Exiled former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo says efforts by Citizens Coalition for Change CCC president Nelson Chamisa to engage President Emmerson Mnangagwa is failing because three things.

He says prime among them is that he has to go through senior party officials like the Secretary General and not by sending his personal lawyer as he allegedly did.

According to recent court judgments Sengezo Tshabangu who has been recalling members is CCC Secretary General despite the party saying otherwise.

Moyo was commenting to a story on the subject by The Standard Newspaper.

So, according to today’s @thestandardzim, @nelsonchamisa, who is keen if not desperate to have negotiations with @edmnangagwa
on heavens knows what, sent his personal lawyer – Innocent Chagonda, a senior Harare legal practitioner – as his emissary to initiate the hoped for negotiations; only for Chagonda to be told by ZanuPF that Chamisa could engage President Mnangagwa only through Vice-President Chiwenga; a channel that Chamisa seems unwilling to use.

This extract from the Standard report is instructive:

“Chamisa recently sent emissaries to Mnangagwa to initiate processes to- wards having a dialogue, but ruling party hawks shut the door on him.Zanu PF spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa confirmed the development when contacted for comment.

According to Mutsvangwa, the ruling party told Chamisa that he could only engage Mnangagwa through Vice Presi- dent Constantino Chiwenga. Chamisa has not reached out to Chiwenga.

“If he wants to talk to the president he must use the Vice President (Chiwenga) as his channel,” Mutsvangwa said.

“He sent his two emissaries, one Utsiwegota and (Innocent) Chagonda and he was told to speak to the president through the vice-president. He knows the channel and he must use it.”

“There is a channel that has been established between the two of them.” Mutsvangwa said Zanu PF could not allow Chamisa to meet Mnangagwa directly.

“We have no problem with engagement, but the only challenge is that CCC wants to be treated as an exception,” he said.

“After all, we are in Parliament together and we meet in a plethora of fora.” CCC wants exceptionalism, but we have already been treated as an exception by the electorate.

“We can’t then be undermining our exception and promoting the CCC exceptionalism.”

He said Zanu PF was cautious not to confer superiority to Chamisa. “We are also saying we are cut above all political parties because we won the elections,” said Mutsvangwa.

“CCC wants Zanu PF to confer it with a title of being exceptional. But if we confer them that title, it will be at our expense with the electorate, which gave us the exceptional majority. We are very careful not to confer an exceptional laurel to Chamisa and under- mine our own exceptionalism.”

Interesting story.

For Chamisa the problem about and from this, is threefold:

  1. It is unusual and in fact weird that Chamisa is using his personal lawyer for such a profoundly political engagement. This is the sought of thing that requires the attention of a senior party leader like a national chairperson or a secretary general. Chamisa’s use of his personal lawyer exposes the absence of collective leadership in his one-man led; structureless, positionless and memberless Chamisa Wapusa Wapusa outfit, whose formation he announced in Chinhoyi on 23 September 2023.

  2. Apparently, Chamisa has learnt nothing from the experience of the late Morgan Tsvangirai, whose lessons he could also readily get from Prof Welshman Ncube or Tendai Biti, that no political negotiations anywhere in the political world start at or with the top; it’s a no, no and therefore a non-starter.

The top guys get involved only when there’s something to ratify or to agree on. This is trite, every political leader should know this. It’s wore when one sends their personal lawyer, in the vain hope of kick starting political negotiations at the top.

  1. Political negotiations should be between political parties, as institutions, not between political leaders, as individuals. Whenever there is either a need or a reason for any political negotiations to take place, the concerned political organisations must be seized with the issue, as political parties.

Chamisa’s use of his personal lawyer and his wish to personally do, himself, the negotiations that he craves to have for whatever reason, exposes the lack of collective leadership in his political outfit.

This leaves senior civil servants, senior securocrats, high level business people and diplomats laughing at him, and even ruling him out as a clueless populist.

That’s it, the rest is just drama!