Opposition leaders have now lost the plot

On November 20, one US dollar was fetching the equivalent of $1,90 in bond notes on the streets of Harare. The next day, Zimbabwe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in. Today, the value of a US dollar has fallen to $1,30.

Candid Comment,Brezhnev Malaba

One of the jokes doing the rounds in Harare this week is that it appears there is no need to rig next year’s election.

The joke is on the opposition, of course. After being swept away on a tide of nationwide euphoria which accompanied Robert Mugabe’s dramatic ouster, opposition leaders are now wallowing in self-inflicted agony. Patrick Chinamasa told them, in plain language, that Mugabe’s military-backed ouster (this is euphemism, but you catch my drift) was an internal Zanu PF affair and had nothing to do with an excitable opposition. But they were in denial and, like a toddler who stubbornly clings onto a shiny toy, would not know the truth if it hit them smack in the face.

Zimbabweans are confronted with a most peculiar situation. Emmerson Mnangagwa, the new President, is anchoring his government on a reformist agenda. In one fell swoop, he has taken the wind out of the opposition’s sails.

The past two weeks have been frenetic. Last week, the opposition lost its rallying cry: “Mugabe must go!” This week, the opposition has lost its campaign mantra: “Change!” What next?

Amid these tumultuous developments, MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu has been heard squealing: “Mnangagwa has stolen our ideas.” Wonders never cease! Which ideas are these?

The truth is that the opposition has been outsmarted. The situation reminds me of Diego Maradona’s epic goal against England in the 1986 World Cup. The England players could see him embark on that unforgettable slalom but they could do precious little to thwart his deft touch and devastating body swerve. Likewise, Zimbabwe’s opposition political parties can see Mnangagwa cleverly positioning himself as a latter-day reformer but, like a bunch of outwitted soccer players, they are too mesmerised to respond.

Who can ever forget the bizarre spectacle of opposition leaders falling over each other while jostling for their 15 seconds of fame on the podium at the Zimbabwe Grounds during the much-celebrated “military intervention”? They were behaving like overzealous gate-crashers who storm a wedding gig they know nothing about, only to drunkenly ask with a slurred voice after the party has long ended: “By the way, whose wedding was that?” Neutral observers were left puzzled by the strange behaviour of opposition leaders at the Highfield rally.

Morgan Tsvangirai forgets that he has his own succession headache to solve. How does he excitedly get entangled in what is essentially an internal Zanu PF succession matter? To whose benefit? Let’s face it, Mugabe’s controversial ouster is enabling Zanu PF to rejuvenate itself. A renewed Zanu PF will soon render the opposition irrelevant, if it is not careful.

3 thoughts on “Opposition leaders have now lost the plot”

  1. Sagitarr says:

    You spoke too soon my friend. The so-called “new” cabinet does not inspire in any way a breath of freshness. The disappointment being felt right now is the exact opposite of the excitement and optimism a week ago. By the time we get to the elections, I’m afraid Zimbabweans will have returned to the streets again for the thieves “surrounding ED” to be removed from government. One of the daily newspapers has given a full report on 5 ministers who were involved in well-documented corruption cases. It’s very likely that ED will still operate in an insular way like RGM, unless these 5 are immediately removed from government unless cleared by the courts. Until then, I remain very pessimistic indeed.

  2. Sky says:

    Shaa in a free and fair election Emmerson will not win the Presidential election. Zanu pf already lags behind before the first vote is cast because Matebeleland hates Zanu PF.

  3. Gold Ruyondo says:

    You are nt a Prophet,for those who want to oppose your words,this is what happened in Uganda,when a group of guerrillas took the reigns of power after overthrowing the elected government of Dr.Obote,the Democratic Party (by that time the biggest opposition party with 52 members of Parliament in a House of 125 Members)rushed to join them,first their secretariat collapsed,then their members changed sides and by the time the guerillas changed to quasi multiparty the DP leader found himself alone on what was his second attempt at the presidency.As of now the once mighty DP has 13 members in a Parliament of over 400 MPs., Mujuru rushed to congratulate Mnangagwa instead of agitating for reinstatement which would have meant that she is the one to succeeded Mugabe,Tsvangirai hard to demand for Constitutional order. Truly THE OPPOSTION HAS LOST IT for another 37 years,!

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