By Tafadzwa Masango
OVER the past month, Zimbabweans have witnessed attempts to overturn the results of our election, to delegitimise a president before he even takes office as well as to discredit our courts and our Electoral Commission as the opposition seeks to attain some political power at all cost.
These activities are all part of the grand opposition strategy which is the ‘scorched earth policy’ – burning everything to the ground in pursuit of power.
The opposition spin doctors have been working around the clock to ensure international focus remains on Zimbabwe, despite the world having moved on.
Misinformation and disinformation continue to trend in the traditional and social media as pundits are giving their all to delegitimise President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Tales range from friction within the presidium, dissension within ZANU PF, disgruntlement in the security sector, political violence and worsening economic fortunes, all in an effort to create uncertainty and further the narrative that ZANU PF and its leadership lack the political currency needed to stir Zimbabwe to economic heights.
The opposition tactics are straight out of the handbook on how to manufacture a crisis in order to destabilise a government and topple it from power.
Several events are testament to this strategy and as one goes through them they follow assertions by acclaimed analyst Steven Gowan on The Standard Plan for Regime Change by Stealth. As of July 31 2018, we have hit Stage 5, 6 and 7:
Stage 5 – Before the election results are announced, the opposition and the ‘independent’ election monitors announce an opposition victory. Tendai Biti has perfected the role of unofficial election results announcer.
Stage 6 – If the official results are not in the opposition’s favour, denounce the vote as fraudulent and encourage people to take the battle to the streets.
The events of August 1 are part of the scheme of things in delegitimising a democratically elected government.
The confrontational approach of taking the battle to the streets is a double edged sword for both the opposition and government.
Stage 7 – In the West, public opinion is mobilised by the media focusing on what the opposition and civil society allies say. The view of the winning and governing party is completely shut out.
Much like a jealous and abusive husband, Nelson Chamisa and his lieutenants have indicated that if they cannot have executive power, Zimbabwe should burn to the ground up until Zimbabweans have ‘screamed’ and learn to vote ‘properly’; that is to say until Zimbabweans vote the opposition into power.
Foreign and local pundits are putting in a 110 percent to ensure that President Mnangagwa’s re-engagement efforts fail.
The narrative doing rounds is that Zimbabwe ‘missed the chance to change’ when it voted the President and ZANU PF into power.
This in itself is intended to warn off any individual, entity or government which might warm up to Zimbabwe that re-engagement would be in the wrong.
It has become a common trait of these pundits to attack, intimidate and insult any business, political figure or entity that might bring some positive development to Zimbabwe.
Some civil society leaders and journalists have become famous for assassinating the characters of those who might do business with Zimbabwe. The influence of the media in shaping opinions in the developed world is a tool to maintain negativity surrounding the name Zimbabwe.
Interestingly, just like a self-fulfilling prophecy, once those who are extending the hand of friendship to Zimbabwe are deterred, those very people who were instrumental in these moves turn to Zimbabweans and claim that would be investors have been put off by alleged legitimacy issues in the country.
It’s a never ending vicious circle of manufacturing crises and lies to ensure that both Zimbabweans and would-be foreign partners are kept apart.
According to Chamisa and his people, there is a legitimacy crisis in Zimbabwe. However, the truth is that the opposition and its appendages are the ones manufacturing this crisis through rumours and outright lies.
The unfortunate part of this whole sordid affair for the opposition is that, back in the day, ZANU PF used to fall for this and use its political might to stamp out such using strong arm tactics; however, ZANU PF has evolved and is instead not falling into these traps anymore.
Interesting is that the opposition has realised this, and those with less sense are now agitating for the unthinkable in Zimbabwe.
The more militant in the opposition have taken over and, as witnessed on August 1, they have no qualms about sending young men and women to meet the authorities head-on in the streets.
The more gullible and ignorant a supporter is, the greater the chance of them falling for the rhetoric now doing rounds that it is time to take arms against Government.
Chamisa is a man with nothing to lose and needs some ‘dramatic event’ to ensure that he remains politically relevant. 2023 kure, and the possibility of losing the presidency of his MDC faction is a growing reality.
His peers in the opposition alliance are now in Parliament, others have gone back to their home bases in the Diaspora while yet others have lucrative practises or comfortable jobs in civil society.
This loss has weakened his hold on power in the opposition. Lest we forget, the last he stood for election in the opposition, he lost to Douglas Mwonzora and it was through the benevolence of Morgan Tsvangirai that he remained relevant, with a seat in the executive.
With legal bills piling up, Chamisa is on the edge as reality is sinking in; much like a depraved man with nothing to lose, talk of violently confronting government are becoming more frequent and filtering among his faction’s rank and file.
Several senior officials within the provinces (names provided) have been addressing structures and statements surrounding preparedness to violently confront government, violent uprisings, reviving the Democratic Resistance Committees and arming them are being uttered.
In such instances, the private media and civil society which are embedded within the opposition turn a blind eye to such activities and statements because it does not feed into their agenda.