Nelson Chamisa, seen here with his main rival for the leadership of the MDC-T, Douglas Mwonzora, has made the one mistake that ZANU PF has been praying for him to make

Emmerson Mnangagwa and his strategists have been praying for what happened today to happen.

I could never understand why the strategists always factored this particular development into their scenario planning but, just as they assured ED and Chiwenga, it has come to pass.

Which means that, despite what anyone may tell you, right now, Nelson Chamisa and the MDC Alliance are playing ZANU PF's game. And when you play someone else's game, you are guaranteed to come to grief.

I will be here after the elections to remind you that I said what I am about to say.

The embrace between Nelson Chamisa's MDC Alliance and the Robert Mugabe-sponsored NPF has basically sounded the death-knell for the Alliance and for Nelson Chamisa.

As I write this, a well-planned strategy is being executed in all parts of the country. That strategy centers on spreading the message that, just as the West is warming up to Emmerson Mnangagwa, Jonathan Moyo, Nelson Chamisa and others are now plotting to bring Mugabe back into power.

I can hear the scoffs. Which is fine. Because the biggest failure of Zimbabwe's political leaders has been to ignore and dismiss the population's gullibility.

Remember, the NPF has Mugabe on its posters. And the NPF today endorsed Nelson Chamisa.

Why is this strategy by ZANU PF going to be effective?

If you take nothing else away from this post, take the following:  The departure point of NPF is to assume that Robert Mugabe was/is popular with the structures within ZANU PF. That is a fatal mistake.

Cast your mind back: the firings and expulsions we all saw under Grace & Robert Mugabe were primarily because Emmerson Mnangagwa had organised so well in ZANU PF that he had 9 out of the 10 provinces of ZANU PF supporting him.

The structures of ZANU PF, from cell level to the Provincial Executive, had, as Jonathan Moyo put it back then, been "captured" by the Mnangagwa camp.

The only way opponents of Mnangagwa's juggernaut could stop this was by getting even closer to the centre of absolute power: Robert Mugabe. At that time, if he wanted you out, you were out, no matter what level of the party you were at.

It should tell you a lot that, despite the risks associated with aligning to ED at the time, entire provinces had to be gutted, with ED supporters becoming even more vocal as time went on, culminating in his being cheered and Grace Mugabe booed at that rally in Bulawayo that led directly to Operation Restore Order and ED's ascension to the highest office in the land.

People do not risk their livelihoods/lives and futures for an unpopular, unwanted and lost cause.

That should tell you why listening to the Jonathan Moyo propaganda of ED being unelectable is dangerous.

Now its worse, because of he has the power of incumbency.

Let us ignore the telescope noisemakers who are campaigning on social media for now and put things into perspective:

Mugabe had overstayed his welcome even within ZANU PF, that is why so many mainstays of the party risked their necks to align with ED.

The opportunists and bandwagoners who jumped onto the G40 platform have never been a majority in ZANU PF. And, on the ground, ED and his crew are realising also that the bandwagoners are easily swayed, because within that party, ZANU PF, they will, without fail, always align with the side they think is winning and can dispense patronage.

Right now, that side, because of incumbency, is ED.

Those two factors, bandwagoners and the fear of bringing Mugabe back through voting MDC Alliance, are now the cornerstones of the strategy from Team Lacoste, which is now in full control of ZANU PF.

The final nail in the coffin, unfortunately, is the fact that every Zimbabwean now knows that the West and the world in general, appear to be warming up to Mnangagwa. Which means that the great bogey of "Vote ZANU PF and your suffering will continue because the world will continue isolating Zimbabwe" is now off the table.

Effectively, by accepting being embraced by NPF today, the MDC Alliance has suddenly put itself on the back foot.

Lets revisit this post after elections!


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