Chamisa might not survive up to congress if Eddie Cross is right


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Movement for Democratic Change leader Nelson Chamisa’s political career could be over before the party’s next congress if he postpones it to October if former policy advisor Eddie Cross is right that Zimbabwe will be a different country by March.

Chamisa, who lost the presidential election to Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Emmerson Mnangagwa in the 30 July elections but continues to dispute the result, continues to garner massive audiences because of the economy which seems to be teetering on the brink of collapse.

The MDC leader has attributed the economic turbulence to Mnangagwa’s lack of legitimacy with some of his supporters claiming that Chamisa has the key to the economy.

Only this weekend he told party supporters in Chinhoyi: “The crisis in the country is a crisis of governance, the crisis in the country is a crisis of leadership, the crisis in the country is a crisis of lack of a vision. Former American president Clinton was once asked about problems in America and his response was that it’s the economy stupid.

“In Zimbabwe, if someone asks me about what is happening I will tell the person that ‘it is governance stupid, it is leadership stupid, it is corruption stupid, it is unity stupid, it is lack of a vision stupid.”

There is even a popular saying at party rallies: “ipai mwana majiggies ake” literally meaning give the child his jiggies.

One political observer, however, said everyone seems to be assuming that the child is right,  it is his jiggies, but asked: “Hamusati mamboona mwana achichemera majiggies asiri ake here?”

Chamisa who took over leadership of the party in February following the death of founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai was given a year to lead the party but reports say he now wants to postpone the congress from February to October.

While some believe this will give Chamisa time to consolidate his hold on the party and consolidate his power, it could also be his downfall especially if the economy stabilises and begins to recover.

Chamisa seems to be riding on the coat-tails of a battered economy but already Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe has to have created 800 000 since he took over, a statement that seems to be have been backed by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries.

Most people can easily write this off as propaganda but If it is true, and the trend continues, this will eat into Chamisa’s urban base.

Chamisa has some of the most loyal supporters but The Insider has been told that Mnangagwa aims to switch the support for his ZANU-PF the other way round by 2023, that is to have more urban than rural supporters. The answer is jobs.

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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