Chamisa’s false Hobson’s choice

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Seewell Mashizha

Julius Sello Malema, a South African Member of Parliament was born on the 3rd of March in 1981. He is the founder and leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, a far-left South African political party dating back to July 2013.

Malema has been rather vocal on Zimbabwe. As usual, some of his utterances were pearls while others were not of so high a grade. He appears to be falling into the trap that the MDC formations have, over the years, been victim of: politicising the outside world and forgetting the voters! Malema is playing to the gallery on Zimbabwe. No doubt he will defend this by claiming to be wearing a ubiquitous Pan-African mantle that gives him the luxury of a roving eye.

For Malema’s big brother stance to be of any consequence, South Africans in general would by and large have to be recipients of lectures on Pan- Africanism. Many South Africans, including some in positions of leadership, live their lives as if they belong to a place other than Mother Africa.

The MDC-A is not the EFF, and Nelson Chamisa is not an African luminary in the mould of such people as Steve Biko, Patrice Lumumba and Thomas Sankara. These three would never have been willing disciples of American imperialism, the way that Pastor Chamisa appears to be.

Chamisa gives Christianity a bad name with his high-pitched lies and pretentiousness. Chamisa’s sanctimonious antics create a problem for Malema who says the EFF remains “inspired” by Chamisa’s showing. How strange; Malema and the EFF claim to be a revolutionary party!

Some unkind people are saying Malema’s commiseration with the MDC-A after its July 30 loss is nothing more than just the shedding of crocodile tears. The thinking is that Malema is actually relieved that forty-year old Nelson Chamisa crashed out. In consequence, Malema is still in the running to set a new record if he wins the presidential race in the 2019 elections of South Africa. That, of course, will largely depend on just how much Cyril Ramaphosa is able to deflate the sails of the EFF on the issue of land reform in Mzansi Afrika.

Frustrating the EFF may not be such a mountain to climb for Ramaphosa given the bubbling alacrity in his call to Donald Trump to keep his America and let South Africans keep their South Africa. The late Ndux Malax would have cheered Ramaphosa on with a hearty “Batshele!” (Tell them!). Whether a coincidence or not, it is not difficult to discern the militancy of Robert Mugabe in Ramaphosa’s combative utterance. But Juju is creative and unpredictable! He is likely to come up with something from his bag of tricks.

Interestingly, thirty-seven-year old Malema is, by comparison, a much more mature personality than the noisy Nelson Chamisa. Nevertheless, prescribing for Zimbabwe scenarios that spring from his head is unmitigated pettiness. His outburst that ED must only do one term is as intrusive as it is ill-conceived.

Despite some of Malema’s more glaring inconsistencies, it does not seem likely that he would be as narcissistic and disruptive as Nelson Chamisa. For him it is not just a question of attaining power at all costs and by whatever means possible. Malema does really have a programme.

It is unlikely that Malema would do the thoughtless things that Nero is guilty of: inciting an insurrection and leading it from the back, making huge claims about being in possession of an antidote against ZANU-PF rigging, and claiming to have tonnes of evidence to prove that he won the presidential election, only to have his daydreaming revealed in court in the most dramatic way. The ConCourt hearing exposed Chamisa’s bravado for what it was: mere posturing and grandstanding.

As previously forecast in this column, Chamisa is following the Kenyan script almost literally, and seems to be oblivious of the fate of Raila Odinga’s machinations. This Man of God will go through the sham ritual of being sworn in as a so-called people’s president by hordes of cheering sycophants. And he will try and enunciate what he calls an alternative government only to bow down to hard reality as Raila did.

Chamisa, the pastor, should invest in humility and clarity of thought. Some of his rantings about making Zimbabwe ungovernable, spoiling the broth and calling all the shots smacks of a rabid dictatorial bent in a man who calls himself a democrat. The man is determined to prolong Zimbabwe’s agony in order to bolster his ego. He appears to be driven by nihilism and brinkmanship. He wants power at all costs and Zimbabwe be damned if he does not attain his goal. In his estimation it is either him or the country goes to the dogs. The “either him or no one else” is a contrived Hobson’s choice which must be debunked.

The Biblical story cited below is a reminder to Chamisa of a few home truths. The legendary King Solomon, son of David, presided over the strange case of two women laying claim to the same newly-born infant. In 1 Kings 3:16-28 the New American Standard Bible (NASB) presents the episode as follows:

16 Then two women who were harlots came to the king and stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “Oh, my lord, [a]this woman and I live in the same house; and I gave birth to a child while she was in the house. 18 It happened on the third day after I gave birth, that this woman also gave birth to a child, and we were together. There was no stranger with us in the house, only the two of us in the house. 19 This woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on it. 20 So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from beside me while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead son in my bosom. 21 When I rose in the morning to nurse my son, behold, he was dead; but when I looked at him carefully in the morning, behold, he was not my son, whom I had borne.” 22 Then the other woman said, “No! For the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.” But [b]the first woman said, “No! For the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” Thus they spoke before the king.

23 Then the king said, “[c] The one says, ‘This is my son who is living, and your son is the dead one’; and [d]the other says, ‘No! For your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’” 24 The king said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. 25 The king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” 26 Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for [e]she was deeply stirred over her son and said, “Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.” But the other said, “He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!” 27 Then the king said, “Give [f]the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother.” 28 When all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had [g]handed down, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to [h]administer justice.

The callous woman attempting to play what among the Shona is known as “shayisano”, a winner-take-nothing paradox, is reminiscent of a Chamisa frothing at the mouth about how he would make the country grind to a halt unless he got his way.

Chamisa has consistently fallen short because of his lack of strategy, direction, integrity and statesmanship. He is also seemingly impervious to the lessons of history. Al Gore had a clear-cut case, but graciously accepted the ruling of the Republican-leaning Supreme Court bench against a re-count of the vote in Florida that might have seen Gore become President.

Chamisa has arrogated unto himself a kind of divine right to rule according to which only he could have been the winner of the just-ended plebiscite and courtroom processes. By deferring to Chamisa, the MDC -A incurred USD3 million costs after losing its case in court. The decision of the Judicial Commission to allow the court proceedings to be televised for all and sundry to see for themselves how things panned out was an incontrovertible move that spoke volumes about the quality of Zimbabwe’s judicial system.

No amount of chicanery can subvert the people’s will, weepy political brats like Chamisa notwithstanding. The current shenanigans around the supply side of basic commodities will flounder because their origin is an open secret. Now is a time for hard work, cooperation and results. Those who stand aside and watch will be left behind.