By Tafara Shumba

Yours truly was one of the vociferous critics of a proposition proffered by some Zanu PF legislators on the need to have a 55 year- threshold for a presidential hopeful.

The events of Saturday, where the boyish MDC leader, Nelson Chamisa dramatised an abduction attempt, triggered a paradigm shift in many of those who vehemently opposed the proposal to increase the presidential age limit. Indeed, the country’s top job requires a mature person. The youth had hoped that Chamisa would be their ambassador and thought he would acquit himself so well that even the exponent of the age limit would make an about turn. However, Chamisa’s juvenile behaviour in his stint as the president of MDC has let down the youth.

On Sunday, the social media was awash with the ‘attempted abduction’ story which the gullible MDC supporters swallowed hook, line and sinker. As usual, the Central Intelligence Organisation was the prime suspect. Even before the drama, Chamisa had derisively recognised members of the CIO at his ‘thank you’ rally in Marondera, accusing them of stalking him even in the mountains where he goes for prayers.

What made the whole episode more theatrical is the sensational claim by MDC that the UK through its intelligence service, the M16, was involved in the abduction attempt.

Those with unadulterated mind-set saw through Chamisa’s agenda thinly veiled in that theatre. The MDC-T spokesperson Linda Masarira aptly described it as street theatre destined to gain traction. Indeed, the kidnapping story was either stage-managed to attract sympathy and demonise Zanu PF or it was pure politics of delusion.

The video of the alleged abduction attempt betrayed the plot. They would have done better if they had hired professional actors. Strangely, Mr Chamisa was seen in the video volunteering himself into the alleged kidnapper’s car, a Toyota Harrier which no government department has amongst its fleet inventory. If the mission was to kidnap Chamisa or his driver, for reasons best known to them, the job could have been executed at some apt points along the way from Marondera and not in the middle of the high density suburb. The State security agents are not that rash. In any case, there is no acceptable reason for Zanu PF to harm a harmless opposition leader who dismally lost an election and is having sleepless nights over internal dissensions in his own party which are threatening his stranglehold on power. The only time that Chamisa will probably become an agenda in Zanu PF discourse will be close to 2023, only if he survived next year’s emotionally charged elective congress.

It only made sense after the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services gave a statement. The police are getting to the bottom of the matter but from the look of things, tables are going to turn against the MDC crew which itself attacked ordinary motorists driving behind their convoy on suspicion that they were on a stakeout mission. Before he even becomes a president, nobody is allowed to be anywhere near him. Hopefully the MDC is not moulding a dictator.

Of late, Chamisa has been seeing the shadow of Zanu PF, CIO and other state security apparatus which is a clear symptom of paranoid personality disorder. On a number of times, Chamisa accused Zanu PF of killing his predecessor, Morgan Tsvangirai. Despite public knowledge that Tsvangirai died of cancer of the colon, Chamisa does not explain how Zanu PF killed him. Here is a leader, a pastor for that matter, who is still entrenched in divisive superstitions and he still expects to be taken seriously as a political leader and president-in-waiting.

The MDC is currently wrangling over the elective congress which Chamisa has unilaterally postponed to a far date in 2019. The unilateral postponement is being challenged by a group that sees the move as a departure from the democratic principles upon which the party was formed. This group, which is likely to face the chop, is being accused by Chamisa of being Zanu PF surrogates sponsored to divert  that party’s attention from the impending demonstrations. One of those being accused is Douglas Mwonzora and Elias Mudzuri. Zanu PF is not that injudicious to sponsor a strong candidate against a weaker contender. They would rather have Chamisa, a political greenhorn, at the helm of the MDC than having Mwonzora or Mudzuri for he is the easiest to conquer, perhaps because of naivety.

Chamisa has been expelling democratically elected mayors, accusing them of being Zanu PF projects. He saw the shadow of Zanu PF conniving with MDC councillors to elect the former’s preferred candidates. This is what happens when a hyena wants to eat its children; it accuses them of smelling like a goat. More than five mayors and deputy mayors have been expelled for smelling like Zanu PF.

With this magnitude of paranoia, even when Zanu PF dances in water, Chamisa will still accuse it of raising dust. Zimbabweans deserve better opposition politics than this.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.