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CCC splits, Double candidates fielded for by-elections

by Staff reporter
09 Nov 2023 at 00:55hrs | Views
THE Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party could be headed for a split judging by the continued confusion and leadership crisis 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 elect 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-election.

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

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 Manguna (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.

"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 in how the party is run at the moment.

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

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

Source - The Chronicle