The jury is still out on whether the newly launched Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) is a truly transformative party that would bring the ‘much needed’ revolution to Zimbabwe’s politics, former minister and political scientist, Professor Jonathan Moyo opined.
CCC was launched last Monday, anchored on a philosophy to put citizens at the forefront.
However, the problem of double candidature that played out in the Nomination Court on January 26, 2022, in Bulawayo dampened the mood, with some analysts expressing concern that the party was yet to break away from its past.
In an interview with CITE, Prof Moyo said if CCC’s rebranding is fully implemented, it would achieve significant gains for the opposition party but was quick to add the party was formed by the “same old people,” who could perpetuate problems that existed in the previous party.
“For the first time, CCC will provide a real practical alternative to the Zanu PF model, which is based on a chinhu chedu mentality. There is something refreshing about the promised rebranding, expected to be premised on the citizen, where citizens are equal and are defined in the constitution, as being equal in terms of their constitutional rights,” he said.
But Prof Moyo noted there was a ‘big difference between changing one’s name, colour of clothes, slogans,” as that did not constitute rebranding.
Rebranding for a political party is defined by its ideology, values, ideas, where these are brought about by citizens coming up with policies and programmes, which bring about that ideology into action, explained the political scientist.
“I think we should for now give the CCC the benefit of doubt and expect that sooner rather than later we will see some rebranding but the jury is out,” he said.
Some people pointed out that change to CCC was triggered by contestations over the MDC Alliance name with the MDC-T led by Douglas Mwonzora, which may have prompted the launch ahead of the Nomination Court that sat for purposes of holding by-elections.
“There is a feeling that this is forced by circumstances and when something is done in those types of situations, people think it might be new bottles of old wine,” Prof Moyo acknowledged.
“Unfortunately what hit the public upfront is behaviour and in particular the scourge of double candidates. If you look at the situation in Wards 9 and 26 of Bulawayo, it invites the conclusion that it has not changed. Again one might be inclined to give CCC a benefit of doubt and say, we as human beings are familiar with the saying ‘old habits die hard’ and therefore for now the jury is out.”
Considering that by-elections are a dress rehearsal for the 2023 election, Prof Moyo said CCC did not do well on how it handled the issue of double candidature.
“They have not done well on this score and it can’t be an excuse that CCC was formed the other day because it was formed by the same old people, who are only too familiar with the problem of double candidature and one would have expected that whether they were going to contest the by-election as MDC as Alliance or something new as they did, the ugly problem of double candidature was not going to rear its face at all,” said the political analyst.
“The behaviour was not expected, in fact, this was one area or opportunity which the CCC should have grabbed with both hands and create a completely refreshing optic that we are ‘new kids on the block and we define newness by doing things that have been a problem before differently.’ On that one score, an opportunity was missed if not altogether squandered.”
Prof Moyo said a new start was transformational and if CCC was a transformative political formation it would be seen in practice.
“Well-meaning people are praying and hoping it is so but you know politics is not a matter for prayer but a matter for practice. The language is practice, what you see is what you get and what you get is what you see,” he noted.
“If you have been around for some 22 years and you want to transform and rebrand it is not an easy process. When your computer prompts you to restart, it doesn’t mean you have a new computer, it simply means it was off and you are restarting.
“A new start is not what you are told, it’s a ‘yellow revolution,’ they are butchering the concept of revolution. Revolution is not the colour of T-shirts, a revolution is transformative, transformational and not everyday change, it is radical change.”