CITIZENS Coalition for Change (CCC) factions are headed for a clash when they face-off at today’s National Citizens Assembly.
CCC has been thrown into turmoil after its leader Nelson Chamisa ditched the party arguing that it had been hijacked by the ruling Zanu PF party.
The party’s two factions, one supporting Chamisa with the other rooting for self-imposed interim secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu, will meet today to map the way forward amid fears of confrontation.
While no major details have been released about the meeting, a group of CCC legislators yesterday told NewsDay that they will not surrender the opposition party to impostors including Tshabangu.
CCC national spokesperson Promise Mkwananzi said a full statement on the way forward would be released today while dismissing resolutions made at a meeting held in Gweru on Sunday this week.
Co-spokesperson for the faction that met in Gweru, Caston Matewu, yesterday said the meeting resolved to engage Chamisa to resume his role as the party president.The Marondera Central legislator confirmed the meeting saying they resolved to remain in the party.
“We are not going to surrender this movement to an impostor, but rather fight until victory comes. We will remain in CCC and that is final. Some will say we now belong to the Sengezo Tshabangu faction, that is not true,” Matewu said.
He said should the talks with Chamisa fail, they would go to congress to elect a new leader.“The CCC that we serve does not recognise Tshabangu as the secretary-general. We are going to have a meeting tomorrow (today) in Harare to deliberate more on how to move the party forward. We are against a one-party State set up. We are going to address the media after the meeting,” Matewu said.
Chamisa’s decision to ditch the party has left some legislators in a quagmire with others deciding to leave the party with their leader.Mt Pleasant MP Fadzayi Mahere yesterday resigned from the National Assembly in a letter addressed to Speaker Jacob Mudenda.
Some legislators have also taken to social media announcing their decision to follow Chamisa out of the CCC, while others have vowed to soldier on.Norton legislator Richard Tsvangirai said he would be staying in Parliament.
“Today (Sunday), we met as Norton residents to deliberate on the resignation of Adv Nelson Chamisa from CCC. The residents have agreed to stand with Adv Nelson Chamisa,” he said on X (formerly Twitter).
“However, Norton agreed that their deployees, the MP and the councillors, are doing a great job and should remain in Parliament and council and continue executing their constitutional mandate while waiting for Adv Nelson Chamisa to announce the next step, as he promised in his statement.”
To add to the confusion, Tshabangu confirmed the formation of a national standing committee, adding that the CCC had embarked on an exercise to build structures as a foundation for democracy.
Tshabangu’s close ally Khaliphani Phugeni announced that Nqobizitha Mlilo had been appointed the acting party spokesperson and would be deputised by Matewu and Discent Bajila, respectively.
Mkwananzi yesterday dismissed the new appointments.
“Citizen’s Coalition for Change refutes a statement purportedly issued on its behalf on the 28th of January 2024 by unknown people claiming to be a standing committee.“CCC was formed on the 24th of January 2022 and only celebrated its second anniversary a few days ago. The party did not exist in 2019 and does not have a structure known as the standing committee. The party is yet to conduct its inaugural congress.
“CCC decisions are taken by its supreme decision-making body — the citizens national assembly assisted by provincial task forces and district clusters,” Mkwananzi said.He appealed for patience among CCC lawmakers and councillors including activists, members, local leaders and supporters until formal communication regarding the way forward is made and confirmed.
Mkwananzi also insisted that he was still the party spokesperson until CCC issues a clear position on the way forward.Analyst Stephen Chan, professor of World Politics at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, said it was likely that the majority of CCC MPs would remain in Parliament.
“They were elected to represent something. Loyalty to their constituents may be more powerful than loyalty to a leader who, at this moment, has no plan for his own way forward.“They were also elected to oppose authoritarianism, and that opposition is best conducted in Parliament — in alliance with whatever Chamisa is able to bring out onto the streets,” he said.
Another political analyst Rashweat Mukundu said Chamisa never instructed anyone to leave Parliament, adding that it was prudent for them to follow suit.“The confusion is unwarranted because when Chamisa left CCC he did not instruct anyone to follow him so there is this hype that is being created on social media that MPs and councillors must leave and follow Chamisa. If they are any who have taken such a stance then it’s their principled position as Mahere has done.
“If CCC needed to make an impact from withdrawing from Parliament and council when the Tshabangu issue started last year, but the truth being told there is nothing in terms of impact that CCC MPs and councillors are going to contribute to a very politicised and captured Parliament [sic],” he said.