Open letter to Nelson Chamisa – Please change strategy Mr President


Dear Mr [Nelson] Chamisa,

I am writing to you as a concerned citizen and a former supporter of yours. I voted for you in the presidential elections of 2018 and 2023, where the rigging of Zanu-PF was obvious and rampant.

However, I feel that you have failed dismally to defend our vote from Zanu-PF and other cronies. You also failed to defend our party of old, the MDC-Alliance, from a hostile takeover by Douglas Mwonzora, which resulted in the first recalling of candidates from council, Parliament, and Senate.

Whether this was due to internal strife or not, I don’t care. What I care about is the future of our country, which is in dire need of change and democracy. You only tweet about Bible verses and motivational speeches, apparently lacking action and leadership, especially with issues that need leadership.

You have not challenged the legitimacy of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s presidency, nor have you mobilised the people to demand their rights and freedoms.

You have not exposed the corruption and mismanagement of the Zanu government, nor have you offered a clear and viable alternative vision for Zimbabwe.

You have not built a strong and united coalition with other opposition parties and civil society groups, nor have you engaged constructively with the regional and international community to seek their support and intervention.

You have a conflict of interest between being a man of God, a very-popular presidential candidate (politics), and a lawyer. Politics requires toughness and sometimes involves getting your hands dirty.

You are at a disadvantage because of your professions (pastor/lawyer). I respect your right to participate in the politics of your country, but you need to decide what to focus on: our lives or your life.

You should consider giving up your lawyer status and focus on the political life, because it seems you are afraid of being arrested on malicious charges and having your practising licence revoked.

You should also rethink your role as a pastor, because politics is not a religious mission, but a social contract between the leaders and the people. You should not use God as an excuse or a scapegoat for your failures or inaction. You should not preach to us about faith and hope, but show us results and solutions. You have courage, honour, and God-fearing qualities.

You will surely make a good president someday. But you need to STEP UP or STEP ASIDE now. You are losing the young voters who are either leaving the country or believing that if they vote, Zanu-PF will rig anyway so what is the point? You have failed to defend their vote.

You are losing the trust and confidence of the people who are suffering from the economic crisis, the social decay, and the political repression. You have failed to address their problems.

You are losing the respect and credibility of the world who are watching your actions, or lack thereof. You have failed to capitalise on their sympathy. Your supporters are toxic on social media because you have built a cult of followers. As a man of the cloth, you should realise that this is idolism and you should stop this hero-worship by your supporters.

You should encourage them to be critical thinkers and active citizens, not blind followers and passive spectators. You should listen to others’ feedback and criticism, not silence them or dismiss them.

You should inspire every “citizen” to work together for a common cause, not divide them or alienate critics and those that you think are a threat to your power. The CCC is for everyone. It’s not Chamisa’s alone. You have run for presidency two times now; you should STEP ASIDE from running in 2028.

Not only you hold the keys to success; others can do it too; others have ideas too; foolishness is doing something over and over again expecting different results. You should promote internal democracy within your party; not one centre of power in a democratic movement.

You should empower other senior opposition figures like Tendai Biti and Welshman Ncube etc.; not sideline them or overshadow them. You should groom new leaders for the future; not cling to power or stagnate in the past.

You should also stop relying on the courts to solve all your political problems; they are part of the system that is rigged against you. You should be decisive and consistent in your legal strategy; not flip-flop between accepting and rejecting their judgments.

You should explain to us why you did not appeal at the Constitutional Court (which is the first local remedy) the presidential results which were obviously flawed in August 2023; not keep us in the dark about your plans and in/actions.

As President of your party, you should have strongly condemned and reversed the recent recalls of over 50 more CCC MPs, senators and councillors by Sengezo Tshabangu, who claims to be your interim secretary-general; they are illegal and undemocratic. You should have fought tirelessly to restore their seats and their dignity; they are our representatives.

