sham, making any hope for fair elections delusional.

Mocking his rhetorical flair, he alludes to a purportedly foolproof anti-rigging mechanism Chamisa purported to have. The analysis on Zimbabwe’s democratic credentials overlooks the opposition’s local council strength – a result of democratic processes he claims as nonexistent, thus veering into exaggeration.

Such strict democratic standards would exclude even countries like the United States, where the FBI assisted one candidate over another by influencing media coverage in the 2020 elections.

Chin’ono separates himself from the protesting many, arguing that the opposition also bears responsibility for electoral outcomes, a view both unconventional and enlightening. Provocative comments, threatening current leaders with imprisonment have certainly played a role in creating our divided political atmosphere. Such language warps democracy, transforming it from a procedural norm into a conflict in which incumbents are fighting for their survival.

Regarding electoral preparedness, Chin’ono scolds Chamisa for untruthful pledges, particularly about election agents – echoing false claims from 2018. The potential for unchecked ballot mischief resulting from polling stations lacking oversight is considerable. Unfortunately, Chin’ono keeps his evaluation locked on electoral issues ignoring related matters.

It’s surprising that Chamisa, who claims to be an ICT expert, hasn’t implemented e-procurement systems to boost fiscal efficiency in local governments. What emerges are managerial failings that extend beyond electoral concerns. The implausible alternative—that he is somehow incompetent at local governance but miraculously skilled at national administration—is not sensible.

Chin’ono’s bleak overview of Zimbabwe’s socio-economic challenges correctly observes that these issues transcend electoral politics. However, he ignores two crucial cultural factors that play a key role in Zimbabwe’s stagnation: ‘shaisano,’ a malicious form of politics, and a cultural tendency toward authoritarianism. These issues are not exclusive to any political group; rather, they are deep-rooted cultural dilemmas requiring serious consideration.

The opposition’s shifting stance on sanctions—once advocating for their removal, describing them as destructive, later downplaying their impact—serves as a striking example of ‘shaisano.’ Chamisa’s dangerous promise “kudira jecha musadza” after his 2018 electoral defeat is yet another example, indicating a willingness to jeopardise public welfare for political advantage.

The jump in exchange rates in the lead up to the election appeared to have been engineered to manipulate public opinion. This was likely done by introducing a large amount into the parallel market and offering it attractive rates with the effect that the artificial demand drove rates up. Such tactics highlight the ethical lines politicians are willing to cross for power, often to the detriment of those they claim to serve.

Chin’ono criticises Chamisa’s governance of the CCC through an obscure network of allies, having abandoned the initial leadership structure. The sway Fadzayi Mahere has over his decisions – even persuading him to adopt her failed 2018 campaign’s yellow colour – is perplexing. Chamisa’s resistance to a party with an organised leadership and constitution reveals a mindset that views democracy as more of an obstacle than a virtue. Worryingly, these anti-democratic decisions have been cheered on by citizens who claim to desire democratic governance.

The spirit behind these undemocratic tendencies clearly possesses all races without prejudice. Despite a dismal performance, David Coltart somehow secured the nomination, even after losing as the worst performing candidate. When quizzed by an inquisitive journalist, Coltart dismissively labelled him a fool.

An obvious contradiction surfaces: why is it deemed an injustice when Chamisa is cheated by Zanu-PF, yet considered acceptable when he and Coltart cheat the deserving winner of a local authority election? This inconsistency lays bare hypocrisy.

Chin’ono’s analysis touches the surface of a complicated human affair, in the process neglecting the heart of the matter. Our challenge is systemic, emanating from ingrained negative cultural norms. The pivotal question for Zimbabweans is not merely, “What comes next?” but “How do we tackle the underlying issues that have brought us to this crossroads?”

Source – Kupomhodza Edition


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