ZIMBABWE’S main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa yesterday finally abandoned the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) saying the party had been hijacked by Zanu PF.Chamisa formed the CCC in 2022 after being haunted out of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) by Douglas Mwonzora with the help of the courts.
“The original CCC idea has, however, been contaminated, bastardised, hijacked by Zanu PF through the abuse of State institutions,” Chamisa said in a statement yesterday.“CCC has not been aligned to its founding purpose and mandate.
“Further, CCC has now been rendered an extension of and been taken over by Zanu PF. CCC has, to all intents and purposes, been criminally handed over to Zanu PF.“Our politics has been defiled by schemes of personal aggrandisement upon a runaway pursuit of politics of positions, title, benefits, trinkets and trappings of office.
“A contaminated, bastardised, hijacked CCC cannot deliver a new great Zimbabwe! But then God’s grace is sufficient! Indeed, God is in it.”His announcement follows weeks of speculation on the future of the CCC after the party was thrown into disarray when Sengezo Tshabangu emerged from nowhere claiming to be the interim secretary-general of the party and calling the shots.
Tshabangu has recalled scores of CCC legislators and councillors, with a by-election set for February 3 to fill the vacant posts.The first by-election caused by Tshabangu’s recalls was held in December.
CCC interim deputy spokesperson, Gift Siziba, recently hinted that Chamisa was on the verge of unveiling a new party.Former CCC officials, who spoke to NewsDay yesterday, said legislators and councillors could choose either to follow Chamisa or stay in the opposition party.“We have had meetings since last year indicating that we should quit this thing because it’s a poisoned chalice. A man must be prepared to start over. Revolutionaries must be prepared to start over,” the official exclusively told NewsDay.
Political analysts yesterday said Chamisa’s announcement was inevitable after he lost control of the party to Tshabangu.“Two years later, the main opposition party is a pale shadow of its former self, again being hijacked by an impostor who took full advantage of the unprecedented organisational disorder and turmoil in the new party,” analyst Eldred Masunungure said.
“This was facilitated by the utterly ambiguous ‘strategic ambiguity’ that was doomed to a disastrous end…“It also betrays little regard for good listening skills as the unfolding travails were long foreseen and shared by many commentators and analysts.”
Masunungure said Chamisa opened the CCC to all forms of attack by refusing to formalise structures.“The cardinal lesson is that his next political project must respect the basic rules of the game of politics which is that power flows from the barrel of an organisation,” he said.Political and social analyst Alexander Rusero weighed in saying opposition leaders were responsible for the party’s demise.
“History will record the opposition leaders as pall bearers and undertakers of their own political parties. You cannot always form a new party all the time because of internal fissures and imagination of infiltration,” Rusere said.
“Nationalist politics was characterised by divisions and fissures but never to the extent of leadership collapsing its political outfits.“The dissolution speaks a lot about lack of experience, tact and strategy as opposed to Zanu PF conspiracies, which is now an exhausted narrative.”
In his statement, Chamisa noted that the “shambolic and sham elections” held last year were another major reason for the decision to ditch the CCC.Chamisa accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his party of trying to create a government-controlled opposition.
“They want to create a weak opposition and a puppet leadership without a base, which compromise on fundamentals of democracy, accountability and good governance,” he said.Chamisa called for all-inclusive politics to address the legitimacy problem and return Zimbabwe to majority rule.