On 15 July this year, a full two weeks before the 2018 harmonised election in Zimbabwe, we warned on this blog that Nelson Chamisa was running a criminal election campaign by neglecting the parliamentary poll and focusing only on his presidential ambitions. 
ZANU PF subsequently won a two-thirds majority in parliament and there is now talk of them changing the constitution to make 55 the minimum age for anyone to qualify to run for the presidency of Zimbabwe.

You will find no sympathy here for the position the MDC finds itself in as a result of this.

When we wrote that article, we were insulted by the usual suspects, MDC and Chamisa cult followers for whom any constructive criticism of their cult leader is heresy. It bears repeating that not everyone who criticises you is your enemy. But the opposition in Zimbabwe believes it is all knowing, is guided mostly by its uneducated, shallow-thinking support base that can not think beyond its next hunger pains.

Nelson Chamisa and his supporters made this bed. They must now lie in it.

Our argument in the article of July 15 was that parliament is as important, if not more so, as the Presidency. Now here is proof. Nothing is going to stop ZANU PF implementing this policy because they now control the legislature as well as the Executive. 

Nelson Chamisa and all his supporters bear criminal responsibility for this. We all know that ideas are not age-specific. If anything, younger, bolder leaders tend to have progressive ideas that move nations and organisations forward. But you need to have power in order to realise these ideas.

The ZANU PF move demonstrates what we were arguing here back on July 15: real power in our democracy is shared between parliament and the Presidency. 

But Nelson Chamisa failed a leadership test by not impressing on his followers the need to make sure that parliament, at the very least, is balanced like it was in 2008. The results of the Presidential election show that Chamisa had enough authority and gravitas to influence his followers to also give him a good showing in parliament. 

If the numbers of the Presidential poll had been repeated in parliament, ZANU PF would have no prospect whatsoever of passing this amendment into law. But now they are perfectly positioned to do this. 

We repeat that you will find no sympathy here for the cries coming from the opposition on this front. They were warned and they accused those warning them of all manner of nefarious intentions and dismissed the concerns.

ZANU PF must now teach them a lesson. 

We are actually glad about this development because, perhaps for the first time in our democracy since independence, it will force our citizens to abandon the politics of the personality cult and instead start focusing on policies and ideas. We must start voting for ideas and policies that move us forward and stop believing that an individual is the hope of a better future.

institutions will always be more important than cult leaders and we are happy that ZANU PF, of all parties, may now be showing the way by teaching the opposition this lesson. Nelson Chamisa will have the next 15 years to sit on the sidelines and think long and hard about the sort of institutions we should have as a country in order to strengthen our institutions and insulate them from the assaults of demagogues and cult leaders.

So, finally, we hope the opposition and its supporters now understand what governing means. It means much more than fulfilling the ambitions of one person to be President of the country.  With teh majority that Nelson Chamisa and his supporters criminally gave ZANU PF on all fronts, the ruling party will now, perhaps, show that governing, kutonga,  is about all the institutions of state. 

Back in 2012, while the negotiations for the constitutions were being negotiated, we also warned against Morgan Tsvangirai's weak acceptance of the provisions in the new constitution for an Imperial Presidency. No one listened. Mugabe wanted an Imperial Presidency because it gives the presidency of Zimbabwe almost dictatorial powers. Tsvangirai and the MDC accepted this because they also wanted those dictatorial powers when they came to power.

Which is why you will also find no sympathy here for the opposition when the new President of Zimbabwe starts exercising those dictatorial powers given to him on a silver platter in a constitution negotiated and accepted by the MDC under Morgan Tsvangirai.

When all is said and done, one thing you can be sure of is that the opposition will not learn from this. As surely as the sun will rise tomorrow, they will again demonstrate this lack of leadership at the next election. 

We will reming you of this when that time also comes. But you can be certain that it will come. Guaranteed.


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