You should also sincerely apologise to the people who voted for them; they are your supporters and your constituents. I am writing this letter because I believe that you still have potential to be a great leader and a catalyst for change in Zimbabwe.

But you need to change your strategy and your attitude. You need to be more proactive and decisive. You need to be more inclusive and collaborative. You need to be more realistic and pragmatic. You need to STEP UP! I am writing this letter because I hope that you will take my words seriously and act accordingly. I hope that you will not take this as an attack or an insult, but as constructive criticism and friendly advice. I hope that you will not ignore or disregard this letter, but respond to it and address the issues raised in it.

Moreover, I would appreciate it if you would share your thoughts and plans with me and other concerned citizens. Your insights and perspectives would be invaluable in shaping a brighter future for our nation.

Please feel free to contact me at your convenience. I am keen to hear from you and support your efforts to transform our country. I am writing this letter because I still have faith in you and in our country.

I still have hope that we can achieve the change and democracy that we deserve and desire. I still have love for you and for our people.

However, you should know that you have to earn my vote and the vote of many other Zimbabweans who are disillusioned and disappointed by your performance. You should know that we are not voting for anyone else or forming our own parties, as some of your cult followers usually say “vote for someone or go and form your own party”. You should know that we are not politicians in any way, but concerned citizens who want the best for our country. You should know that we will not be commenting on politics again, unless we see some positive changes from you.

You should know that young voters are not liking you (you are becoming very unpopular now) because of your inaction. I also want to acknowledge and appreciate some positive aspects of your leadership and some achievements that you have made in the past: You have been a courageous and charismatic leader who has challenged the Zanu-PF regime and inspired millions of Zimbabweans to vote for change and democracy.

You have been a loyal and faithful follower of the late Morgan Tsvangirai, who entrusted you with the leadership of the MDC-Alliance before his death. You have been a visionary and innovative leader who proposed a SMART agenda for Zimbabwe – Sustainable and Shared Economic Growth, Modernisation of Government and Public Institutions, Accountability in Public Life, Radical Social Transformation, and Transformation to a New Governance Culture.

Your term as a government minister during the GNU was marked by extraordinary achievements showing innovativeness and a great love for Zimbabwe and her people. I also want to congratulate you for your resilience and courage in building the CCC from scratch after losing the MDC-Alliance and Harvest House, among other setbacks.

That was not an easy task, but you did it with grace and determination. I want to clarify that my concerns and critiques stem not only from a place of observation but also from an active engagement within my community. I’ve initiated various efforts through the church, where I serve in a youth leadership role, and alongside my constituency’s member of Parliament, Honourable Shakespeare Hamauswa, from your party.

These endeavours are aimed at fostering positive change and address the needs of our community. My perspective isn’t solely that of a critic; rather, it arises from a deep-rooted love for my country and a fervent desire, shared by many, to see meaningful change and progress.

I also want to suggest some specific actions that you can take to improve your situation and regain my support and that of many other voters: Launch a massive campaign to mobilise the people to register as voters and educate them about their rights and responsibilities as citizens (for 2028) START NOW.

Initiate a dialogue with other opposition parties and civil society groups to form a broad and united coalition that can challenge Zanu-PF in the next elections. START NOW. Expose the corruption and mismanagement of the Zanu-PF government and offer a clear and viable alternative vision for Zimbabwe that addresses the economic, social, and political problems facing the country. DO THIS NOW.

Engage constructively with the regional and international community to seek their support and intervention in resolving the political crisis in Zimbabwe and restoring democracy and human rights. DO THIS NOW.

Promote internal democracy within your party and empower other senior opposition figures and new leaders to share the responsibility and the vision of leading the country to a better future. DO THIS NOW.

These are some of the things that I think you can do to make a difference in Zimbabwe. These are some of the things that I think can make me vote for you again. These are the things that I think can make Zimbabwe better.

Sincerely, Barnabas Musisinyani, a concerned citizen. This article was originally published by TheNewsHawks


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