Saturday 26 February 2022


The recent rebranding of Chamisa’s faction of the Movement for Democratic Change to three Cs, Citizen’s Coalition for Change, amounts to nothing more than an attempted resale of age-old neo-colonial project through enticing visuals.

Historically, “colour revolutions” were sponsored and launched by the West in post-Soviet era, to colour a false brave new world which the seemingly triumphant West thought it could manufacture and sell the world.

Western sponsored anti-establishment movements mushroomed in Latin America and Asia. Their common DNA was the preponderance of colour over content;  form, prop, presentation and personality over substance, policy, plan and programme. It is no wonder that both Presidents Putin and Xi of Russia and China respectively recently took a stance against this so-called “colour revolutions” across the world.  Through Chamisa and his remade MDC faction, this same colour revolution has now washed up on Zimbabwe’s political shore.

All colour, sound and fury signifying nothing

Discerning Zimbabweans have not wasted time to notice. And also to find appropriately derisive epithets for laughing off those pretentious politics. The “nyaudzosingwi” (rhetorical flourish) and  “haana plan” (he has no plan) verbal slap dealt Chamisa, including by his former colleague, Blessing Chebundo, are wholly apt, merited and characteristic of the utter contempt with which these politics have been received. Not helped by his twitter supporters whose only reposte to opposed, content-grounded arguments is a mere DOT.

A commentator recently quipped this DOT revolution amounted to frozen brains within opposition ranks. Chamisa himself admitted to this characteristic emptiness at his typically colourful Zimbabwe Grounds Rally. Many trawled in vain for direction and substance from him, only to meet a flashy dilettante or coxcomb of Dickensian “Bleak House” fame. What a way to behold the new, and to announce the arrival of a “newly” born!!

Yellow medium, message and noise.

At this inaugural rally all Chamisa delivered were boyish acrobatics and a garishly yellow slumber jacket. Colour was the sender, the medium, the message, the receiver and the noise, all rolled in one. Colour not in the Victorian colonial sense of skin pigmentation as a marker of racial worth and place in the social hierarchy. But colour as mere aesthetics, as decorative political proposition for mass distraction at a time of serious plebiscitary choice. Yes, colour to mask and prettify the empty and the ugly. And ugliness haunts Chamisa’s formation.

Bane more than boon

In history, the opposition’s feat of capturing virtually all the country’s municipalities since 2000, turned out more a bane than a boon. It was an ambiguous gain. Ambiguous in that it made the opposition a governing party at local, municipal level, while retaining it as a fracking opposition nationally. A doer and a critic all in one; a ruptured virgin, indeed an ageing sinner feigning righteousness of the unborn.

Probity deficit . . .

As a municipal governor, the opposition assumed the burden and responsibility to account to an angry ratepayer it poorly served and swindled. As a national opposition, it demanded the benefit of doubt, the impeccability of one who has never lived or governed! Today this ambiguity damns it. The incompetence and stupendous probity deficits it has delivered at gubernatorial level has turned our towns and cities into some all-round mess. By way of infrastructure, in service delivery terms, and by way of books of accounts it never writes at all, or cooks routinely. ZINARA funds-gate is illustrative. This appalling record at municipal level denies Chamisa the beauty of innocence he wishes for himself, and is claimed by opposition parties worldwide. The swindled voter cannot buy his claim to govern better than the ruling Zanu PF.

Ruling municipal party

Yet this bare fact is yet to registered on the mind of the youthful politician. Had it registered, he would have launched himself on anything but mere colour and histrionics. He would have known he faces an angry ratepayer who now demands a vision, a plan and a programme for alternative governance. And the word is ALTERNATIVE: not to Zanu PF or even the Rhodesia Front which Zanu PF toppled. But an alternative to himself, to his record since 2000 of messing up all municipalities in the country! If brutal truth be told, today and again in 2023, Chamisa runs against himself, against his appalling record as leader of a ‘ruling’ municipal party.

Zanu PF moves in to repair

And Zanu PF has wasted no time in nailing him. Not only has Zanu PF moved in to repair stupendous damages wrought by Chamisa from 2000 — wrought for over two decades; it has communicated this decadal mess as a peek into, and metaphor for, an unfortunate Zimbabwe under the colourful CCC!!!

Chamisa has no plan; only colour.

Chamisa has no worldview; only a finger gesture.

