Power Play: Prof. Ncube says CCC leadership struggles with Parly recognition

Source: Power Play: Prof. Ncube says CCC leadership struggles with Parly recognition – #Asakhe – CITE

Professor Welshman Ncube, acting leader of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), says the party’s leadership does not have full control over its relationship with Parliament, the State, and quasi-institutions since these acknowledge Sengezo Tshabangu as the leader of the opposition.

Tshabangu, who poses as the CCC interim secretary general and is a senator, was last month confirmed as the leader of the opposition in Parliament.

According to Prof. Ncube, the CCC’s National Council engaged Tshabangu to inform the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Mudenda, that the acting president of CCC will be the one to communicate, but the Speaker refuses to recognize this.

“It is a matter of public record that today the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) will accept only Tshabangu’s signature as the public representative of CCC. The Speaker will accept only Tshabangu’s signature as the signature of CCC,” Prof. Ncube said during a conversation held on X spaces on Sunday evening.

Prof. Ncube noted that engaging Tshabangu does not mean CCC recognises him as their leader but is necessary to regain control of the party.

“It’s a fact that the Speaker won’t accept communication from me. He won’t accept communication from Charlton Hwende (the ‘original’ CCC Secretary General). The Speaker will accept communication only from Tshabangu,” he said.

The Speaker’s position, according to the acting CCC leader, is premised on the basis that Tshabangu has won court cases against them.

“The Speaker will continue to recognise Tshabangu’s signature, saying, ‘we too must go to court and win if we want to be recognised,’” he said.

Prof. Ncube said “the reality” is Tshabangu’s signature authorises him to engage with the State and its quasi-institutions on behalf of CCC.

“Given this, we must engage Tshabangu, the state institutions, and the government so that we can resolve the issue of who has the authority to communicate on behalf of the party. We have started those processes; if we succeed or fail, that’s a different question,” he said.

He added that CCC needed to have its authority restored and have the party speak on behalf of all, not for Tshabangu to make personal decisions.

“(Zanu PF SG) Obert Mpofu communicates for Zanu PF, he doesn’t communicate his personal decisions. This should be the same for whoever we assign to communicate collective decisions. The state can’t communicate for us or recognize one individual as a repository of all party authority,” Prof. Ncube said.

The acting CCC leader confirmed the party had also asked Tshabangu to transfer his authority to him.

“We asked Tshabangu to write a letter to the Speaker to say that ‘from now on, the acting president of the party will communicate with Parliament,’ as part of our engagement with him. Tshabangu actually wrote that letter, but the Speaker won’t recognise it,” Prof. Ncube claimed.

“The Speaker says he wants a court order when Tshabangu actually wrote such a letter.”

Prof. Ncube said this is why their position was to engage the State and Tshabangu to reassert the authority of the CCC.

“I did not suggest we are under Tshabangu,” he added.

“The position is obvious. We don’t have full control over our relationship with Parliament and the State. I am not suggesting we will accept him over all of us as a leadership collective if we fail to reach an agreement with him. We want a situation where the dog wags its tail, not where the tail wags the dog.”

Prof. Ncube also dismissed allegations that he had created Tshabangu or helped him facilitate recalls of elected officials.

“Emphatically, Tshabangu was not my creation! He was his own creation,” he said.

Prof. Ncube added it was also false for opposition politicians to claim they did not know of Tshabangu.

“I get surprised that we as people and analysts don’t pay attention because you see the reaction to a banal statement of fact that Tshabangu was a member of the national executive and, therefore a member of the national council. People are taking this as a great revelation or that it is an untruth. The fact of the matter is Tshabangu was a member of the national executive,” Prof. Ncube said.

“Even go back to the time of the split of the MDC in 2005. Tshabangu became chairman of Matabeleland North for a long time. During the five-year tenure in 2014, when Chamisa was the organizing secretary.”

Prof. Ncube said after the MDC-T congress in Bulawayo, Tshabangu was still the chairman of MDC-T in Matabeleland North.

When the MDC Alliance was constituted in the run-up to the 2018 election, Prof. Ncube said Tshabangu came into the alliance from PDP as a senior member.

“When we went to the Gweru congress, Tshabangu was one of the people nominated by Matabeleland North to be a member of the national executive. But when they eventually did their nominations, Tshabangu was excluded, but later he was appointed into the National Executive as of 22 January 2020 (when CCC was established),” said the acting leader.

“Tshabangu was a member of the MDC Alliance national executive, therefore a member of the national council, but he was not as of 22 January 2022, the secretary general, not interim, or anything. He didn’t hold that portfolio.”

Prof. Ncube said Tshabangu emerged post-2023 elections, signing himself off as an interim secretary general, which was accepted by the State, in terms of Parliament, ZEC, and other institutions when he had not been placed in that position by anyone in CCC.

“Hence in the confusion in the positionless, structureless CCC with people giving themselves whatever position they desired at any given time becoming champions in chief, champion vice president, this problem arose, creating difficulty of who is what, who held what, where did they get it under strategic ambiguity,” he said.