Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), has sent a letter to the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, advising him to ignore a letter from Sengezo Tshabangu. Tshabangu claims to be the interim Secretary-General of the CCC and has purportedly recalled nearly two dozen lawmakers.
Chamisa has urged Mudenda not to take any action based on Tshabangu’s letter. Tshabangu is a former member of the MDC-T and People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Mudenda is expected to make a decision on this matter soon.
In response to the development, Chamisa cites a letter purportedly he sent to Mudenda on 11 September 2023 informing the speaker that:
1. Any correspondence regarding any CCC Member of Parliament listed is to be directed to his office.
2. Any communication or notification regarding any CCC Member of Parliament shall come from his office.
3. No other person is authorized to correspond or communicate with Parliament concerning CCC Members in Parliament.
In the latest letter seen by Pindula News, Chamisa emphasised that the position had not changed adding that Tshabangu was not a member of the CCC party. He said:
Dear Hon Speaker
RE: LETTER PURPORTING TO RECALL MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT ELECTED UNDER CITIZENS COALITION FOR CHANGE
Fraternal greetings to you, Hon Speaker.
I have had sight of a letter dated 3rd October 2023 circulating on social media and reported by the news media addressed to the “Speaker of Parliament” from one Sengezo Tshabangu purporting to be the Interim Secretary General of the CCC and purporting to recall several members of our political party from the Parliament.
Pursuant to our letter dated “11 September 2023” in which I advised you on the communication protocols concerning CCC Members in Parliament, I am writing to confirm that
1. There have not been any changes to the communication protocols outlined in our letter dated “11 September 2023”. Changes, if any, will be communicated from this office.
2. Sengezo Tshabangu is not a member of CCC and as such cannot provide, avail, or adduce evidence of any such membership as his name does not appear on any of CCC street or village registers of any district, in any province, as administered by the CCC Bureau of Organizing.
3. In the CCC we have no such position as Secretary General or Interim Secretary General as alleged by Tshabangu.
4. As at the present date, none of the Members of Parliament who were elected under the Citizens Coalition for Change have been expelled from the party I lead or recalled from the National Assembly, or for that matter, from any other elected position in Senate or any Local Council.
Hon Speaker, the conduct of Mr Tshabangu is in fact a wanton violation of our laws and a clear act of criminality. As such, criminal charges have been filed against him. Therefore, please kindly disregard the letter in question or any other correspondence from any other person purporting to represent the Citizens Coalition for Change.
I trust you find this in order.
Your Sincerely Adv Nelson Chamisa Leader and Presidential Candidate Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC)
Advocate Thabani Mpofu who represented Chamisa in the 2018 Presidential Election court case said the Parliament cannot act on a criminal letter in apparent reference to Tshabangu’s letter. He added:
The correct position was communicated to it in good time and has recently been affirmed. Not even the lowest of all lows can give oxygen to the human forest fire that Tshabangu is.
However, according to Kucaca Ivumile Phulu, a former CCC Member of Parliament for Nkulumane, the current situation in the CCC party is a test of leadership. Phulu believes it is unwise to disregard Tshabangu as a member of the party and suggests that engaging in constructive dialogue should be a priority over insults. Phulu said:
What is transpiring in CCC is regretable protagonists must prioritize engaging rather than insults. This is test of leadership. Ignoring Tshabangu & saying he is not a membe CCC is ill advised. ENGAGE!
The problem is that leadership always sees engagement very late, the result being that little is resolved.
After the August 2023 elections, Members of Parliament took their oaths of office in September. They are set to serve until 2028. Some analysts believe that ZANU PF is behind Tshabangu’s actions to recall CCC representatives so that it reduces the number of CCC members in Parliament, aiming to secure a two-thirds majority. ZANU PF fell short of a two-thirds majority by only four MPs.