2023: Year of election rigging & shattered hopes

Journalist Hopewell Chin'ono and CCC leader Nelson Chamisa


By Hopewell Chin’ono

Today marks the end of the year 2023.

It certainly wasn’t the successful year that the main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa promised his supporters and the country.

It is the year when an election was rigged right before our eyes and we failed to do anything about it! It is the year that SADC for the first time issued a truthful report on a Zimbabwean election and we failed to do anything about it.

It is the year that what promised to be a robust opposition in January self destructed due to political power greediness supported by a sycophantic base strengthened ZANUPF’s oppressive hand! It is the year that those that foresaw this mess and told the truth about it were demonised and called ZANUPF surrogates.

It was the year of promises that never came to pass, promises that were underpinned with Bible verses to make them unchallenged.

Zimbabweans have had a challenging year, marked by political turmoil and unfulfilled promises. It is what Elizabeth Windsor, the late Queen Elizabeth II of Britain called annus horribilis, “Annus horribilis” is a Latin phrase that translates to “horrible year” in English.

I don’t want to dwell too much on the past because we all know what happened, I want to look into the future! There is only one starting point, UNITY!

There is NO doubt or any need for any discussion to confirm that ZANUPF has failed us and that it has no national interest at heart.

The main question is what can be done to remedy this self evident reality? The opposition must stop relying on false prophecies and promises, fairytales don’t change anything except that they only make us look more delusional by believing in them.

The main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa must accept that everything he promised didn’t happen, a serious leader needs to accept that first, and then address why every promise failed.

Blaming every failure on ZANUPF is a sign of uselessness on our part because it means that your opponent is winning against your strategies, that is why ZANUPF loves those narratives.

Good leaders take responsibility for their failures, and good supporters hold their leaders to account for their promises. Most foreign missions in Zimbabwe failed to understand why Chamisa weakened his party whilst going into an election by sidelining the most able of his lieutenants, the ambassadors also failed to understand why his supporters believed the lies that it was the citizens who made the decisions.

They questioned the wisdom of the opposition leader in pushing out capable hands and whether the supporters who supported those catastrophic changes actually understand what they are up against in ZANUPF.

The idea that Chamisa and his youthful leadership team would take on ZANUPF and win was in itself delusional. ZANUPF was able to rig, “win” and get away with it because it was UNITED in pursuing its power retention goal, the opposition wasn’t! So in the spirit of what should be done in 2024, the opposition leader must accept that he must UNITE all opposition forces, and by this I don’t mean charlatans like Tshabangu or traitors like Mwonzora who took advantage of mistakes made by both Tsvangirai and Chamisa.

I am referring to opposition leaders within his own CCC party, it is not a secret that there are growing divisions in CCC due to Chamisa’s style of leadership.

If he forms a breakaway party it will take another generation before we can think of change because the leaders he is pushing out will also form another party and ZANUPF will use that division to rig 2028.

He needs to put the nation ahead of his personal political agenda which has weakened the party. It is pointless being popular when you don’t have the machinery to outfox ZANUPF and win.

He must promote UNITY because it brings strength within the opposition. Focusing on a common goal and robust internal collaboration with a strong team will be essential for overcoming challenges in the upcoming year.

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