Sikhala: Mere Popularity Won’t Get You Into State House
14 October 2020
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Popularity without power is useless, totally worthless, the MDC Alliance was warned at the weekend. In a no-holds-barred flaming speech, Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala hinted that His Excellency President Nelson Chamisa’s flame of glory could be soon doused.

Sikhala was addressing mourners at the funeral of MDC Alliance MP Anna Muyambo in Chitungwiza at the weekend, when he told Chamisa that popularity alone would not deliver State power to him and the opposition.

Instead, the Zengeza West legislator — who was standing next to Chamisa — said unpopular leaders often became State presidents because of their grit and decisiveness.

“We have lost several party stalwarts since we began this journey. We cannot all perish before we reach our destination … What I have noticed is that popularity alone is not the way to get State power.

“I remember Daniel arap Moi in Kenya when he grabbed power from Jomo Kenyatta and was supposed to be a transitional leader for just six months, but clung to power for 24 years,” Sikhala said.

He continued saying:

“I also remember that Patrice Lumumba was the most popular leader of the liberation struggle in Africa, but an unpopular Mobutu Sese Seko took charge of Zaire (now DRC) for over 30 years.

“The late (former president) Robert Mugabe was probably the most unpopular leader since the history of mankind and Morgan Tsvangirai was the most popular leader since the advent of politics, yet he died before he took State power,” Sikhala further told party supporters and mourners.

He also said despite Chamisa and MDC Alliance commanding huge support in the country, State power remained a mirage for them.

“We have 2,6 million votes, meaning that our president and the party are the most popular brands in the politics of this country, but we are not in power

“Mnangagwa cannot be voted for by a donkey, yet he is in charge. Khupe is hated by dogs and reptiles, yet she is in power.

“So, power is being controlled by the unpopular, while the popular ones are not in power. So, what is the formula, strategy and plan to translate our popularity into political power?

“If we are not going to find a strategy to unpack that equation, all the leaders — including president Chamisa and me — are also going to die popular, but without taking over power,” the lawyer-cum-politician warned.

“Let us think hard on how we are going to solve that equation. The time has been too long … let us finish this off,” Sikhala added