GoFundMe Initiatives and handouts: will Chamisa last?

Albert Chavhunduka.

It’s very clear that the ‘new dawn’ for Zimbabwe promised by Nelson Chamisa, leader of the newly formed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) will have to come at a cost and out of the pockets of an already exhaustive people.

After being side-lined and losing government funding through the Political Parties Finance Act, CCC formerly known as MDC-Alliance had to throw out the begging bowl asking for financial aid from the public as well as those in the diaspora.

There are critical questions one may want to ask, are the citizens in for the long run? What happens if Chamisa fails to deliver? Are there any invisible financial muscles behind the party, and the citizens are just a cover up?

“Our people are our resilience; the citizens are our resilience. They thought that they had taken everything, but guess what, the citizens are driving this, they are oiling this machinery,” said Chamisa while launching his new party.

This, he described, is the ‘citizen philosophy’ which his new outfit strongly believes in, for the success of his party to deliver victory in the 2023 elections.

For a start, it is very important to see that Chamisa has to make sure that he continually creates conditions that are necessary for the survival or his party.

How does he do that?

Firstly, one thing that is certain is that his party has to give a good performance in the upcoming by-elections on March 26.

This is very critical in boosting confidence and belief not just among his supporters but also for himself as well since he decided to blaze his own trail by dumping the MDC.

For his supporters, they will know that at least their financial contributions to the party have good returns and there is increased hope that the party they are backing has the capacity to unsit ZANU-PF come 2023.

Secondly, Chamisa’s success is dependent on the opposition leader successfully making sure that electoral reforms are implemented before they get into the elections.

Earlier this year, the party’s spokeswoman Fadzai Mahere was quoted saying her party had to fight tooth and nail for electoral reforms ahead of the elections in March.

“The consistent position that’s been taken by the MDC Alliance is that any proclamation for elections must be accompanied by a clear reforms roadmap that paved the way for an undisputed election. The bad governance and legitimacy crisis that continues to plague Mnangagwa’s regime is a direct result of the disputed election of 2018,” Mahere said.

“This is why we continue to champion a Reform Agenda on behalf of the citizens. To this end, we reiterate our call for the alignment of electoral laws to the Constitution, the full implementation of existing electoral laws especially as they pertain to state media, the full disbandment of the partisan and militarized ZEC secretariat and full reform of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission,” she added.

Against this backdrop, it’s evident that Chamisa knows that before they sell flowers to their supporters-which sold out anyway, there is a huge huddle that they first have to go over, if they are to stay in business.

Just as the saying goes, ‘you reap what you sow.’ At the end of the day, the ‘citizens’ are going to want to see results. And as much as politics is a game of numbers, in Chamisa’s case, it’s a game of output.

So, for Chamisa to be able to deliver the promises he has made to his supporters, he has to make sure he does not go into the elections, before any requisite reforms are put on the trouble, otherwise, they will cry foul again.

In an interview yesterday with CCC vice president Tendai Biti which was hosted by journalist Hopewell Chin’ono on Twitter spaces yesterday, party sympathisers managed to raise a total of US$2,231 during the conversation, which is plausible and reflective of the citizen’s dogged willingness to support Chamisa’s cause.

In 2021, there was also a fundraising campaign to buy Chamisa a bulletproof vehicle after his car was pelted by suspected ZANU-PF supporters in the Masvingo area. The initiative well received by the public and it was a success story which even surpassed its target.

As it is, Chamisa has succeeded to duck all the darts thrown at him. He survived losing the party headquarters and funding to his rival Douglas Mwonzora, the recalling of his MPs in parliament and the legal battles that were coming his way over the party name.

For Chamisa, the idea of bringing change to Zimbabwe, his own political career and the crucial survival of his party have become a collective responsibility, where every citizen has to play a role for that dream to be realised and end ZANU-PFs rule.

In other words, it is safe to say that as much as Chamisa is the CCC leader, however, he has put the ball in the citizen’s court.

It is now up to the citizens to show their willingness, continued support and determination to bring the change that they want to Zimbabwe come 2023 or else their dreams and aspirations will die with the party.

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