By Pieter Ziegler
There is an uncanny resemblance between how the 2018 and 2023 elections played out.
The similarity is so strong that one can’t help but realize that the opposition in its current format has come to a dead end.
Reasons for losing in 2023 are multiple.
However, what is striking is how 2018 appears to have offered no foresight for the opposition.
Chamisa came into the 2023 election with the same virgin innocence of last time.
He lost with the same frenetic but stagnant hyperbole of 2018.
There has been a lot of scurrying around.
A lot of words and yet the abiding sense one gets is that the deed is done.
Just like 2018 had the frenetic bustle of Constitutional Court action, 2023 has the SADC platform as its equal.
However, with the cavalier attitude of a career thief, ZANU has been going through motions endorsing itself into power.
Whatever else remains to happen will find the ruling party chugging along as the ruling government.
Though there isn’t much to run, yet running down the country remains some evil expertise the party has cultivated.
What Does It Mean For Chamisa and Ilk?
For Chamisa it appears that his charisma has carried him as far as it could.
Chamisa has managed to increase Parliamentary seats and deny ZANU PF the coveted two thirds majority.
CCC has managed to maintain its urban hold in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and many others.
The party has once again solidified the rural nature of ZANU PF.
However, beyond that there appear no peeking sun threatening to emerge and emasculate the darkness of ZANU PF’s throttling hold.
The ruling party remains very much in control and everything else a thin veneer of shared responsibility.
FAZ, the continuously running out ballot papers, the violence against opposition members and the whole shambolic affront that was 2023 elections speak of a vigilante party.
It won’t be removed from power in the conventional manner any time soon.
Chamisa’s strategic ambiguity approach was effective only in so far as it achieved the objectives stated above but remains inferior to the cut-throat bush tactics of ZANU PF.
As he has shown no sufficient creativeness to tackle the thuggish ways of ZANU PF its safe to argue that he has indeed reached his peak in terms of tactics.
While he remains an attractive and powerful figure, its also clear that as an institutional leader he has overseen a structurally suspect entity.
The 2018 and 2023 near-misses may be products of ZANU PF’s rigging tactics but in being repeated, serve as a revelation of opposition failures to respond adequately.
A bloodied victim is not to blame until he suffers the same attacks at the same place every time.