Muzvare Betty Makoni | My advice to aspiring young politicians or even older ones should they see sense in this in Zimbabwe whether home or in the Diaspora is that building a political base is not easy. Let me use example of Advocate Nelson Chamisa to illustrate my point. Of course you can use your own example. I used Chamisa as my example as I followed his political journey since 1999.

Chamisa did not emerge a President.Agh agh. He attended the first congress of MDC in 1999.I saw him at Aquatic Complex in Chitungwiza and articulating issues affecting Zimbabwe. I later saw him putting his life in a den of lions. He was mauled and there is a time the whole country thought he was dead. But he reemerged and fighting for social justice and freedom. He almost died for our people. Then his party split. He stayed put. He even encouraged unity. His other struggles that people identify with are many and authentic.

What lessons do we get from Chamisa ?
1. He remained steadfast despite turbulance. People associate with leaders who stay the storm.
2. He remained focused and consistent for he never walked out of his party despite hardships. People follow leaders with solutions.
3. He was crucified and nailed on the cross like Jesus. But he rose again and preached peace and unity. People follow his peace.
4. He stòod up in parliament and made sense. People like leaders who challenge the status quo.
5.He remained with the people and mourning with them when their founder Dr Morgan Tsvangirai died. People like leaders who pave way forward. He instantly became the natural successor. He identified with the youth suffering.

There you are new emerging leaders. Avoid being fast food. Be steadfast and bond with people. You are too quick to want to be MP without passing people’s test. Today you jump here and tomorrow you jump there hey.People get tired. Stay on journey without swerving too much. Be consistent and reliable. Building a mass movement is not about tribe, being a woman etc. Building a base is going to basics and building charisma. Dont think you are like me today and suddenly people follow. Agh agh. Not at all. Be patient with time.

Be patient with time.It took Chamisa 20 years to be Presidential nominee. Honestly it cant take you 20 minutes or 20 months. Mass movements are not predictible at all.

Shouting at terraces that hehehe am a woman or am a victim makes your candidature weaker. Issues confronting Zimbabwe go beyond women. As you can see youth unemployed in Zimbabwe have mobilised. Noone will stop them. It means for you to be part of this mob, you have to take women issues via them. Forming another party or splitting from the core party just 2 months before elections throw women away even more. I would be firm and assert position within.It is very hard to form and firm in 2 months before elections. They say join them if you cant beat them.

Finally Zimbabwe politics is an emotional trajectory of heroes because of Mugabe era which was very oppressive. Which heroic deeds can people rally you behind? Basically the country has masses of people with fear, anxiety and hopelessness. They want to see if you can help them cross the biblical river Jordan. Which hero are you?