Elijah Chihota, Correspondent
When MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa last week announced that he intended to present a “State of the Nation Address” (SONA) dubbed Agenda 2020, some people swallowed that hook, line and sinker thinking he was going to deliver something meaningful.
Come January 21, 2020, Chamisa delivered the most unpalatable, hollow and meaningless speech, something which even made his Western handlers blush with shame and disgust.
Forty minutes into his speech, Chamisa was still rumbling aimlessly.
New label on old bottle
Chamisa’s SONA message was devoid of anything new from his usual rhetoric.
The address contained nothing which has not been covered in previous MDC policy documents such as the 2018 Sustainable and Modernisation Agenda for Real Transformation (SMART) manifesto, Road to Economic Recovery, Legitimacy, Openness and Democracy (RELOAD) and the Hope of the Nation Address (HONA).
The people’s expectations were that in the New Year, Chamisa was going to give out something that spells hope for the year ahead, but alas, nothing like that happened.
The speech was just a regurgitation of the tired opposition party’s old policies and speeches lumped together.
The only new thing about the message was the title “Agenda 2020.” Everything else in Chamisa’s presentation was old wine in new bottles.
People expected Chamisa to give them hope for the future. Instead, Chamisa had other thoughts as he kept going round and round in circles.
It may be recalled that during his closing rally for 2019 at Chisamba Grounds in Mutare, Chamisa told his party faithful that he was waiting for a signal from heaven.
This time around he repeated the same sentiments that he uttered there, a clear indication that he is running out of ideas.
Since losing the 2018 Presidential race to President Mnangagwa, Chamisa has been wailing day and night about the need for what he terms the implementation of electoral reforms.
According to Chamisa, the country’s electoral playing field was not even and he alleged that it favoured ZANU PF.
The MDC was part of the Government of National Unity (GNU), but they never pushed for any reforms only to cry foul after each and every electoral edition.
The current crop of MDC legislators is only good at perfecting their art of booing ZANU PF legislators and walking out of Parliament when President Mnangagwa walks into the august House.
Therefore, one can easily see that Chamisa is leading a bunch of people who have no appetite for progress and development. All that the bunch at Harvest House is after is power and the related benefits.
As before, Chamisa highlighted that he would not participate in the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD). He wants to meet with President Mnangagwa on a one-on-one basis without involving other losing presidential hopefuls.
This alone shows the lack of the spirit of inclusivity on the part of Chamisa as he views himself as the most important cog in resolving the country’s political and economic issues.
The politician mistakenly thinks that the whole country’s future lies in his hands hence his conceited claim that he holds the symbolic key to resolving the various challenges facing the nation.
The MDC has upped its ante as before dismissing President Mnangagwa’s legitimacy.
In order to make himself appear to be relevant to his increasingly restive party members, Chamisa called for the formation of a National Transitional Authority (NTA) which is a loose form of another GNU which suspends the holding of elections for a period of time.
Many readers will recall that a group of clerics going by the name the Zimbabwe Heads of Christian Denominations (ZHOCD) in 2019 called for a seven-year sabbatical from elections.
Whose idea was it in the first place? It bears the hallmarks of Chamisa’s influence and directives which feeds directly into his call for an NTA.
The call for an NTA is a tacit admission on the part of Chamisa that he lost the 2018 election.
It gives away the fact that he has realised that he lacks the political mettle to win a presidential election hence the revival of a half-way house solution of adopting the discredited and rejected NTA.
The electorate for a long time has been complaining about the corrupt activities of the MDC led local authorities. Chamisa claimed that he would deal with the corruption in these councils.
To any Zimbabwean who is worth his or her salt that is an old and tired statement.
Everyone knows that it is because of MDC-led councils people now corruptly acquire residential stands on wetlands, under power pylon corridors and sites designed for other purposes such as schools and churches.
The MDC councils are also responsible for the shortage of schools in urban areas as they corruptly allocate their peers land set aside for schools in new residential areas across the country.
The MDC leader has displayed lack of policy consistence, one moment he is calling for the overhaul of the security apparatus and the next moment, he is trying to sweet talk them to his side.
It is a well known fact that the MDC has always been against the country’s security apparatus and labelled them as “an extension of ZANU PF.”
However, after realising that the security apparatus was not even moving an inch from discharging its roles as mandated, Chamisa swallowed the chill pill and started to cosy up to them, but anyangira yaona (they will not fall for his bait). No security establishment would go along with his childish behaviour.
MDC youths who used to think Chamisa was their saviour, are now slowly beginning to doubt him.
They are abandoning him after realising kuti iguru rakapinda nyoka (spent force). According to some MDC youths, “the centre can no longer hold.”
They have therefore lost confidence in Chamisa and are now looking for an alternative leader in MDC co-vice president Tendai Biti or someone else.
In his entire speech he did not inspire them and its slowly dawning on his supporters that he lacks the mettle to lead the embattled party.
The MDC has failed again, this time to come up with new idea, hence, he has to resort to being a copycat. Chamisa proposed to implement what he termed the Breaking Barriers Initiative (BBI) which is meant to bring together Zimbabweans from various sectors such as churches and students to confront Government with the view to unseat it, but as surely as the sun will rise from the east, this initiative is doomed to fail.
As usual the MDC has perfected the art of copying policies from other countries and claim them to be their brainchild. The BBI was copied from Kenya.
According to political analyst, Jones Musara, “In Zimbabwe it won’t work so long the loser Chamisa does not concede defeat. So long he does not concede defeat, he will bark and bark until 2023 apo tichamurakasha kechitwo (when we will beat him again at the polls).”
Chamisa failed to realise that in the Kenyan example, that country’s opposition leader, Raila Odinga swallowed a humble pie and conceded defeat. With Chamisa acting like a parrot, he is singing day in day out that elections were “stolen”, a claim that he failed to prove in the Constitutional Court.
What the MDC lacks are home grown solutions to the challenges affecting the country. Theirs is a copy and paste job; hence nothing changes because the operating environments are different.