THE opposition MDC Alliance party led by Mr Nelson Chamisa has been burning the midnight candle, fervently agitating for economic sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies to stay as the party appears unsettled by the prospects of their removal ahead of the 2023 national elections.
The machinations manifested last week when Mr Chamisa and his retinue of hangers-on attempted to torch a violent storm in Masvingo to cast the Government in a bad light, but that ploy dismally flopped.
After failing to grab his desired attention ahead of the United Nations special rapporteur Ms Alena Douhan, who is in the country on a 10-day fact-finding mission to assess the impact of the illegal sanctions, the MDC-A leader in cahoots with the usual anti-Government civil society organisations have been preparing damaging dossiers to submit to the UN Special Rapporteur.
In a draft report to be submitted to Ms Douhan and gleaned by this publication, the MDC-A sensationally claims that Mr Chamisa escaped an assassination attempt last week and is banned from travelling around the country.
“Just last week we saw how our party president was almost assassinated and our members abducted and severely assaulted in Masvingo Province. Vigilantism is on the rise and our party is being barred from operating.
“We have already submitted a comprehensive dossier on these issues and we are going to be meeting the UN special rapporteur in person to discuss these issues,” reads part of the draft report.
Despite the erroneous aspersions of being barred from moving around the country, Mr Chamisa has in fact been carrying out his party meetings across the country and was in Chipinge on Monday where he violated Covid-19 protocols.
Analysts said it was disingenuous on the part of Mr Chamisa to paint a grim picture of the situation in the country and play victimhood.
“Over the years, the MDC-A has perfected the art of brewing non-existent crises through staging fake abductions. A good example is the so-called abductions of opposition activists in 2019 of Obey Sithole, Gonyeti (Samantha Kureya) and Peter Magombeyi that were planned and executed after an anti-Zimbabwe NGO had invited a UN special rapporteur to assess Zimbabwe’s human rights situation, in what was an attempt to undo the anti-sanctions diplomatic score that had been scored by Zimbabwe at SADC and AU platforms where Nelson Chamisa’s lobbying whirlwind hit a snag,” said Mr Takaedza Nyawanza, a Harare-based political commentator.
Presently, three MDC-A activists — Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova — are facing charges of faking abductions and stand accused of employing Stalingrad tactics to delay their trial since their arrest in May 2020.
They timed their antics to coincide with another international event so as to negatively spotlight the country.
Using the alleged abduction of the trio, MDC-A vice president Tendai Biti wrote a letter to the World Bank president David Malpass, claiming that the three were arrested, tortured and sexually assaulted by security forces.
The anti-Zimbabwe stance taken by the MDC-A is in stark contrast to the collective national aspirations, which have seen other opposition parties, the Church and the business community calling for the unconditional removal of the illegal economic sanctions that have bled the country of billions.
During hearings of the US sanctions laws at the turn of the millennium, that country’s former assistant secretary for African Affairs Chester Crocker is infamous for remarking that: “To separate the Zimbabwean people from Zanu PF, we have to make their economy scream, I hope you Senators, have the stomach for what you have to do”.
Since the illegal sanctions were imposed in 2001, Zimbabwe has lost an estimated US$42 billion, losing an estimated US4,5 billion in donor support annually for more than two decades.
The country also lost US$2 billion in IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank loans which could have helped in developing infrastructure, as well as losing commercial loans amounting to US$18 billion which could be extended to the private sector and other companies.
Zimbabwe experienced a $21 billion reduction in GDP over the past two decades.