Free advice to Nelson Chamisa

Testing leadership every two years affords every member an opportunity to test their ambitions fairly before the congregants.

I am sure that you do not remember me. I met you once when you came for a religious meeting at the University of Zimbabwe Chapel.

Our encounter was uneventful, yet I remember it to this day.

When I met you, the opposition had not been formed, however that day from our handshake I felt that you had a special gift to serve humanity.

Therefore, in this letter I come with some friendly advice of a brother.

Here I present some points that I think might help our country move forward.

The people have chosen you to lead. Your leadership needs to be renewed and tested each time through a democratic contest, hence the need to have a congress and let the people affirm your leadership.

A friend of mine once longed and wished our politics to be like that of a famous mainline church in our Country that hold elections for all leadership positions from branch to national every two years.

Testing leadership every two years affords every member an opportunity to test their ambitions fairly before the congregants.

Creating a mechanism for everyone to contest for an ultimate position reduces the likelihood of leadership squabbles and break-ups.

You should apply the Jethro principle and delegate responsibilities. Those officials with delegated authority should be appointed by the party through an election. In our old traditions, appointments involved casting lots.

For a contested position, cups were filled with water that is laced with poison except one.

In the modern day, the cup of water that determines who is the right official for the delegated responsibility is the party members.

A serious opposition mirrors the party that it seeks to challenge. A good example is the EFF of South Africa.

It mirrors the ANC in every way because it’s a serious opposition.

It has elected representatives at branch, regional, province and national level, just like the ANC.

They hold press conferences, manifesto launches, and provisional and national elective conferences just like the ANC.

You cannot challenge Zanu PF, without party structures. You need to have grassroots, cells, branches, regions, provincial and national structures, just like Zanu PF, except that your structures are elected.

Like termites mounts with structures, party structures allow a lowly party member a fair share in the democratic project, an incentive to defend it with their teeth. A structure-less party is easy to infiltrate.

Lowly members of your party, know CIO agents better that you do, leave them to elect delegates.

Also you need to have a party intelligence branch that spies on everything that Zanu PF is doing, just like the EFF has insiders in the ANC that relay them critical strategic information.

A good leader allows to be enhanced by party structures, as well as to be constrained by the same party structures from dictatorial and excessive tendencies.

Why would you not allow yourself to be constrained by the decisions of a congress, a national standing committee decision, while you accept enhancement from diaspora branch structures in Australia, South Africa, UK, Germany and the US, that raise thousands of dollars that fund critical party programs.

Boasting that running a structure-less party with a spokesperson and an organising head is the new of doing things, is foolhardy.

There is no democratic party that has taken power world over without structures and defined organisation. Doing bereka mwana to choose parliamentarian candidates, when another is conducting full blown primaries is the height of madness. Surely a lowly party woman anagadai akadya magaka if she had a full participation in choosing that party parliamentarian who was recalled.

Lastly, a serious party that seeks challenge an entrenched dictatorship has to be innovative and enterprising.

There is no point in crying to the Sadc that Zanu PF does not provide fair access to ZBC-TV, when one is not doing anything about it.

I differ a lot with what the EFF in South Africa stands for but it’s a good example of how a good opposition can be enterprising.

EFF complaints about the SABC, but they have managed to be enterprising by employing a media department, opened YouTube and other social media accounts, streamed all their meetings, podcasts, reaching their supporters and the global audience at large, while earning millions of dollars from American companies from viewer subscriptions on their platforms, a welcomed source of funding to finance party affairs.

Yet, what I see your honourable leaders just doing is taking over the responsibilities of full time employed church ministers, to become a bible verse twitter-in-chief, yet you a political leader, who leads a party with Christian, Muslim and traditional beliefs, yet no party social media accounts.

In conclusion, the irony is that you refused to call for a congress and setting of party leaders saying that it would prevent infiltration to the party, yet you employed a state security spy personnel as your party spokesperson, the guy who faked his abduction in front of the world.

As you launch your new blue movement, I hope that you have learnt that party structures and organisational benefits outweigh the constraints and limits that it places on you.

Besides, no organisation, party, or country is immune from infiltration, but a good serous political party that is based on the Ubuntu values of Padare, Imbizo, will survive the attacks and bring Zimbabweans to the promised place full of lilies.

  • Kamba writes from Wyoming in the US.


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