Nelson Chamisa-The logical choice!
The succession debacle in the MDCT cannot be ignored. In essence because the MDCT like ZANU PF, is a massive political organisation whose implosion has far reaching national consequences. It is therefore a political organisation of national concern.
ZANU PF has undergone a succession process, albeit a controversial one but even worse, the succession in ZANU PF denied the new an opportunity to be born. Many complained that by his long incumbency, Robert Mugabe had robbed about three generations of their opportunity to shine. However by replacing Mugabe with an equally old leader, arguably from the same generation with Mugabe has robbed not just ZANU PF but the nation at large an opportunity to undergo real and truly generational transition. At 75 years, way back in the 90s, and murmurs were already loud that Mugabe was too old he needed to step down, yet Emerson is only starting, only expected to retire by compelment of the Constitution at 85. The retirement age in Zimbabwe is 65. Of course this is Africa so that can only be a theoretical limit but clearly it has its good reasons why it is there.
Turning back to the mainstream opposition, the MDC has a splendid opportunity to lead not just Zimbabwe but Africa as whole by example. The average age of African leaders is 75 and many believe that it is this lethargic leadership that has led to the regression of the African continent. South African opposition has taken a turn with its two prominent opposition leaders Maimane and Malema under 40. In Europe and other parts of the world we have seen several national leaders who are under 40 rise to lead their nations. This is despite the fact that European populations are old and top heavy. It is therefore logical for Africa and Zimbabwe in particular to look to the young generation to lead as the generation under 40 years of age constitute more that 75 percent of the population.
What is the point of succession if the MDC is going to replace the old with the older, the tired with the tired the energy less with the energy less?Khuphe already began to show signs of fatigue by failing to attend the party’s statutory and mandatory meetings which in itself is not just a dereliction of duty but a violation of the party’s constitution which says leaders who absconds more than three consecutive meetings without good cause necessarily excuse themselves from their position and duties and must be replaced with a more committed leader. This is a logical view to ensure that as the party is a voluntary organisation its survival is dependant on voluntarily committed leaders. Mudzuri is the same age with President Tsvangirai if not older yet Tsvangirai when fully fit appears to be even more energetic and buoyant than his supposed successor. The MDC can demonstrate that it is a party with a difference by nominating a younger leader who will capture the imagination and draw the attention of young people who are fed up with the politics of the old and lack of political space for them. Secondly, the MDC can nominate a younger leader to deal with succession on a medium to long term basis and inject that energy innovation open mindedness and a sense of renewal in its rank and file.
Over and above all the aforementioned arguments, we are aware that merely being young is not enough for one to be a good leader but neither does being old. In fact being old is even worse because we are looking at a new type of leadership for our country for Africa and the world at large. Fortunately Nelson Chamisa the touted young leader has the attributes the credentials if you like and a sterling history and record within the rank and file of the opposition and has proven himself beyond the party academically politically and socially. He has steadfastly built his name and his reputation as a promising young leader of note. The MDC needs to choose a leader who will appeal beyond its narrow structures but even to its alliances partners networks international community and even to other parties and competitors and most importantly to the generality of the people of Zimbabwe. That leader is Nelson Chamisa.
As Tajamuka, a social movement of young people we are compelled to stand with none other than Nelson Chamisa and we applaud the visionary leadership of Morgan Tsvangirai encapsulated in his new year message when he alluded to the pressing need to pass on the button not just to the next leader but to the next generation.
We now conclude our statement and position with the timeless words of Frank Fanon:
“Each generation must rise out of the relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfil it or betray it, in relative opacity”