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Chamisa battling to seize initiative from CCC 'rebels'

by Staff reporter
13 Nov 2023 at 23:26hrs | Views
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa is battling to seize the initiative from disgruntled officials from his party who are allegedly using the recalls of elected opposition representatives in order to stampede him into an elective congress.

CCC insiders said Chamisa was aware that the recalls were meant to force him to cause the holding of a congress where his position could be challenged and that he was working tirelessly to thwart them.

Sengezo Tshabangu, who claims to be the CCC interim secretary general, has embarked on a massive recall of opposition MPs, senators and councillors whom he claims were imposed by Chamisa.

Former Nkulumane MP Kucaca Phulu, a one time member of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) that was once led by Tendai Biti, is the only senior official who has publicly supported Tshabangu's adventure.

CCC officials say there are senior officials from the opposition party, who are allegedly working with Zanu-PF to decimate the opposition to settle personal scores.

The counter accusations yesterday forced Biti, who is accused of being one of the officials alongside Welshman Ncube of pulling the strings in Tshabangu's devastating mission, to distance himself from what he said was a plot by the Zanu-PF government to "malicious push to weaken the struggle".

He said even if he had issues about the direction CCC was taking, he would not "lend" his hand to the Zanu-PF government.

Biti issued the statement after The Standard sought his comment on the growing accusations that he was part of the plot.

"I do not speak for Prof Ncube, an honest and decent comrade who buried his dear mother on Friday, but as someone who has been in this struggle for as long as I have, one who has endured Zanu-PF's jails and physical attacks by the same, it is heartbreaking, if not tragic, that many Cdes that have been with us on this journey are now given false labels and badges," he said.

"I don't believe in recalls, I have never been part of recalls. I will never be part of recalls.

"Given what I and my family have given to this struggle, it saddens me that I have to state publicly that I will never be part of a project to weaken the democratic struggle in Zimbabwe.

"I have been imprisoned and tortured for the change we all seek, and I have stood firm.

"I have never worked for Zanu-PF, and I will die before I lend my hand to the illegitimate Zanu-PF regime."

This publication reached out to Biti and others who are accused of using Tshabangu to weaken Chamisa, who are mostly former PDP members.

PDP was formed by MDC officials that differed with the late Morgan Tsvangirai's style of leadership before they returned to the fold under the MDC Alliance banner prior to the post coup elections of 2018.

Former Harare mayor Jacob Mafume has also been accused of being behind the plot as he reportedly eyes another chance as mayor following the recall of mayor Ian Makone. Mafume also dismissed the allegations yesterday.

"It's not true and it's false. It's defamatory that they say we are regrouping (as PDP members)," Mafume said.

"I was also removed from the mayoral position and I am just an ordinary councillor.

"I will sue anyone accusing me of regrouping and trying to remove Chamisa from power."

Tshabangu, through his lawyer Nqobani Sithole confirmed to The Standard yesterday that there were "extensive" consultations within his camp to hold an elective congress this year.

"We are making consultations within the party so that we hold an elective congress," Sithole said.

"It's important that they hold a congress so that CCC becomes a democratic party.

"On the issue of the current party leadership, I won't talk about it because there is an application filed by an entity calling itself CCC. So we won't comment as it will be sub-judice."

In response to allegations that Tshabangu was working with Biti, Sithole said: "Any other person who is in the CCC, we are working with them.

"As long as no one, even Chamisa himself, has not litigated against Tshabangu then they are agreeing with him."

CCC spokesperson Gift 'Ostallos' Siziva said the party was aware of the secret meetings by party members, Tshabangu and Zanu-PF to force Chamisa to hold a snap congress.

"There is an attack on the authentic opposition," Siziva said. "That is why you see Tshabangu coming out claiming that there are some CCC members who are calling him."

Siziva, however, refused to name the suspected CCC members.

"We know those people through our intelligence (who are) using their narrowmindedness and greediness to utilise the Zanu-PF-sponsored chaos," he said.

"These are the very people whom we have received reports from our intelligence of their everyday meetings with Zanu-PF to try and destroy the party to fulfil their selfish interests.

"There is no struggle without betrayal. We know the side-switchers."

He said Chamisa would not be bullied to hold an elective congress.

"We have our own processes that govern the movement," Siziva said. "The call for us to have processes is different from the call for us to hold a congress.

"The word congress is not in our governing statutes and we will not be forced by anyone to conduct those processes. We have defined timelines for our processes."

CCC was formed last year after Douglas Mwonzora controversially seized control of the MDC Alliance from Chamisa through the courts.

Chamisa sidelined most of the former senior MDC Alliance members in the new formation saying he was trying to avoid Zanu-PF infiltration.

Source - the standard