Mature and Strategic Leadership will Give Enemies of the Cause Enough Rope to Hang Themselves

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Opinion Piece

By Dr. Noah Manyika (March 31, 2020)

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Real change will only happen when we are mature enough to understand that the enemy won’t fight fair. He won’t observe rules of etiquette we think we are entitled to.

MDC President Nelson Chamisa
ZANU PF President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa

Zanu(PF) approaches this as a war. They strategize like it’s a war. They are proactive, not reactive.

They are not afraid of these battles being fought in the courts. If their judges rule against them, they will simply say: “You see…this proves that we are not despots. We believe in the rule of law.” The deck is stacked. No ruling against them of any court in Zimbabwe right now affects their hold on power. The critical judgments will always go in their favor.

Author John D Macdonald advised that if the cards are stacked against you, you must reshuffle the deck. The better counsel would be: don’t play their game altogether.

The calculation by Zanu(PF) is that armed with the Supreme Court judgement handed down on March 31, 2020, Khupe’s team will be able to demand the money distributed to the MDC-A in the run up to the election and afterwards.

In his remarks after the judgement, Douglas Mwonzora revealed their other weapon, which is to bring into question the legitimacy of Nelson Chamisa’s leadership of the MDC Alliance because of the supposed stipulation when the Alliance was created that its leadership was reserved for the leader of the MDC -T, which the courts have now ruled is supposed to be Khupe.

What they are counting on to be their knockout punch is that the courts would recognize that stipulation, meaning that MDC-A MPs and Councilors are under the control of MDC-T, and that the money distributed to them should therefore be under the control of the MDC-T. In the event that these MPs are put in this position and any of them think of crossing the floor to a new formation led by Nelson Chamisa, they would lose their seats, triggering by-elections that Zanu(PF) will do everything in their power to win.

The buffoonery of some Zanu(PF) leaders can fool us into believing they are not cunning, strategic, wily. The timing of this Supreme Court ruling during Zimbabwe’s lockdown because of the Covid19 pandemic was not an accident. We can all convince ourselves that none of their arguments are compelling, until they are brought before partisan courts, and judgments passed that will be enforced by partisan law enforcement.

Much like in family squabbles over inheritances and legacies, no one looks good fighting over a name, assets or positions. This is precisely what Zanu(PF) wants. Their trusted formula for decades has been to distract us with unending homework while they continue their ruinous rule. If we fall for it, we look like them, and people don’t have a clear choice for change, and will most likely go with the devil they know.

So how does the opposition go beyond merely shuffling the cards? How does it stop playing their game? By believing that the justness of our cause is more important than a name or assets. If Khupe can’t buy the support of the people with a name or assets, call her bluff: let her have those things she has sold her soul for. It would be foolhardy to be embroiled in a fight that will negatively affect preparations for 2023.

It’s time to also boycott the courts because even if everybody knows that their rulings are partisan, they generate more confusion than vindication for the opposition. No one has ever won an argument with a fool.

The allegiance of the Alliance MPs are well known. If Khupe and her team believe they can control them through a court ruling, again…call her bluff: let her try. Mature, strategic leadership will give those who want to hang themselves enough rope and opportunity to do so.

It will extricate itself from messy fights whose rules are determined by others. It must have the courage and integrity to stop pretending that it did not inherit previous errors of judgment that give Zanu(PF) ample opportunity to discredit a cause many have died for.

It must offer the Zimbabwean people something new. What is important right now is not who currently has how many MPs in parliament if that does not bring about the reforms we desperately need and does not stop Zanu(PF) from continuing to have its way.

What is important is a movement that will rescue this nation from their evil grip.

Dr. Noah Manyika is a Zimbabwean politician and cleric based in the United States of America. He is the current leader of the political party Build Zimbabwe Alliance and a Senior Pastor of NeXus Church and president and founder of NeXus Ministries.

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