THE cold breeze swept across the small town of Chivhu, forcing the people to stay indoors. At midday, Garwe Stadium was empty, save for just a few people in red regalia occupying the upper stands.

BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA

MDC Alliance organising secretary and legislator for Mkoba Amos Chibaya

MDC Alliance President Nelson Chamisa was expected to address the people in the poverty stricken rural area of Chivhu.

However, it took only one man to change the atmosphere. The Alliance’s organising secretary, Amos Chibaya, took to the podium and belted a song. His voice went far and was powerful enough to stir the hearts of many. People started trickling into the stadium and it was soon filled up.

This is the story of MDC Alliance’s uncelebrated hero, Chibaya, a man who organised and officiated at a total 82 rallies held across the country.

His energy and charisma saw Chamisa addressing unexpected large crowds in rural areas, still perceived to be Zanu PF strongholds.

But today, Chibaya is both a happy and dejected man.

“You saw it for yourself, how we drew crowds in all the rallies we held. I did not only act as an MC at the rallies, but I also organised them — 82 of them. Together with the team, the election results show that we mobilised people,” he said.

Unfortunately, the MDC Alliance lost the majority in Parliament and failed to garner the needed 50 plus votes for the presidency.

“As (Morgan) Komichi said, the results announced are fake. The V11 forms we have show that president Chamisa won massively. The people wanted a real change. We polled more than two million votes and that shows that people did vote for change,” Chibaya said.

He became a popular figure at all rallies. His Karanga dialect was hilarious to the opposition party followers, with his singing talent reinforcing all the characteristics required for a man who holds such a position.

Chibaya won the Mkoba Constituency and one wonders how he achieved that given his role in moving across the country.

“The three months before elections were hectic. I have been in my constituency for a long time, as a resident. I am not like those politicians who only visit their constituencies during election time. I have done a lot of development projects in the area. Moreover, the people follow my debates in parliament hence they know their man. The rallies were too intense but I had to make time for my constituency,” Chibaya said.

The towering politician has been a Member of Parliament for Mkoba since 2005. His political journey saw him being a youth assembly deputy chairperson during formation of the then Morgan Tsvangirai-led opposition movement.

At 40, Chibaya found himself as the national organising secretary of the Alliance.

On July 27, in front of a record crowd during the Cross Over Rally held at Freedom Square in Harare, Chibaya expected nothing else but overwhelming victory for his party — only to be disappointed.

“The election results are fake. They should be contested. However, we all wait for the leadership to give us direction,” he said.

According to him, the journey was tiresome. He met a lot of people and encountered real challenges in his mobilisation campaign. At times his leader addressed small crowds that left him a bitter man.

Asked which one of all the rallies was the best for him, Chibaya said: “I am not selfish, all the rallies were super.
However, the one in Gweru was excellent. It is not because I haul from the area. We did well on all the areas we visited.”

Politics is a game of numbers. The opposition boasts of a huge following, but not huge as that of Mnangagwa who was declared the winner on Thursday night.