I always get surprised when such statements are released to the media. We should never blame the MDC Leader or the President on such a scenario. As a development practitioner, I have few genuine questions which I feel leadership must address and get to the bottom of it.
By Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo
I find it interesting to hear that opposition is broke when their cup is full of 2.6 million people who voted for Nelson Chamisa. Actually there is an overflow of supporters.
The party must be turned into a commercial brand. This is the time to commercialise the brand of the President, commercialise the brand of the party. Instead of writing warning letters, the party must use the logo of the party to call for national projects, provincial projects, district projects, ward projects , use the expertise within the party to make money.
Use the energy to mobilize, use the energy to think broadly, use the energy to source ideas and call for a national indaba or a development conference to commercialise the party.
I may share the following ideas :
1. You have 2.6 million supporters on the ground. Let’s say each supporter donates 2 USD, it means every month youay actually rake in 5 million USD. How do you do that? I will talk about it in the next chapter. You can actually buy 20 cars for each province and then dish them to provinces for 2023 campaign.
2. You don’t source money for salaries from the 2.6 million. You uss that money to invest for future prospects. You can have grinding mills in rural areas, boutiques, hair saloons, restaurents etc. In return use those proceeds to pay workers.
3. By now, you must have raised at least 20 million USD for 2023 elections. Rigging can be averted if you have enough resources. I will give you a genuine example, supposed you are looking for polling agents to go to Umzumba.
There will be 80 volunteers. They will say they will need their money after elections. The party is broke. Definitely, Zanu PF will bring money or maybe you give them 40 USD each, Zanu will give them 300 USD each and they will give in to the demands of the ruling party.
You must talk of rigging with money in your hands. Polling agents need food, need money, need vehicles, need t shirts, need allowances and this is the time to commercialise the brand of the President and the party.
4. You have a youthful President @42
You are actually luck that you have a sellable brand. Someone who can be sold to the public easily on a commercial rate. The rate of Nelson Chamisa should be trading 1: 85 by now. He is smart and eloquent. Instead of singing Chamisa chete chete daily at Harvest House, flight adverts on social media, whats app groups, facebook, istagram, my vista and twitter or any other platforms using the party brand to make income for the party. It does not take five mins to make a genuine income for the party.
5. You need a CEO who is technical to run the affairs of the party who runs the party on professional basis. The SG then stick to protocol and politics. The other way to attract funding is to have a CEO who sticks to technical issues. There must be a board comprising technocrats who will formulate policies that can market the party. Politics aside and commercialised projects on their own.
6. Supporters needs to be empowered
You can’t cry of spilled milk. People need food on the table. Take advantage of on going projects around town and move those projects to rural areas. The only challenge of campaigning when you are left with 6 months to go for an election is pointless. Zanu PF is on the ground already, by the time you get there, the ground is saturated. They are busy with projects on the ground and it will be difficult to penetrate the ground.
7. How many MDC officials have plots and farms? Many. Why cant you have poultry projects? Goat production, beef production? Water melon ideas? Vegetables and mushroom production and make use of the local talent. You can actually export your products to foreign markets or even overseas. You can start horticulture produces. Supposed local market is affected by politics, you can make use of other avenues and earn foreign currency.
8. Come up with consultancy firms for the party. Make uss of the 2.6 million. This is a big pool. Use technical people within the party to make money. You have people like Biti, Mwonzora, Mafume who are competent lawyers, use them to come up with consultancy firms. You have a wide pool. In return those 2.6 million supporters will be your number one clients for all these services. You can start political consultancy firms, policy consultancy, PR consultancy etc.
9. Around 2022, Zanu PF’ s pool will be around 500 million USD versus 7 million RTGs from Parliament I guess. How then do you avert rigging? Without resources can you honestly tell me what will happen in 2023?
10. Supposed you say 2.6 Million people will give you 5 USD earmarked for April 2020, you can buy shares in foreign companies or even local. You can have your own bakeries, super markets. You need to prove to the public that you have the capacity to employ or creat employement, you have the capacity to feed people, you have the capacity to think, make use of your talent to make money . No donor will poor money without a genuine formula. There must be a proper formula
11. How many carpenters are in the party? Supposed they receive enough material for woodwork. How many steelmakers do you have in the MDC? Instead of hoovering around Harvest House the whole day, you can creat your own industrial sites by coming up with door frames, window frames, brick moulding machinery etc. What you only need is capacity and machinery and you start work. Salaries for workers must not be generated from Parliament fund or Mps or Councilors etc.
12. Subscriptions is a thing of the past. Use the brand of the party to commercialise the party.
13. How many farms and plots are lying idle with a lot of water? Irrigation equipment. Why should people come and spend the whole day basking on the sun?
14. How many companies need food during lunch hour periods? You can have lunch corners around town to deliver food in different offices and make use of the proceeds to fund the party.
15. You can have the Nelson Chamisa tournaments. Creat teams around the country and creat a pool of resources. People vote for a party with activities. These days people focus on their stomach. Politics of the belly is dominating the political scene.
17. Creat your own micro finance scheme where civil servants can borrow money from your own bank. The bank can employ the unemployed.
16. Service providers etc. Creat your own.
Money from a small group of Mps, councillors and senators is not sufficient to the angry mob. It’s too little to feed grassroots. An angry supporter will definitely bite you.
Time to buy in ideas and erode gossip type of politics. Remove gossip from top to bottom, or bottom to top.
17. Creat mineral water or mealie meal inscribed the party logo etc.
Last but not least, it is critical for Nelson Chamisa to have competent people around him. He must erode the chete chete around him and remove all praise singers and come up with progressive team around him.
Transparency and accountability is critical to any alternative party or in waiting Government. Every cent which find it’s way to the coffers of the party must be accountable.
People must be able to trace their proceeds, and with that regards, you are building strong institutions. If donors cast doubt on any of the critical offices around the President, there will be much resistance on the market. Before people commit themselves, there must be clean hands on those office bearers.
Hope this few cents advice will find it’s way into safe hands.
Tinashe Eric Muzamhindo is a Policy Advisor and Researcher. He is also a Lead Thinker who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org