Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Chamisa party splits

by Staff reporter
09 Nov 2023 at 05:54hrs | Views
CCC could be headed for a split judging by the continued confusion and leadership crises that saw the party fielding double candidates at yesterday's Nomination Court where rival factions tussled for recognition as authentic representatives.

The Nomination Court sat in Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, and Harare provinces to receive papers from nine National Assembly candidates whose seats fell vacant after the CCC party recalled them.

CCC interim secretary general, Mr Sengenzo Tshabangu, in protest over how the party affairs are run, instigated the recall of 15 legislators of which nine were constituency holders with others coming in under proportional representation.

Mr Tshabangu argues that the recalled MPs and councillors were imposed on the people in the run-up to the August 23 harmonised elections, and it is time to return the opposition outfit to constitutionalism.

While the recalled MPs took Mr Tshabangu to court challenging their recall, the High Court dismissed their case over the weekend.

Following the recalls, President Mnangagwa proclaimed November 7 as the Nomination Court date and December 9 as the date for the by-elections.

Yesterday, different political parties fielded candidates to replace those who were recalled, marking the start of campaigns to woo the voters.

Ironically, the CCC party had two camps fielding candidates for all the vacant seats, a development that party insiders say is a typical case of shooting oneself in the foot. Representatives of both camps confirmed that the opposition party is headed for a split, if it has not already split.

Former Nkulumane legislator Advocate Kucaca Phulu led Mr Tshabangu's backed candidates and these are Mr Vusumuzi Chirwa (Cowdray Park), Mr Ambrose Sibindi (Nketa), James Sithole (Bulawayo South), Ms Tendai Nyathi (Lobengula Magwegwe) and Mr Charles Moyo (Mpopoma-Mzilikazi).

On the other hand, Ms Sithabile Mlilo led the faction of the recalled MPs who also successfully filed their papers.

These are Mr Pashor Sibanda (Cowdray Park), Ms Nicola Watson (Bulawayo South), Mr Ereck Gono (Lobengula-Magwegwe), Obert Manduna (Nketa) and Desmond Makaza (Mpopoma-Mzilikazi).

In an interview, Adv Phulu who described himself as a 'carrier-boy' for yesterday's proceedings, said it has become obvious that the Nelson Chamisa-led opposition party has fractured.

"What I can tell you is that what is apparent today is that you have double candidates that have filed under the CCC party and that indicates that there are fissures within that party," he said.

"Fissures are an opportunity for people to reach out to each other and engage and iron out whatever it is that is causing those rifts so that an organisation can move on," said Adv Phulu.

He said any serious political organisation should have internal mechanisms to handle its challenges, but CCC does not have these.

Adv Phulu said the opposition is being destroyed by its lack of a Constitution and engaging in robust contestation of ideas.

"Once an organisation is able to do that, it is mature and it is moving forward. I have no doubt that this organisation has the backbone to resist these shocks, has ability to hold discussions on these subjects and topics that are the subject of discussion," he added.

"An organisation that is robust, built on firm principles, firm constitution and firm leadership should really be able to withstand these shocks.

"Discussions and contestations of ideas within an organisation is not really an unhealthy thing and what is unhealthy is inability to handle those contradictions, our unwillingness to handle those contradictions, and our unpreparedness to handle those debates."

Adv Phulu said the fielding of double candidates will divide the party's votes and the opposition does not benefit from the divisions.

He, however, said there is also nothing to benefit from how the party is run at the moment.

"But at the same time peace is not the absence of war. It is not healthy to be quiet and not discuss issues and not challenge certain issues that are not done properly simply because you desire peace.

"You might find peace in a prison and peace in a prison is not peace at all. Jockeying and contestation is not necessarily the existence of war," said Adv Phulu.

Ms Mlilo also confirmed that it has become apparent that there are now two factions within the CCC.

"I will only talk about our citizens' candidates. Those are the only candidates that I can only comment about. We have people that we voted for on August 23 and those are the same candidates that we have retained because as a party we didn't recall them and that's the reason they are back. I'm not going to talk about the other camp," said Ms Mlilo.

She said the coming by-elections will define who are the real CCC members.

In Masvingo it was the same case as two candidates filed papers at the Nomination Court to represent the party in next month's by-election in Ward 2 in the city.

The by-election was necessitated by the recall of Ms Shantiel Chiwara who was voted councillor for Ward 2 in the August 23 election and subsequently elected Masvingo City's first female and youngest mayor.

Ms Chiwara successfully filed papers to represent CCC at the Nomination Court which sat at the Civic Centre and was presided over by Ms Getrude Murumbi.

Former CCC Ward 3 councillor Mr Rocky Kamuzondo also successfully filed papers to represent CCC in Ward 2.

The ruling Zanu-PF party will be represented by Benson Hwata in the by-election. Joining the duo in the race is top city lawyer Mr Frank Chirairo who filed papers to contest Ward 2 as an independent candidate.

Mr Chirairo quit CCC in a huff just before the August 23 harmonised elections after he was blocked from contesting on the party ticket despite being the popular candidate.

He subsequently withdrew from the race and renounced his membership of Mr Chamisa's party in apparent frustration.

Speaking after filing his papers to contest the vacant ward 2 seat, Mr Chirairo was upbeat of winning the seat.

"I am more than confident that I will wrestle ward 2 seat from CCC because they have 2 candidates and will split their vote, I am very popular in that ward, "said Mr Chirairo.

Masvingo City is currently led by an acting Mayor Councillor Daniel Mberikunashe for Ward 5 who was elected deputy mayor after the August 23 polls.

In Harare Mabvuku Tafara Constituency, Zanu-PF Candidate Pedzai Sakupwanya and Mr Munyaradzi Kufahakutizwi of CCC will slug it out after Mr David Chitimbe of Changu Chimuti Chikapinda Chapinda was rejected after he failed to raise nomination fees.

Source - The Herald
More on: #CCC, #Party, #Chamisa