Opposing themselves

Much worse, Chamisa has no counterpoint to raise against charges he invited onto himself. To illustrate, I turn to my experience in debating him, his acolytes (he calls himself a messianic pastor!), his supporters and all those freelancing for his person (not cause, which he doesn’t have!) on the thoughtless Twitter platform. Quite often, they raise and post images of urban squalor and disrepair as evidence and props for attacking Zanu PF. Then you ask: so who dunnit? Only then does it dawn on them THEY DID! And they then either retreat from their boomerang props in ignominy. Or they just drop the legendary DOT of frozen intellect and reasoning-come-unstuck! Worse, they pile it all on Douglas Mwonzora, their bete noire! Mwonzora’s recall of their MPs and councillors has become a rescue to their decadal failures.

Save us from ourselves . . .

If all the above fail, they blame their myriad failures on Minister July Moyo who is in charge of Local Government!! Minister Moyo should have stopped us from swindling ratepayers, they lamely retort! Not only are they in denial and desperate for scapegoats; they wind up inadvertently conceding Zanu PF is the only fitting ruling Party which must oversee them, indeed restrain them from their venality.  It can’t be worse! And as if to oblige, Minister July Moyo has since moved in to clean up the mess they wrought.

Yellow is no zeitgeist

A party readying itself to govern must be convincing. It must offer persuasive arguments, persuasive plans. It must make itself synonymous with national solutions and narratives. It must, in other words, create the zeitgeist — the defining mood and spirit of a particular period moulded by trending ideas, visions and arguments. Chamisa’s sickly yellow is no zeitgeist. Not even in the world of fashion! He lacks a marshalling argument. His supporters are all over, spectacularly arguing and running against themselves. And their leader!

Paying tribute to rival Zanu PF

As a launching political statement, Zimbabwe Grounds was an unmitigated disaster. Chamisa’s CCC ran a tweet that said the party would be launched at Zimbabwe Grounds, WHERE IT ALL BEGAN! What began at Zimbabwe Grounds in 1980! The story of Zimbabwe’s march to freedom through the watershed 1980 election which Zanu PF won resoundingly. Why would Chamisa do this to himself? This backhanded tribute to the rival Zanu PF party was quite baffling, even to us who work in the ruling party’s ideological kitchen. Why would Chamisa pay such glorious tribute to his rival? Chamisa cannot chant incantations that revive the ghost of 1980 without suffering self-relegation and irrelevance. After all, he was still in the womb while those he contests for power had survived and come back from a brutal war which gave birth to the Nation he now aspires to govern.

Having omelette without breaking egg

Two more gaffes compounded this monumental blunder. At Zimbabwe Grounds, Chamisa announced he NOW supported land reforms, even as he decried the methodology of those reforms. In claiming support for an end-state whose painful mechanism he opposed, he hoped to have an omelette without breaking the egg. But more damned him. His new position meant before Zimbabwe Grounds, he opposed Land Reforms! Which is to say he favoured occupation of Zimbabwe‘s Land by a colonial white landed aristocracy.

When Zanu PF forces

Chamisa’s hand

The question which he himself invited by that uncalled for, ill-fated disclosure was: what brought about this volte face? He left this enquiry an open-ended, thus giving Zanu PF the political license to fill the gap. And Zanu PF did: it was the sheer completeness, the sheer irreversibility and success of Zanu PF’s Land Reform Programme which had forced him to come to terms with a programme he opposed until now! Another ringing endorsement of Zanu PF as the only fitting ruling Party! I don’t need to remind you, gentle reader, that by raising and affirming Land Reforms, Chamisa was firmly orbiting in Zanu PF’s zeitgeist! Serious aspiring governors don’t react, even then 22 years later; they act and write a new, alternative script. In real time too!!!

Romancing Smith’s notorious DAs

I said two gaffes. Here is the second one. To communicate its changed position on Zanu PF’s Land Reform Policy, CCC produced a graphic of men in arms. The hope was to dock the party’s volte face in a milieu of armed militancy led and prosecuted by Zanu PF. He sought to engraft CCC on Zanu PF’s historical stem, unashamedly! Except the graphics used showed Ian Smith’s surrogate all-African askari army: the notorious DAs or District Assistants. Anyone old enough to have experienced the war immediately recoiled at this outrage from a party already facing charges of being a political project of white Rhodesia’s embittered landed gentry. Why would Chamisa’s ideologues get it so awfully wrong, and in a manner which validated charges of their Rhodesian political paternity and ancestry? Can a party which mischaracterises a Nation’s founding process ever be trusted to govern, let alone defend that Nation’s interest? Try and imagine the  British Labour Party confusing Churchill’s army with that of Hitler! Sunday Mail


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