Is Prof Chan getting senile?

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WELL, it seems the so-called ‘Professor of World Politics’, Stephen Chan, has forgotten his incisive observations of opposition parties in Zimbabwe.

Anyway we will remind him.

The Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) is a mutation of the same MDC of old. A rose by any other name is….you know that saying Prof Chan.

We were surprised when you were offering the CCC some advice hinting that in case they won the forthcoming elections, Western partners want to know who they are dealing with.

For those who are not in the know, Chan is Professor of International Relations at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and is described as a ‘notable British foreign policy advisor on Africa’.

Over the years, he has made some very interesting observations with regards their pet project, the MDC, now masquerading as CCC.

Let us revisit some of the observations he made in the last decades.

On July 31 2013, the MDC-T was hammered by ZANU PF in an election that signalled the death of the opposition party.

And Prof Chan, one of the leading strategists of the opposition in now masquerading as CCC. 

Let us revisit some of the observations he made in the last decades.

On July 31 2013, the MDC-T was hammered by ZANU PF in an election that signalled the death of the opposition party.

And Prof Chan, one of the leading strategists of the opposition in Zimbabwe, described ZANU PF’s victory as the ‘biggest defeat of Britain’s foreign policy in 60 years’.

He was right. 

In an interview published by World Politics Review, Chan said the 2013 electoral defeat was because of a spectacularly inept MDC-T campaign led by the now late Morgan Tsvangirai.

At one time Prof Chan declared that the MDC’s time as ‘a meaningful political force’ is over and ‘ZANU PF will win the 2018 general election’.

Chan would go on to state that ZANU PF was “…the reasonable government that the West must deal with, because there is no one else and because the West has no choice in the matter.”

He observed that both the AU and SADC had decided ‘to take Zimbabwe into the future with the rest of Africa’.

He would also declare that there was no possibility of the party sinking into oblivion like the MDC (CCC).

In an opinion piece published by the New York Times, Prof Chan brought to the fore London’s shift in position with regards Zimbabwe:

“Should there be conditions for re-engagement? 

The West probably won’t be able to resist making calls for less opaque financial and political dealings. But the land issue is settled: There is no politically viable force that would seek to restore farms to ousted whites. 

And given the implosion of any viable opposition, the West has little choice, but to work with ZANU PF.”

A more damning assessment from Prof Chan was in the book that he co-authored with Julia Gallagher published on June 9 2017 which revealed why the MDC, now CCC, will find it difficult to win elections in Zimbabwe.

It says:“The opposition offers nothing tangible or ‘ideal’… It did not have loyal members that were sold into the cause… ZANU PF has got supporters and the opposition has got sympathisers. 

Supporters are loyal — even if things are going wrong they will continue to support.

They contribute to the party. They believe in the cause.

And the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has sympathisers — disgruntled ZANU PF people, with scores to settle, opportunists… There is no ideological connection between the sympathisers and the MDC.

They are more fluid.

You can’t count on them.

They can abandon the ship.”

The ZANU PF-led Government has made significant strides towards development, with major projects completed and at varying stages of completion.

On the other hand is a mixture of arrogance by CCC officials and glaring failure to come up with sound economic policies.

In 2023, Nelson Chamisa will enter the ring on the back of similar issues that led to Tsvangirai’s and all other MDCs drubbings.

His party then, and now, as put across by Tendai Biti, describing the 2013 electoral defeat, ‘has no clear plan’ and it still doesn’t have one.

According to Prof Chan, ZANU PF “…will likely live on and it is within that party that, like it or not, the West must now find people with whom it can work….”

Professor Chan, CCC is still that party that has given you sleepless nights for failing to implement every strategy you have crafted for them since its formation in 1999.

Talk about senility!

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