RENOWNED advocates of non-violence, civil rights movement leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr, and Rosa Parks openly participated in public denunciation of racial segregation in the United States during the 1950s. While King Jr’s name is widely talked about, Parks, who got arrested four days before the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama, strikes my conscience as one noble activist who showed that without action, change remains a fantasy. She deliberately refused to give up her seat to a white man, defying discriminatory laws that existed in the US then.
Her famous quote: “ . . . the only tired I was, was tired of giving in” should inspire the majority of opposition leaders in Zimbabwe to rethink their strategy, if ever this country is to realise independence from the oppressive systems of governance crafted to extinguish their quest for a better country.
The question circulating among other sections of the society is whether MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa still represents a movement that he purports to. This is far from an attack on his personality, but a brutal question on his “designer-suits-celebrity” approach to politics.
Former liberation fighter, the late Edgar Tekere wrote in his book, A Lifetime of Struggle, that the late former president Robert Mugabe was told to wear camouflage and practice to hold an AK-47 in one of his visits to liberation war fighters — at least to appear as one of them.
The late former MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai would get a thorough beating from the police, while Arthur Mutambara would go unscathed besides walking side-by-side.
Today Chamisa walks freely and carefully chooses his actions, including the wording of his speeches such that he won’t be caught on the wrong side of the law.
While others like Job Sikhala, Jacob Ngarivhume and journalist Hopewell Chin’ono have tested the pains of democracy movement, the MDC leader is a social media pundit, constantly posting messages that are a far cry from what the majority expected of him when they voted in the 2018 general elections.
If King Jr had decided to preach in the confines of big churches without taking to the streets, his “I have a dream” speech would perish as foolish posturing. A struggle is rooted in praxis, determination and boldness, aspects which seem to be lacking in Chamisa.
MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe is on an offensive to tear asunder the MDC Alliance, adopting the hyena’s character of tirelessly pursuing its prey and devouring even bones without flesh, yet Chamisa remains “diplomatically” silent.
Is it not time he realises leaving action to South Africa’s ANC and EFF’s Julius Malema will render him politically impotent, if not sterile? A pale shadow should never expect to be noticed in the dark stormy night.