Chamisa denies bussing people to rallies

HARARE - The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC has dismissed claims that it is bussing people to attend its jam-packed rallies.

Chamisa, who is riding on a wave of the so-called #Generational Consensus, has been pointing to the crowds he attracts as proof that he is not running behind President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

While Chamisa has been addressing huge crowds across the country, his main rival Mnangagwa is not holding rallies at all, instead attending to national issues — re-engagement and his investment drive under the Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra.

Pointing to impressive rally crowds is a long-time tactic of candidates on both sides of the aisle.

The State media has claimed several road accidents involving MDC supporters from various parts of the country have confirmed that the main opposition party was bussing supporters to rallies to create an impression that Chamisa enjoys “overwhelming” support.

But acting MDC spokesperson Thabitha Khumalo dismissed the allegations.

“The country is burning, civil servants are getting peanuts but you see some people are concentrating on petty issues. We do not bus people. We cannot deny our members to come to attend our rallies,” Khumalo said.

She said anybody who has been to the rallies and has seen the crowds, seen their response, seen their enthusiasm, seen the intensity of their response and how they respond to issues raised by Chamisa, cannot help but believe that there is something happening in this country.

Chamisa’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said: “That is nonsense.” He claimed those attending the rallies were doing so of their own volition, motivated by Chamisa’s message of renewal and hope.

Obert Gutu, spokesperson of the rival Thokozani Khupe-led MDC claimed Chamisa had invested

$50 000 to bus supporters to the MDC rally in Bulawayo last weekend, attended by a bumper crowd.

“$50 000 spent on bussing people to Bulawayo. We pursue real politics not self-delusion and self-deception. Results of the election 2018 will confirm who the fake are and who the real politicians are,” he said.

The 40-year-old came to power in acrimonious circumstances following the death of the party’s founding president Morgan Tsvangirai, who succumbed to cancer in February.

He was locked in a succession battle with Khupe, who disputed his ascendancy resulting in her being fired from her position as deputy party president, along with her allies Abednico Bhebhe, who was the organising secretary, and Gutu, the party’s spokesperson.

Khupe and her allies responded by digging in insisting that they were the legitimate MDC — effectively declaring a split — the third since the MDC’s formation in 1999.

This came amid debate over Khupe’s influence of the party’s Matabeleland structures, with some saying her expulsion would see her moving away with “her people,” dealing Chamisa a huge blow.

Analysts have warned that crowd size is a less-than-useful tool for candidates trying to assess their chances of winning an election.

They warn that campaigns that rely too much on anecdotal evidence like crowd sizes when looking to measure progress are easily lulled into a false sense of security. They assume, often wrongly, that the echo effect of being surrounded by big crowds of already converted voters is automatically translating into momentum.

Most average Zimbabweans do not think crowd size is a good metric, either.

Comments (7)

Obert Gutu used to be shining beacon or at least i thought he was until the day the day he tried to resist Chamisa's ascendency to the most powerfuf position in the party.The way he reacted was a clear sign of someone who had high hopes of landing the post himself and got betrayed at the last minute.Yes he got betrayed by his fat ego that was flattened by the MDC T supporters with with all sorts of weapons ranging from swords,spears,arrows,nails,you name them.He displayed his stupidity by going against the tide.His reading of the political situation was totally devoid of any wisdom,yes you may be educated Obert,but your lack of wisdom really speaks volumes about the kind of pretender that you are.You couldn't read the signs that the real Generation 40(Chamisa at 40) was on the offing.If cannot such easy sign i fear for those that come to your law firm for legal advice.

Luke Munya Mabika - 13 April 2018

Are you qualified to characterise peoples wisdom or lack of, what measure are you using?

Butch - 13 April 2018

If attracting large crowds is synonimous with busing people then Chamisa will bus the crowds to the polling rooms and win elections. People just love Chamisa

Lutendo - 13 April 2018

kurwadziwa chete, hapana chimwe!

SaManyika Chaiye - 13 April 2018

But often people don't attend rallies as supporters only but many would come only to watch dramas of opponents shouting to the other group-its quite interesting & entertaining just as good as public fight or some public entertaining scenario & not that they are in agreement with the speaker-hence at election such a group can still loose.Large crowds would have only come to watch spectacular events such as this one which would have widely advertised in time

addmore gudo - 13 April 2018

Crowds or no crowds the question still is. Where is the beef". What solutions does Chamisa have to revive the struggling economy? What is he doing about the sanctions that he called for in December?

Order - 13 April 2018

I swear to God if these Zanu thugs bring up the sanctions excuse again I'm gonna smack one of them. you busy buying cars for chiefs and for campaigning when you have said you are broke both country and party and someone has the audacity to say the country is a shithole because of sanctions. do we look 12 to you

doc - 16 April 2018

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